A German in Beijing

Chairman of the Board, CEO and co-founder of Future Mobility, Carsten Breitfeld, speaks in front of a screen showing an image of a new Byton car at a press conference in Shanghai
Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you... the future! Source: Reuters

China’s auto market is ripe for disruption. Consumers and retailers alike still prefer big cars, leaving everyone in an auto emmission fog. But Carsten Breitfeld doesn’t mind. It just reminds him of the work, and the potential success, ahead of him.

Mr. Breitfeld is working to give birth to a new car brand in China that was conceived in Germany with some help — in the form of software – from the US. He is the chief executive of Future Mobility Corporation, or FMC. The company is developing electric cars under its Byton brand – short for “bytes on wheels.” But Mr. Breitfeld’s investors expect him to do more than just build an electric car; they’re counting on him to make it a success around the world, even in his native Germany.

That’s because Mr. Breitfeld has already been intricately involved with electric cars in Germany. He was part of the development team for BMW’s i project, which led to mass market electric cars like the i3 and the i8. Atlhough the cars were intended to speed BMW into the future, they’ve been a financial disappointment. BMW traditionalists cheered the poor results and used them to trim the program. Mr. Breitfeld moved on, all the way to China.

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