The Silk-FAW partnership is the first joint venture between China and Italy in the super premium and premium auto segments with a commitment of more than €1 billion. Italian car designer Walter De Silva is designing the Hongqi ‘S’ series.
Silk EV, an international automotive engineering and design company, and FAW, China’s largest car manufacturer, have launched a joint venture to develop a series of ultra-luxury, high-performance, new energy sports vehicles for the China and global markets.
The Silk-FAW Joint Venture plans to launch the new full electric and hybrid luxury models under the Hongqi ‘S’ series – the first model of this series will be the ultra-luxury hypercar, the S9. The Hongqi S9 will be designed and manufactured in Regione Emilia-Romagna, the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley, where Silk EV has its headquarters. As development of the Hongqi ‘S’ Series lineup continues, production will be in both Italy and Changchun, where FAW’s headquarters is located.
The launch of the joint venture follows an announcement by Silk EV and FAW in May 2020 of their plans to integrate the best of China and Italy’s capabilities in a partnership that combines cutting-edge automotive, artificial intelligence, connectivity, innovative battery solutions, and IoT with Italy’s world-class design and engineering expertise.
The joint venture will be a unique opportunity for China and Italy to bring forth the future of mobility and electrification technology, thereby setting a new benchmark for the world and improving the global automobile ecosystem.
The world-renowned Italian car designer, Walter De Silva of Walter De Silva & Partners, has been appointed as Vice President of Styling and Design for the Silk-FAW JV. He will design the entire lineup of the Hongqi ‘S’ series of new energy vehicles which will embody the essence of innovation and beauty. “I am excited to be designing the Hongqi ‘S’ series of new energy vehicles. We are in the final styling phase for the Hongqi S9. The S9 has core elements of beauty and elegance, ultimately embracing the ‘Essence of Beauty’. China and Italy are leading automobile innovation with this joint venture, establishing a new cultural model that believes in the beauty of design and technology as the link between these two great countries,” said Vice President of Styling and Design of Silk-FAW, Walter De Silva.
The joint venture partners will also develop a world-class, fully connected innovation center, production facilities, showroom and customer center in Emilia-Romagna, Italy and a major production facility and innovation center in Changchun, China.