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Seres puts electric car launch in the US on hold, lays off a bunch of staff

Seres, formerly known as SF Motors, was one of the more promising Chinese-backed electric car startup to enter the US, but it has now put its electric car launch in the US on hold and laid off a big part of its US staff.

We have been extensively covering SF Motors over the past few years as they are positioning themselves to quickly become a big player in the electric vehicle market.

They are backed by China’s Sokon and they already have two production facilities, one in the US and one in China, as well as EV technologies from respected pioneers.

They have acquired AM General’s South Bend, Indiana assembly plant, where they used to produce the commercial Hummer, and they bought the electric powertrain startup founded by Martin Eberhard, Tesla co-founder.

A few months later, they unveiled their first two all-electric vehicles that they plan to bring to production in Indiana, as well as in China.

Earlier this year, they changed their name to a more consumer-friendly ‘Seres’ and they unveiled their first production car, the SF5.

Now we learn from The Verge that they are laying off 90 people in their Silicon Valley office and they are putting on hold the introduction of the SF5 in the US.

In a letter to employees, co-CEO James Taylor said that a slow down in the Chinese market is pushing them to hold off in the US and focus on their home market:

“At a time when Sokon is managing so many dynamic challenges, it is simply too much in the short term to also attempt to launch a new brand and product type in another new market. With these strategic decisions made, we must now make appropriate adjustments to give the company its best opportunity for both short-term survival and long-term success.”

This step back comes after another problem for Seres.

Earlier this year, we reported that Eberhard and some of his team, who came to Seres through the acquisition of Eberhard’s startup, have left the company and they started another similar electric powertrain startup like the one Seres bought just a few years prior.

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