Byton, a Chinese maker of electric vehicles, said it has received licenses that will pave the way for U.S. sales in 2021.
The company now has a dealer license in California for Byton Cars California LLC and a distributor license in North America for Byton Americas LLC. The entities will be the foundation of Byton's hybrid retail model in the U.S., the company said in a statement. Byton will be able to sell and lease directly to customers in California and online to customers in other states.
"From the beginning we believed that a hybrid retail model was essential in order to provide Byton customers with the best possible ownership experience," Jose Guerrero, managing director of Byton Americas, said in the Tuesday statement. "We're building a retail model that has never been attempted in the U.S. It is important that we put the right pieces in place now in order to make the Byton experience easy and enjoyable when we launch in the U.S. in 2021."
Byton's M-Byte electric crossover was shown at last year's Los Angeles auto show and at CES in January. It features the largest display screen of its type in a production vehicle, at 48 inches.
"The pieces are now in place to facilitate the launch of the Byton M-Byte in China next year as well as its launch in the US and EU in 2021," the statement said.
For more than a decade, various Chinese automakers have outlined plans to build a retail presence in the United States. None has yet to arrive.