(Yicai Global) May 5 -- A provincial government in China plans to sell at auction a factory of new energy vehicle manufacturer Saleen Automotive that it seized two years ago, with the starting bid set at CNY2.4 billion (USD360.1 million).
The plant, located in Jiangsu province’s Rugao city, will come under the hammer on May 30, according to information on Alibaba Auction. The sale will include the land use rights, equipment, and production lines.
Jiangsu seized Saleen’s two production bases in Rugao, 144 apartments, and its Shanghai office after the automaker failed to pay salaries and its chairman absconded to the United States. In April 2020, Wang Xiaolin was accused of having embezzled CNY6.6 billion (USD999.2 million) of state funds after he contributed lower-grade tech to Saleen through four foreign companies that he controls and that together have a 66 percent stake in the carmaker.
Saleen’s state-backer Nantong Jiahe Technology Investment development, which has a 33 percent stake in the company, conducted a financial audit and review, suspecting Wang of providing false documents and exploiting his position to pocket huge sums of money, the administrative committee of the Jiangsu Rugao Economic and Technological Development Zone, where Saleen is based, announced in July 2020.
Founded by Steve Saleen in 1983, the sports carmaker was acquired by Wang in 2014. The firm debuted its first mass-produced model, the Maimai, in 2019. The mini electric car had a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour and a new European driving cycle range of 305 km. It was priced from CNY158,800 to CNY168,800 (USD24,000 and USD25,500). Only 27 had sold as of April 2021.
The first phase of the plant to be auctioned off covers an area of 638,670 square meters, with a construction area of 230,000 sqm and an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. The plant was expected to be completed in 2019.
Editor: Futura Costaglione