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posted by martyb on Thursday January 11, @03:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the What-is-a-'pylon'? dept.

It seems that yet another connected car concept is being announced at CES, the Autoextremist offers a reality check,
http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/2018/1/9/january-10-2018.html

...the fact remains that when CES keeps allowing blatant celebrations of vaporware to happen on a consistent basis, the credibility of the show is more than a little suspect. The latest evidence, or more specifically the latest outrage unleashed on the landscape? Byton, which is the brand name of Future Mobility Corporation of Nanjing, China. “The name ‘Byton’ comes from 'bytes on wheels' so it somehow reflects our idea to make a computer on four wheels.
...
The best part of this glorious charade? The company has raised $250 million so far. Yes, you read that correctly, $250 million. That's it. Do you know what $250 million will get you toward the development of a new car? A lot of nothin'.

For anyone that likes daydreaming, the Byton company vision statement can be found at https://www.byton.com/vision.html


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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Thursday January 11, @03:44AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11, @03:44AM (#620790)

    the Byton company vision statement...

    Their vision lacks a vital ingredient: blockchains.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Thursday January 11, @04:10AM (4 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11, @04:10AM (#620796) Journal

    The best part of this glorious charade? The company has raised $250 million so far. Yes, you read that correctly, $250 million. That's it. Do you know what $250 million will get you toward the development of a new car? A lot of nothin'.

    What again were the development costs for the Tesla? Wikipedia says under $190 million in first six years and it had produced almost 150 cars. Not super exciting, but it indicates that even in the US one can start development of a new car for under $250 million. One would expect lower expenses in China. And after all, once the company has prototypes, it can borrow the rest of the money like Tesla did.

    The real problem is that $250 million is too much for vaporware not that it is too little.

    • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Thursday January 11, @07:35AM (3 children)

      by Whoever (4524) on Thursday January 11, @07:35AM (#620836)

      Tesla's first cars were expensive toys for the wealthy.

      They required little to no platform development because the roadsters were based on the Lotus Elise. Much of the design for the drivetrain was bought in from another company. Tesla integrated these to produce a very expensive toy.

      That was possible years ago. It isn't possible now. Technology has moved on and potential buyers and investors demand a lot more.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11, @01:46PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11, @01:46PM (#620926) Journal

        That was possible years ago. It isn't possible now. Technology has moved on and potential buyers and investors demand a lot more.

        You can say that, but the car industry didn't change that much in a mere 15 years. Tesla's avenue to potential success is still wide open. I recall back in the 1980s (as I recall, discussed in "The Reckoning" [nytimes.com] by David Halberstam when he wrote briefly about the history of Kaiser Motors [wikipedia.org], a failed attempt to create an auto company in 1948) hearing claims that it was impossible since around the end of the Second World War to make another major car company in the US.

        Well, that changed. The same factors are at play today - weakened establishment competitors and new technologies not being quickly embraced by the establishment players.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @06:04PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @06:04PM (#621004)

          The car industry changed insofar that before Tesla came, Tesla's market niche was unoccupied. While now, it is occupied by Tesla.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11, @07:16PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11, @07:16PM (#621046) Journal

            While now, it is occupied by Tesla.

            So what? Even if the present company were in the same niche, it's a big niche.

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday January 11, @08:39AM (1 child)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11, @08:39AM (#620845) Journal

    I was to comment that the summary omitted the most crucial information: What exactly is Byton's (vaporware) product?

    Then I read the linked articles, and found that the company itself doesn't really say either.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:09PM (#620917)

      My guess is that Byton is planning to raise a lot of money from gullible (mostly) Chinese investors. The pitch could be something along the lines of, "Did you miss the run up in Tesla stock? Then you will want to buy our stock now to get in early this time." The owners will make excuses for a few years and then slip out of China before they are caught for the scam.

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