Q: You ventured into the auto business in 2003, with little knowledge about making cars. Why the bold move?
A: Yes, it's true that we didn't know much about cars back then and had very little research done on cars. But we saw opportunities in the future, especially in China. As petrol was set to create an (environmental) problem, we needed to start developing electric cars. The future of electric cars in China is very bright.
We see that this is the right direction to venture in, so we decided on this and bought an automobile company. But in the short term, we are still focusing on gasoline-powered cars in the market and we've been successful.
Last year, we hit 450,000 cars. As demand for electric cars in China and the world grows, this component of our business has also seen encouraging results.
Q: What do you tell skeptics who say electric cars won't take off?
A: I think it is precisely the opposite. I think the confidence in electric cars has strengthened increasingly. Looking at our 50 "E6" electric taxis in Shenzhen, questions of whether batteries could power electric cars have more or less been eliminated. That's because some of these taxis have traveled 40 thousand kilometers. That's equivalent to a normal sedan traveling for two years. The dream and the era of the electric car is upon us.