Evergrande electric vehicle arm to start taking car orders 'imminently'

A view of the electric vehicle (EV) factory of China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group in Tianjin, China October 20, 2021. Picture taken October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Yilei Sun/File Photo

HONG KONG, March 28 (Reuters) - China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group (0708.HK) said it will start accepting orders for its inaugural electric car, the Hengchi 5 sport utility vehicle, "imminently" and open sales centres in 15 major cities across the country.

Liu Yongzhuo, president of the electric vehicle (EV) arm of the world's most indebted property developer China Evergrande Group (3333.HK), made the comment at an online meeting attended by nearly 200 global parts suppliers on Sunday, according to the firm's official Wechat account. The social media post didn't say exactly when the firm will start taking orders.

The plan comes as the EV firm has been struggling to secure external investment. Evergrande told investors in a call last week it was trying to rope in investors to help bolster the unit's finances - a goal it has been pursuing for months without much success. read more

Evergrande New Energy Vehicle said in November it had been negotiating with potential buyers regarding the disposal of some assets and talking to potential investors about funding.

Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan said at an internal meeting last week that the EV company will start mass production on June 22, after getting approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to start sales earlier this month. read more

The EV firm's Wechat post said the sales centres will be located in cities including Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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