Voyah, the luxury division of Chinese state-owned automaker Dongfeng Motor, has added ten shareholders including lithium miner Ganfeng Lithium and battery maker Sunwoda. Its registered capital has increased by 18.21%, from 2.61 billion yuan ($386 million) to about 3.085 billion yuan ($456 million).
Voyah announced in November last year that it had completed the A round of financing worth 4.55 billion yuan and achieved a post-investment valuation of nearly 30 billion yuan. After the financing is completed, Dongfeng will hold 78.89% shares of Voyah, while employees will hold 8.75% and external investors will hold 12.37%.
Voyah has only been in the new energy vehicle field for just over a year. In June 2021, FREE, Voyah’s first model, was officially launched, while its follow up, Dreamer, was launched in May last year. However, sales volumes have been low. In 2022, the company only delivered 19,000 new cars, which was less than half of its target of 46,000 vehicles at the beginning of last year. Due to the poor sales volume in the first half of the year, Voyah has lowered its sales target to 31,000 vehicles in the middle of the year, but its final sales performance is still far from that.
To this end, Voyah has broadened its scope of product offerings. On January 13, it announced that the first batch of mass-production models of “Chasing Light” officially rolled offline, with orders exceeding 10,000 units. In addition, the extended-range version of FREE was released at the beginning of the year, and its CLTC cruising range reached 960km. At present, there are three models on sale, including SUV FREE, MPV Dreamer and sedan Chasing Light. Lu Fang, CEO of Voyah, said in an internal letter at the beginning of the year that 800V fast-charging and hydrogen-powered products will be launched in the future.
The company’s global expansion went well. On January 23, it held a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, where FREE will start delivery in March. Prior to this, it started vehicle delivery in Norway last December. According to the plan, the brand will enter Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and other countries in 2023.
In the past two years, the price of lithium has soared and batteries have become short in supply. In order to obtain stable supplies and lower costs, many automobile companies have sought put more suppliers, some have even begun developing batteries on their own. Voyah’s new shareholders – Ganfeng Lithium and Sunwoda – are both leading companies in their respective fields.
CATL, a battery leader, has already taken action. At the end of last year, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CATL won the bid to invest in automaker Chery Holdings, with a shareholding ratio of 3.7252%, becoming its seventh largest shareholder. In Avatr, CATL holds 23.99% of shares, making it the second largest shareholder.