It looks like, besides Zeekr, there is no end coming to Chinese EV brands that are targeting to land in Europe. HiPhi, the brand of the Human Horizons Group founded in 2018, will launch in some European markets later this year, a company executive told Reuters press agency. Today it sells the HiPhi X SUV and Z sedan in China at prices starting at 620 000 yuan (€83 145).
And it won’t come unprepared, as it counts Mark Stanton among its co-founders, current CTO and Europe Program President, who joined Human Horizons in 2018 after a 35-year career at Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. And the (Chinese) price-winning design is in the hands of an ex-BMW man, Nicolas Huet.
Dipping a toe in the water
Mark Stanton told Reuters that the carmaker would announce at the Shanghai auto show in April which European “countries with higher EV penetration” it would enter. “We don’t want to go out there and overextend ourselves and do too much too quickly,” Stanton said. “We’ll dip our toe in the water, then start to build our brand.”
Stanton added the Chinese brand would target “younger, more affluent, and much more open-minded consumers who haven’t developed an allegiance to a brand like Mercedes or Porsche.” And what about Audi or BMW?
Twenty years at BMW design
VP of Design Nicolas Huet earned his wings at BMW Münich for 20 years and was involved, among others, in the design of the BMW 1 Series second generation, the 4 Series, and the 6 Series Gran Coupé. His last assignment at BMW was working on the new generation of i-models.
In 2013, he moved to Shanghai to work for PATAC, The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center joint venture between General Motors and SAIC Motor. After a short passage at
SUV and futuristic GT
The HiPhi X, the first flagship model of the company, won the 23rd China Patent Award for Appearance design and was the best-selling vehicle in the Chinese sales charts for models above 500 000 yuan (€67 052) in 2022.
It’s a 5,2 meter long SUV six-seater with wing doors at the rear like the Tesla X. It features facial recognition to open the car, among others, and should be capable of SAE Level 4 autonomous driving. The 96 kWh battery pack offers ranges of 550 to 630 kilometers depending on the version.
The HiPhi Z is a futuristic-looking GT-like hatchback of five meters long, available with a 120 kWh battery ensuring up to 705 km range (WLTP).