Days ago we reported that Aptera was seeking a production partner in China. The original source, Automotive News China, quoted Aptera chief executive officer Paul Wilbur as stating, "We would build vehicles here (China) and send them back to the U.S." After the story hit the Internet, Aptera released a newsletter denying much of the report, which lead to a clarification of some of the original story. Wilbur stated that the words were "lost in translation."
As expected, the original writer who broke the Aptera story for Automotive News China, Namrita Chow, was displeased. How could the interview with Wilbur be "lost in translation" when the interview was conducted in English? Karen Rei, Moderator of the Aptera forum contacted Chow to verify the story. Chow responsed to the Aptera newsletter as follows:
Aptera also contacted AutoblogGreen about this "clarification," and the company's response is pasted after the jump. As we said before, the Aptera saga continues on. Who is to be believed? As Chow states, Wilbur did not challenge her story or notes and did not ask for a retraction or correction. Perhaps Wilbur did not believe that the story would make headlines here in the States. Yet another chapter in the ongoing Aptera drama. Hat tip to Matthijs!I like the way they use the "lost in translation" bit as I am British! So unless they speak a completely different English am afraid that does not stand. I think what has happened is they want to keep their US base happy. He has my direct email address and was in touch after the interview etc, and has not written to dispute the story....so I guess its only some audiences that need "clarification"!
[Source: China Car Times, ApteraForum, Automotive News China - sub. req.]
STATEMENT FROM APTERA
The March 31 article in which you referenced Aptera in Automotive News China/China Car Times contained some facts that were not properly understood or translated by the Chinese publication.
Aptera President/CEO Paul Wilber was invited to China by BorgWarner, whose eGear Drive 31.03 transmission will be part of the Aptera 2e. Paul was not in China seeking production partners for the 2e.
According to Paul: "All Aptera vehicles that will be sold in the North American market will be manufactured in the U.S. at one of two domestic facilities. They will not be built in China.
"In the future, Aptera will consider building vehicles in China...specifically for the Chinese market. I think it would be pretty easy to start production in China since most of our suppliers, while U.S. based, have supply operations and branch offices in China."
Other misinterpretations include:
Aptera is currently in discussions with several battery charger suppliers, such as Delphi and Delta-Q Technologies, which were referenced in the article. However, no agreements have yet been signed with any battery charger supplier. Formal announcements on existing supply relationships will be made at our April 14 press conference.
(Pertaining to crash tests): Aptera vehicles are designed to meet crash test requirements and are completely capable of driving U.S. freeways today. However, there's still quite a bit of testing remaining before all crash tests have been passed.