China-based electric vehicle startup Seres just announced it will bring James Taylor onboard as CEO. Taylor’s previous experience includes high-ranking positions at two major GM brands, including President, General Manager, and Chief Marketing Officer at Cadillac, and CEO at Hummer.
In addition to his work at GM, Taylor was also the CEO at Workhorse Group, and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at the Chinese-owned Karma Automotive. We interviewed Taylor several years ago about Hummer and all things GM.
“We’re delighted to have James on board to lead the next phase of our development in North America,” said Seres company founder and President, John Zhang. “James brings many years of experience leading global automotive brands such as Cadillac, Hummer and Karma. He’s exactly the person we’ve wanted to bring our U.S. factory online and launch vehicles and technologies in the North American market.”
Seres is one of the latest in a line of Chinese-owned EV startups to appear on the scene. Lynk & Co and Faraday Future are two other examples that come to mind. However, Seres has a leg up on its rivals, as it already owns a production facility here in the U.S.
Back in 2017, Seres purchased a former General Motors plant in Indiana. Coincidentally, it’s the same plant that built the Hummer H2 when Taylor was CEO of the GM brand. The Hummer brand was discontinued in 2010 and attempts to sell the brand and its assets by GM failed in the ensuing years.
Now, Seres is pouring $160 million into the facility to prep it for EV manufacturing, with an expected volume of 50,000 units annually.
Seres’ first vehicle was introduced last year in Santa Clara, California. It’s called the SF5 SUV (Seres was previously known as SF Motors), and it offers seating for five passengers. Highlights include an aluminum chassis and two powertrain options. The top-trim model lays down 684 horsepower and 767 pound-feet of torque, enabling a run from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. A bigger seven-seater model called the SF7 is planned for the future.
“I am deeply impressed by the technology the company has developed in their Silicon Valley facility, including motors, batteries and control systems, and believe that SERES can leverage this technology not only for its own portfolio of EVs, but also to support other OEMs,” Taylor said.
Seres aspires to be a global brand, with first deliveries arriving in China by the end of 2019. U.S. and European deliveries are expected to kick off in 2020.
That said, a 680-horsepower luxury SUV really isn’t that far off the mark, especially considering Taylor’s previous role at Cadillac and Karma Automotive.