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Breitfeld: Ex-BMW and Byton managers go to Faraday Future

Ex-BMW and Byton managers
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C arsten Breitfeld becomes a wanderer between the electric cars -Startups: After only a few months at the Chinese company Iconiq Motors, the car manager hires in California: at the Faraday Future brand based in Silicon Valley and financed by China. This is daring a fresh start with the e-car specialist, after the last few years were marked by empty promises and great financial difficulties. Breitfeld is supposed to do what his former BMW colleague Stefan Krause failed to do: To develop Faraday Future in the right direction again.

From BMW to Byton to Iconiq Motors

To Iconiq Motors moved to Breitfeld after leaving Chinese competitor Byton in April 2019. This happened during the auto show that was taking place in Shanghai, during which Byton proudly presented its production facilities in Nanjing to journalists. At first it was said at the time that Breitfeld would remain with the company in a different role. Then Byton let it be spread that the German wanted to devote himself to new adventures in the startup industry. The Iconiq Motors adventure seems to have quickly lost its appeal. It is a subsidiary of the Lebanon-based and Dubai-based automaker W Motors. In 2017 Iconiq Motors presented the Seven, a purely electrically powered crossover model.

The Byton M-Byte should come on the market in China at the end of 2019. Ex-Byton boss Carsten Breitfeld left the company before production started.

Breitfeld founded Byton together with current CEO Daniel Kirchert 2016, meanwhile the company should have 1,600 employees. The EndIn 2019, the brand's first car, the M-Byte SUV, will roll off the production line; according to the manufacturer, there are already 50,000 pre-orders. The market launch is initially planned in China, followed by North America and later Europe in 2020. This summer there is to be a third round of financing, in which an investor from Asia is expected to play the largest role, more money is to come from North America - Europe is not part of the party.

Financing secured?

According to a report in Manager Magazine, Byton may have concerns about its finances and related rumors that other executives may turn their backs on the company. Byton seems to have prepared for Breitfeld's departure for a longer period of time. In January, the manufacturer announced that in future the roles of COB (Chairman of the Board) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) would be separated - until then, Breitfeld had held both positions in personal union. Byton co-founder Daniel Kirchert then became CEO, while Breitfeld remained COB.

In the past, Carsten Breitfeld had pointed out several times that there were around 40 companies in China that were doing the same thing as Byton. In addition, the general conditions for startups there have recently deteriorated significantly. Before his involvement in China, Breitfeld was a BMW manager where, among other things, he drove the development of the plug-in hybrid sports car i8.


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