MILAN -- Italy's Emilia-Romagna regional government will hold talks with Silk-FAW next week over fears the Sino-U.S. venture's plans to invest a billion euros to produce electric sports cars in the area might not go ahead.
Silk-FAW, a startup between U.S. automotive engineering and design firm Silk EV and Chinese automaker FAW, plans to develop and produce electric and hybrid luxury hypercars in China and in Italy under the Hongqi brand.
Last year it picked the city of Reggio Emilia to build a production facility and a research center, in an area known as Italy's Motor Valley, which is home to brands including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati.
Production was expected to start at the beginning of 2023 but the plan has yet to make significant progress. The company has cited problems with finalizing a mortgage contract to buy land for the plant.
Vincenzo Colla, head of economic development in the Emilia Romagna regional government, told Reuters he had set up a call with Silk-FAW executives for July 14 to assess the plan and whether the company had enough funding to proceed with promised investments a year after they were publicly announced.
"They will have to tell us if the project goes ahead ... and, if it does, it necessarily means that financial resources are there. If the project is dead, they just have to tell us," Colla said. "We are clearly worried."
"As of today financial flows have not been up to the needs," Colla said. "We expect to see a financial roadmap to make this investment sustainable."