(Yicai Global) Jan. 16 -- The founder of Levdeo Automobile has accused a local government official in China of compelling the cash-strapped electric carmaker to fabricate an additional CNY4.7 billion (USD700 million) in sales.
Li Guoxin said through Levdeo’s WeChat account on Jan. 14 that the secretary of the Communist Party of China’s committee for Changle county in Weifang, Shandong province, where Levdeo is based, forced the automaker to report CNY6.7 billion in sales last year to make the local economy’s report card look better. The actual figure was CNY2 billion, Li said.
The provincial government has launched an investigation into the matter.
Founded in 2008, Levdeo topped China’s low-speed EV sales rankings between 2016 and 2018. But when the country tightened supervision of such vehicles, the carmaker bought Sichuan-based Yema Automobile for CNY1.5 billion in 2019 to secure manufacturing licenses for new energy vehicles, fossil fuel-powered passenger cars, and buses.
Levdeo ran short of money in late 2021 and began delaying payments to dealers. Last November, the firm said it had completed a CNY3.2 billion Series A fundraiser, with the proceeds to be used for vehicle research, development, and marketing as well as expanding its production and channel capacity. But the funds were not received on schedule, Li said.
Levdeo launched its main model Mengo in 2021, and sold only 6,878 in the first 10 months of 2022, according to insurance data.
Editor: Martin Kadiev