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Smith and Wanxiang sign letter of intent for $25M investment

Posted on March 16, 2012
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Smith and Wanxiang sign letter of intent for $25M investment in Smith and up to $75M investment for a joint venture to develop and commercialize Smith all-electric commercial vehicles in China

Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. (Smith), a global leader in all-electric commercial vehicles, has signed a letter of intent with Wanxiang Group, a global leader in automotive parts manufacturing and supply. The principal terms include a $25 million equity investment in Smith by Wanxiang and up to a $75 million investment in a joint venture between Smith and Wanxiang to develop, manufacture and commercialize all-electric school buses and commercial vehicles for multiple industries in China.
 
Under the Smith brand, these vehicles will combine Wanxiang's EV componentry technologies with Smith's proprietary platform vehicle designs, including its Smith Drive™ and Smith Power™ systems. Both the investment and the joint venture are subject to the execution of definitive agreements and receipt of regulatory and other third party approvals.
 
"Wanxiang's high quality precision manufacturing capabilities and purchasing relationships bring significant value to our business in our current stage of development," commented Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer and chairman of Smith. "Wanxiang is one of China's most respected companies and we look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship that advances the global commercial electric vehicle industry."
 
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"Smith's market leadership in the U.S. and Europe bring valuable experience and technology to address the significant opportunity for all-electric commercial vehicles in China," said Pingyi Li, the executive director of Wanxiang EV Co. Ltd. "Working together, we see tremendous opportunity to serve this growing market and to leverage volume and cost synergies back into Smith's global business. We are pleased to have them as our partner."
 
Smith and Wanxiang signed a letter of intent this morning in Los Angeles, CA at the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, in connection with a meeting of prominent business leaders from the U.S. and China and a state visit by Chinese Vice President XI Jinping.
 
Source: Smith Electric Vehicles Corp.
 
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