Singulato has hired Japanese chassis expert Takaaki Uno to act as CTO for vehicle engineering as the Chinese EV maker attempts to achieve production of its first commercial SUV model, the iS6, by the end of 2019.
Why it matters: Uno is tasked with helping Singulato to achieve what countless other Chinese EV startups have not—deliver cars to customers. Shipments of the iS6 have been pushed back multiple times originally from 2018, now to the end of the year.
- Only a handful of China’s 500+ registered EV manufacturers have delivered their models. They include Nio, Xpeng, and WM Motor.
- Even those successful are still finding the going tough. Nio issued a massive recall in June after three of its flagship ES8 SUVs caught fire separately in a three-month period.
- In a statement to TechNode on Tuesday, Singulato said its iS6 model has basically been qualified for delivery for over a year but the firm has chosen not to rush it to market, instead it aims to learn lessons from other budding automakers to offer superior products.
“China is the world’s largest auto market and is best prepared in the electrified and intelligent revolutions for traditional automobiles. I am honored to have a new start here and work with Singulato for next-generation autonomous electric cars.” (our translation)
—Takaaki Uno, Singulato CTO Vehicle Engineering, in a statement
Details: The company announced on Monday that Uno will be fully in charge of the vehicle research and development and report to CEO Shen Haiyin.
- Uno served at Nissan for 30 years, leading product development including chassis and body parts as head of the research and development group for dynamic systems. He was also in charge of Nissan Tiida, a sedan model released by the Japanese automaker in 2004.
- The Japanese auto veteran was also an executive director for chassis development at Bosch Japan and a partner of Assemblepoint, a Japanese EV startup, before joining Singulato.
- Singulato Vice President Zhao Qiang said at this year’s Auto Shanghai show that the company is now certain to deliver cars by the year-end.
Context: Uno is not the first Japanese auto expert to join a young player in China’s busy EV sector.
- Earlier this year, Guangzhou-based Xpeng Motor hired Miyashita Yoshitsugu, former head of quality management at GAC Toyota Motor, to take care of product quality as a senior director.