• Mar 31st 2010 at 7:57AM
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Aptera 2e – Click above for high-res image gallery

By now, we have all grown accustomed to Aptera announcing setbacks in production, company difficulties and other hardships. But this latest development could truly indicate that the company is trying one last time to get things right and present the 2e to the world. According to Automotive News China, Aptera is currently seeking a China-based production partner to build the 2e.

If a production partner is found and a deal is inked, the Aptera 2e would be produced in China, sold in China and exported stateside. Aptera's newest possible path is best described by company chief executive officer Paul Wilbur, as quoted by Automotive News China:
We would build vehicles here and send them back to the U.S. For China we're really interested four doors as this would be a more mainstream vehicle.Our plan is to bring a four-door model out two years after we launch the two-door model. If we can find production partners we will have a much more rapid growth strategy for China and the rest of the world. I think it would be pretty easy to start production in China as most of our suppliers are here.
Aptera has declined to name any automakers that may be interested in becoming a production partner, but did state that talks are ongoing with three local Chinese automakers. On one hand, producing the vehicle in China could reduce its cost. On the other hand, buyers may react negatively to the U.S. based company's choice to produce overseas. We think the company could take quite a blow for this decision. Is this a last ditch effort for the company to overcome its countless problems? The saga continues...

*UPDATE: Aptera has clarified the situation.

[Source: China Car Times, Automotive News China – sub. req. via Aptera Forum]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Aptera is simply trying to find a partner willing to *pay* to manufacture its cars. Basically, they retain ownership of the design while Chinese car-makers get to produce them under license. This is the only way I can see this making any sense.

      The problem is that they have not proven that this 3-wheel design will be popular and generate a lot of sales.

      As I said before, they should have gone with a 4-wheel design and use their engineering talent on body efficiency and power-train. As it is they are trying to start a car company from scratch & introduce a wheel configuration that has never been popular in the auto industry. That's commercial suicide.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lets get the facts straight! This is a quote from the Aptera Marketing Team, "Clarification - Aptera plans to manufacture Chinese domestic vehicles in China. North American market vehicles will be manufactured in the U.S. at one of two domestic, U.S., facilities. We have no plans to build U.S. vehicles in China, and plans for the rest of the world markets have yet to be defined." Eric, I would suggest, in the future, you run something as important as this by Aptera before getting us all excited.

      • 8 Months Ago
      Well, that'd stop me from buying one. Hell, we can't even get infant toys from China without lead in the paint.
      • 8 Months Ago
      And that is the end of a commercially viable (in the US at least) Aptera...
      • 8 Months Ago
      Oh cool, i hope they offer the lead and melamine interior trim package.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Aptera is done. 7 months from now I will be able to buy a 4 door, fully electric car for $20K.
        • 8 Months Ago
        No, a credit is a credit. At least for the federal version. If you pay $0 taxes that year then they send you a refund for $7500.

        In any case, I pay plenty of state and federal taxes to cover both.
        • 8 Months Ago
        If you would normally pay enough in taxes to recoup the tax credits.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Don't forget about the 20+ babies bodies that just washed up on a river bank in China and their horrible human rights record in general.

      Exporting to China does make sense for business but business is not all that's at stake. Weren't they trying to get fat DOE loans for building in the US and skirted a eligible vehicle definition to get there? China no doubt has demand for this vehicle but petrol is dramatically cheaper there which doesn't help and the biggest player will still be America. They will no doubt be hurting their sales by moving to China.

      This is one of very few cars that actually makes sense to own in my mind. I would find it hard to believe that investors don't feel the same.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now that's the American Way!!!

      Design it in the USA, build it in China and import it back to us. Good thinking you idiots!

      If there is one thing I know it's that I definitely WANT a vehicle made by the same country that put poisonous anti-freeze into dog food, toxics into baby's milk and yogurt, lead paint in our children's toys, etc. This is exactly what I want from a vehicle my family will ride in.
        • 8 Months Ago
        So you do'nt buy Nikes?
        What do you think Nike does?
        Design & marketing, the rest: China!
        • 8 Months Ago
        Well said; Chances are other countries won't touch the deal. Look at the car: Airplane aerodynamics, lightness, three wheels, and very fragile...one curve clip and the whole thing is out of business. An excellent engineering experiment; but not practical for the streets
        • 8 Months Ago
        Right there with ya.. i boycott Chinese products as much as i possibly can.

        Effin hard to do!!!
        • 8 Months Ago
        "Design it in the USA, build it in China and import it back to us. Good thinking you idiots!"

        Isn't that how Apple does it?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Let's be realistic. Unlike, say, Nissan, Aptera does not have the know-how or the capacity to produce most of its components. (Almost the only thing they wanted to make in-house was the shell, and that got outsourced to Energetx.) Which means, they will buy everything from third parties and keep minimal assembly-line staff to put vehicles together.

      Now, it's very likely that many of its outsourced components are made in Asia anyway. Why? Because that's where manufacturing is nowadays.

      - A123 batteries? Most of the A123 factory capacity is in China and South Korea.
      - Transmission? BorgWarner has factories in India and it just opened a big factory in China.
      - Battery charger? Designed by Delta-Q Technologies and manufactured in ... you guessed it, China.
      - Motor? Made by Delco Remy, not sure where, but probably not in the U.S. because AFAIK Delco Remy does not have any plants here any more. They used to have a plant in Indiana, but it was closed in 2003. A lot of their manufacturing capacity is in Hungary.

      If most individual components are made overseas anyway, does it really matter who does the final assembly?
        • 8 Months Ago
        "If most individual components are made overseas anyway, does it really matter who does the final assembly?"

        Rationally, it doesn't really matter (assuming this doesn't impact quality, which is probably the biggest concern for most people). But for the "patriotic" crowd of Americans, the place of assembly definitely matters to them.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good for them, it's goes to show how entitled Americans are and how we'll never catch up to the labor force in Asia. Americans just expect everything handed to them! Aptera is a prime example of how companies just cannot compete in business anymore.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think the real aim is to get a firestorm going like the one over the Chinese-manufactured wind farm. Some senator will go nuts and push through DOE loan approval. Doesn't seem to me like they're going anywhere.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It might work if they sell them at Wal-Mart.

      Thankfully, I avoid Wal-Mart.
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