China's Future Mobility Corp, parent company of Byton, has inked a deal with South Korea's Myongshin to build the electric M-Byte CUV at the latter's former General Motors facility, potentially allowing the company to bypass U.S. and European tariffs.
Vehicles built in Korea can be exported to the U.S. (and parts of Europe) thanks to existing free-trade agreements. Myongshin Vice President Park Ho-seok told Reuters that the partnership will produce vehicles for both Korean domestic consumption and export markets, but FMC has not yet announced which markets those will be.
Green Car Reports reached out to Byton for clarification, and while a company spokesperson acknowledged the Reuters report and confirmed the production plans, they did not have any information regarding the markets that would be supplied by Myongshin's facility. More details are expected in the coming weeks.
2021 Byton M-Byte production interior
The M-Byte is just one of three vehicles FMC's Byton currently has in development. All three share both a mechanical architecture and a software platform, which allows the company to streamline the process from day one, rather than having to adapt existing platforms or develop separate architectures in parallel.
"That’s rare, because usually there are so many pre-existing platforms, a bit of architecture, or maybe a plant that we had in mind," Byton chief engineer David Twohig told us earlier this year. "It's a very unusual approach of having done the architecture for three cars from day one."
The M-Byte SUV will go on sale in China in the second half of 2020 and should reach the U.S. and Europe in 2021.