On the day before the opening of the 20th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, a fire suddenly broke out at the booth of IAT Automobile, a Beijing-based vehicle technology firm. On December 31, the company stated that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit.
IAT said, “after preliminary investigation, the debugging personnel disconnected the external power switch and got in the vehicle for debugging and the logistics personnel turned on the external power switch accidentally, which caused an electrical short circuit and fire. The car is a static concept exhibition vehicle. During the preparation process, the high-voltage power system was removed, and only a set of 12V low-voltage power supply system was retained.” The firm added, “the fire did not cause significant losses to personnel or property.”
On the opening day of the auto show, IAT held a press conference and exhibited its products as usual. However, the booth was not completely open. There was a wide black high platform on the front of the booth to block part of the visual field, and isolation belts were set on the other two sides.
IAT released a new generation of high-speed intelligent digital automobile platform RUBIK.X and intelligent pure electric pickup truck TRUCK-MAD. The platform is composed of only five functional units, and 17 advanced technologies such as separation of upper and lower car bodies, integrated casting, chassis by wire, ultra-high pressure and integrated thermal management, which can improve the efficiency of vehicle manufacturing and verification.
TRUCK-MAD has a size of 587821982029mm, a wheelbase of 3622mm, a maximum speed of 200km/h, a 0-100km/h acceleration time of four seconds, and a battery life of 800 km. Additional batteries can expand the cruising range to 1,000 km. In the huge car body, TRUCK-MAD has a transparent cockpit system, and the 360-degree screen allows the driver to observe the road conditions in real time. The truck is equipped with an oversized mobile toolbox, including tools such as relief board, first aid kit, mobile power supply and anchor point.
IAT’s main business is vehicle and core component R&D and manufacturing. In the first three quarters of 2022, the company’s operating income reached 678 million yuan ($98 million), down 19.95% year-on-year, while net profits reached 94.2521 million yuan, down 33.50% year-on-year. IAT claims to be a “forward-looking technology-driven enterprise in the upstream of automobile industry chain,” but in the first three quarters of 2022, the company’s R&D expenses only reached 43.6188 million yuan, down 42.56% year-on-year.
IAT is not satisfied just with developing and designing cars – it intends to produce cars independently. On March 28, 2022, it attempted to acquire 80.1% equity of Tianjin Bojun, a company with production qualification of traditional fuel vehicles and new energy vehicles, through an equity transfer. Tianjin Bojun’s business scope covers the manufacture and sales of vehicles, engines, battery packs and electric drive systems. However, this transaction was terminated in August.