Luxury carmaker Aston Martin is partnering with Chinese smartphone maker LeEco to develop a range of next-gen connected electric vehicles, including a production version of Aston Martin’s RapidE concept car.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Pamer (pictured below, left) and Lei Ding, co-founder and vice chairman of LeEco’s SEE (super electric ecosystem) plan, signed an MOU to work together on R&D, production, manufacturing and sales of electric cars for the Aston Martin, LeEco and Faraday Future brands.
Under the terms of the joint venture, the British high-end carmaker will be responsible for providing whole vehicle technology, while LeEco will be responsible for powertrain and IOV technologies. The first mass-production model will be the Aston Martin RapidE, which is slated to hit the market by 2018.
The two companies have been collaborating since 2015 when LeEco began providing in-car entertainment systems for new Aston Martin models like the Rapide S concept featured at CES in Las Vegas.
LeEco, which until recently was known as Letv, is one of the largest online streaming firms in China and last April started making smartphones for the China market. The firm said last month it sold four million units in China last year and is targeting global sales of 15 million units this year.
LeEco’s SEE plan includes the development of internet-connected, intelligent electric vehicles and open automotive ecosystems.