Qoros, the struggling Chinese-Israeli automotive start-up brand, says it will shake up the company’s current structure by establishing two new divisions, one to develop electric vehicles and the other to work on autonomous driving technology.
The new divisions will be called NEV (New Energy Vehicles - the term for battery powered cars in China) and Mobility.
Phil Murtaugh, the current CEO of the company has also just stepped down ‘for personal reasons’ the company says. Qoros chairman Anning Chen will become acting CEO ahead of the appointment of a replacement for Murtaugh.
The statement issued by the Qoros board says the NEV division "will focus on the development of efficient, cost-effective electric cars with genuine popular appeal". Mobility will focus on "new mobility platforms and self-drive technologies".
Qoros states: "The expansion initiatives are designed to equip the business to target more effectively the opportunities presented by the profound structural changes impacting the auto industry."
Anning Chen is also quoted as saying that Qoros believes "the auto industry is on the brink of a massive shake-up."
The statement added: "Qoros will target new opportunities being created by the secular shift towards ultra-low and zero emission vehicles, low environmental impact technologies, the growth of alternative forms of car usage and ownership and the application of self-drive technologies in the field of personal transportation."
According to the statement, the company board believes "these developments, together with a vision to invest in a new product pipeline and new engineering capabilities to meet growing demand in key segments, will help secure the future of Qoros at a time of tremendous flux in the auto industry."
Qoros also revealed that that its sales performance with its three-model Qoros 3 line-up has been very poor, with a 'run rate' of just 2000 vehicles per month in December 2015.
Even with the well-received Qoros 5 SUV about to go on sale, it is clear that the new brand has not made a sales breakthrough in the Chinese market.
With the Chinese government legislating to encourage a huge increase in the sales of electric vehicles, Qoros management clearly sees this as an opportunity that cannot be missed.
Auto analysts have also told Autocar that investors now expect all car companies to have serious plans for the introduction of EVs and Autonomous technology. Without such plans, raising money on the global markets might be more difficult.