On the day before the opening of the 20th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, which will last from December 30 to January 8, a fire suddenly broke out at the booth of IAT Automobile, a Beijing-based vehicle technology firm.
A video of the incident shows that the whole booth was full of smoke and flames, even affecting the surrounding booths. Firefighters then extinguished the flames and no casualties were reported. According to a report by Times Weekly, a staff member who was cleaning up the scene had been requested not to disclose information about the incident to the public. Furthermore, a black cloth has been draped around the booth. The media outlet also reported that after a reporter took photos, a staff member asked him to delete the images.
After the accident, IAT Automobile immediately issued a statement. “During the construction of our booth at the auto show, the working area accidentally caught fire for unknown reasons. The open flame has now been extinguished and no one was injured. We are actively investigating the cause of the accident, and a formal statement will be given when the cause is found out,” said the company.
Established in 2007, IAT Automobile focuses on research and development of vehicles and core components. Its team has about 2,000 people, more than 80% of whom are R&D personnel, and it has full development capability in automobile design. Its main customers include Toyota, Honda, Geely, XPeng and NIO. It has now accumulated more than 60 customers and successfully developed nearly 400 vehicle models.
IAT Automobile will show two concept cars at the auto show and release a high-speed intelligent digital car platform and a low-speed intelligent digital platform. According to the official website, the new platform adopts technologies such as separation of upper and lower car bodies, integrated casting, chassis by wire, and more, which can improve the efficiency of vehicle development and manufacturing, and reduce costs.
Zhang Liqiang, the director and general manager of IAT Automobile, said previously, “At present, the company’s revenue from vehicle design is increasing rapidly. In the first half of 2022, the company’s new energy vehicle design business revenue accounted for 84% of total revenue.” In 2021, the company’s operating income reached 1.272 billion yuan ($182 million), a year-on-year increase of 54.96%. Meanwhile, the net profit was 205 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 85.12%. However, in the first three quarters of this year, it achieved revenue of 678 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 19.95%, while net profit was 94 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 33.5%.