Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: CENN)

Investment Considerations
  • Cenntro’s shares were listed on the Nasdaq in December 2021.
  • The company in September 2022 filled with the SEC to offer 76.7 million shares to investors.
  • Cenntro’s LS200 light ECV began shipping to European customers in October 2022.
  • The company’s LS 400 passed EPA tests in October 2022, a major step toward sales in the U.S.
  • Cenntro is establishing a facility in Jacksonville, Florida, to assemble ECVs for sale in North America.
  • The Cenntro Automotive Europe facility in Herne, Germany, will be used for the assembly of the company’s full line of vehicles targeted for the European market.

Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: CENN) is an electric commercial vehicle (ECV) technology company with advanced, market validated ECVs. The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of light- and medium-duty ECVs, with more than 3,700 vehicles sold or put into service in over 25 countries across North America, Europe and Asia as of December 31, 2021.

Cenntro plans to lead the coming transformation of the auto industry through scalable, decentralized vehicle production and fully digitalized autonomous driving solutions. Its ECV models include Metro, Logistar 400, Logistar 200, Neibor 200 and ORV. Cenntro’s purpose-built ECVs are designed to serve a variety of organizations in support of city services, last-mile delivery, and other commercial applications.

The company’s mission is to lead the conversion of the commercial fleets industry to zero-emissions vehicles and to develop a full line of zero-emission ECVs built on its Cenntro iChassis, a programmable smart chassis for various applications. Cenntro is committed to leveraging its technological and R&D capabilities in areas such as vehicle design, digital component development, vehicle control software and “smart driving” to become a technology leader in the ECV market. Cenntro’s proprietary technology integrates software, hardware and processor on chip (System on Chip “SOC”) for a fully digitized driving control system. Its cloud-based vehicle control platform apps can easily be downloaded into SOC for different types of autonomous driving.

In October 2022, the company announced that it had commenced shipments of the Logistar 200 light ECV to European markets, with over 170 vehicles sold and delivered to local customers. The LS200 is a multi-purpose ECV customized for transporting light goods in urban areas. If features a one-ton payload capacity and cargo space of 247 cubic feet. The LS200 has numerous applications, including delivery, hospitality and catering, transportation and storage, rental and lease, and other use by small businesses.

Also in October 2022, the company announced that its Class 4 Logistar 400 model, built for robust duty cycles of urban use while supporting a wide range of payloads, had completed EPA tests, a significant milestone that moves the LS400 closer to registration and customer sales in the U.S.

Business Model

Cenntro is a holding company incorporated in Australia and with principal executive offices in Freehold, New Jersey. Cenntro conducts operations through its subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and in the People’s Republic of China.

The company has established an asset-light, distributed manufacturing business model through which it can distribute its unique modular vehicles in kit form for local assembly, in addition to distributing fully assembled vehicles. Each vehicle’s modular design allows for local assembly in small factory facilities. This enables the company to focus on ECV design and related technologies while outsourcing portions of the manufacturing, assembly and marketing of its vehicles to qualified third parties, allowing Cenntro to operate with lower capital investment than traditional vertically integrated automotive companies. Relationships with such third-party channel partners have allowed the company to forgo expensive capital investments in its own manufacturing facilities and to operate within its historical working capital limitations.

With the introduction of new ECV models, however, Cenntro has begun to shift manufacturing of vehicle kits, and, in some cases, fully assembled vehicles, to third party Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners. The company has also begun assembling its vehicle kits in its own facilities in North America and Europe.
Cenntro has established a European Operations Center in Dusseldorf, Germany, to provide marketing support, after-market support and spare-parts warehousing for the European market. The company also has set up warehousing services with a logistics company in Budapest, Hungary, to store and distribute spare parts.

Cenntro is in the process of establishing an assembly facility in Jacksonville, Florida, where the company plans to assemble the new Logistar 400 and Teemak models for sale in the North American market. The company expects to begin trial assembly operations at the Jacksonville facility by the end of 2022. The company also expects to open the Cenntro Automotive Europe (CAE) facility in Herne, Germany, which will be used for the assembly of the full line of Cenntro’s vehicles targeted for the European market.

Market Opportunity

Despite supply chain and logistical challenges, Cenntro has started shipping the LS200 to European markets and is receiving positive feedback on its performance and abilities. The company will continue to ramp up sales, production, vehicle distribution and service infrastructure for the LS200 and its full ECV model portfolio.

According to a report by Allied Market Research the global electric truck market was valued at $392.3 million in 2020 and is projected to reach more than $3.86 billion by 2030, representing a CAGR of 26.4% for the period. The segment suffered losses early during the COVID-19 pandemic due to factory shutdowns. However, as restrictions eased, the electric truck segment rebounded quickly and, in most cases, compensated for losses suffered early in the pandemic, the report said.

Electric trucks have lower maintenance costs than their diesel-powered counterparts and offer significantly reduced noise pollution in addition to reduced emissions. Increased government incentives for ECVs and further emission restrictions on fossil-fuel vehicles are expected to drive market growth. Cenntro is confident the company can meet the ever-growing demands for commercial EVs with leading innovations and functionalities and help create sustainable value for customers and shareholders.

Management Team

Peter Zuguang Wang is CEO of Cenntro. He has founded or co-founded UTStarcom, a global telecom infrastructure provider; World Communication Group, an international telecommunication company; and Sinomachinery Group, a diesel power system manufacturer. Fast Company named him one of China’s 100 Most Innovative Businessmen in 2017. In 2019, he was named one of Goldman Sachs’ Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

Edmond Cheng is Cenntro’s CFO. He previously served as CFO and partner at Mithera Capital Management. He has been CFO for a number of public companies, including TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings, UTStarcom, and Zoomlion Science & Technology Development Ltd. He received an Executive MBA jointly from Columbia University, London Business School and University of Hong Kong. He has a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii.

Marianne McInerney is Cenntro’s Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer. She previously was Assistant Secretary and Director of Public Relations for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She also has served as Executive Vice President of GreenTech Automotive and COO at PHC, a North American company focused on bringing Chinese vehicles to market. She is a former president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Dayton.

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