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Baidu-backed Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up WM Motor Holdings has reportedly cut cut staff salaries by up to 50 per cent as its financial condition deteriorated.
The Shanghai-based carmaker, which has an annual production capacity of 250,000 units, cut senior managers’ salaries by half and reduced the salaries of other employees by 30 per cent this month, according to financial media outlet Jiemian.
Two executives of WM’s supply-chain vendors attributed the company’s financial troubles to weak sales, highlighting that WM Motor was struggling to sustain its operations.
WM Motor booked a total loss of 1.95 billion yuan (US$270 million) in 2021, up 68% from a year earlier.
In the first eight months of 2022, the company sold 25,158 vehicles in China, which is tiny numbers compared Its domestic rivals. Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio routinely sold about 10,000 vehicles each in one month.
WM Motor priced its vehicles between 150,000 yuan (US$20,574) and 200,000 yuan that medium-to-low market. In comparison, Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio are priced above 200,000 yuan and compete against Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.
In June, WM filed an IPO application to the Hong Kong stock exchange, joining the ranks of EV peers Leapmotor Technology, XPeng, Li Auto and Nio, all of which have either applied to list or are already listed on the Hong Kong exchange,
WM motor was founded by automotive veteran Freeman Shen in 2015, who held various senior management position at Volvo, Fiat and Geely in China. WM Motor is partnering with Baidu on Project Apollo, one of the world’s largest and most diversified open autonomous driving alliance platforms.