LeEco LeSEE Autonomous Electric Car Fails To Drive Down Runway For Debut

10 months ago by Steven Loveday 28

China’s LeEco had grand plans to officially unveil its self-driving car last week. The company is in the midst of launching multiple products in the U.S., including phones and TVs, and the unveiling in San Francisco was the beginning of it all. Unfortunately, the LeEco LeSEE concept car never made its anticipated entrance.

LeEco LeSEE

LeEco LeSEE

The San Francisco venue was chosen to show off LeEco, as it is one of China’s largest tech companies. On the same turf as Tesla and Google/Alphabet, the stakes are high, especially with the recent emphasis on the global growth of autonomous vehicles.

LeEco’s founder, Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, came down the runway surrounded by dry ice clouds, and informed the audience that the LeSEE was not able to join him. He said:

“It shouldn’t be me running out here, we didn’t have any other choice. What we wanted was me in the car, and the autonomous car drives me out.”

Actually, the car was said to not even be in California at the time. Reportedly it had been delayed coming over from London (where it was taking part in the filming of Transformers 5). This was all because, allegedly, the original LeEco prototype was in a bad accident while driving over from Los Angeles. Some, however, are speculating that the car was non-functional and it wasn’t going to happen in the first place. Perhaps the first was functional and the second was not?

In the end, the original “LeSee” prototype — first unveiled in Beijing in the Spring did end up somehow make it to LeEco’s experience center away from the stage area. Hmm …

Executives went on to explain that the car may become part of a shared ownership partnership with Faraday Future. LeEco is Faraday’s parent company.

LeEco is one of many Chinese startups taking root in the Silicon Valley area including, Baidu Inc., Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Tencent Holdings.

Video (below): Watch the full LeEco introduction party to the US (they do a lot more than EVs), with the non-reveal of the LeSee from the 1:20 mark

Source: Autonews

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28 responses to "LeEco LeSEE Autonomous Electric Car Fails To Drive Down Runway For Debut"

  1. ffbj says:

    Epic Fail.
    No go my LeEco?

    1. jimijack says:

      Thait Caint be Good..

  2. SparkEV says:

    S*** happens, and you deal with it, especially a company with so much money as LeEco. EVs are coming, flood gate’s been opened, no way to stop it now. Question is which gas car company won’t be around in the future?

  3. Nix says:

    The title of the story is deceptive. It makes you believe that the car actually tried driving down the runway, but failed.

    1. Anon says:

      That was my take, as well…

      1. DJ says:

        As well as mine 🙂

        1. Aaron says:

          Add my vote to the list. Yes, English is a horrible language, but reducing obfuscation and confusion is an editor’s job…

    2. Rick Danger says:

      That’s what I thought too.

    3. AlphaEdge says:

      Not only that, but the first video makes it clear, it’s a “concept car”. Might not even have an engine.

      Move along now, nothing to see here.

    4. ffbj says:

      A more accurate headline might have been:
      LeEco LesEE, shows up on the wrong runway.

  4. EVA-01 says:

    I’m very happy to see that Chinese industry is finally taking root in the U.S. Competition is great and I’m sure they will light a fire under American automakers butts to improve their products quickly.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I think the consensus is that American cars are now made well enough to challenge even German engineering. The Chinese have a very long way to go, to catch up.

      Things are very different than they were back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when the shoddy manufacturing of American cars gave a wide opening for Japanese auto makers to come in and steal a large part of the American domestic market.

      Not saying the Chinese won’t ever be able to do it. It seems inevitable that eventually, they will. But they will need to raise the bar on their average quality quite a bit in order to compete in the U.S. or any other first-world country.

      I don’t expect it to happen within the next few years.

      1. Fw Mayers says:

        Consensus among whom exactly? Some teenage forum trolls? They’re better than the 80s and 90s but not there yet. As for the Chinese catching up, see where Hyundai and Kia are at the moment… I have to say even the Japanese have not been that impressive. Figuring out production and quality control is one thing, but a quality product has many more aspects. A lot of it comes down to vision and originality.

      2. ffbj says:

        That’s generous of you. I don’t expect this will happen at all. They can’t even sell cars here yet.

      3. Nix says:

        I think that consensus is now out of date.

        Everybody saw those famous disastrous 2008 early BYD crash tests. Those videos got a lot of attention for how bad those old BYD’s did in accidents, and rightfully so. Test results like that led to BYD being forced out of the Russian market, and led to 70% layoffs.

        But few people have been exposed to BYD’s turn-around, where they built the safest car in China just a few years later:

        http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130912006740/en/BYD-F5-%E2%80%9CSuri%E2%80%9D-Achieves-Top-Crash-Test-Scores

        Also, there is the Chinese built Qoros that did this:

        “The Qoros 3 just scored a five-star crash safety rating in the Euro NCAP test. Even more shockingly, the car achieved the highest overall performance of all vehicles assessed so far in 2013, making it one of the safest vehicles ever tested by the Europeans.”

        http://jalopnik.com/why-the-chinese-qoros-3s-euro-crash-test-victory-is-a-1383336053

        If this was 2008, I would agree with you. But some of the Chinese car makers have turned that completely around in the last few years.

    2. steven says:

      I’m not.
      I’ll explain, the Chinese government has an interesting relationship with the manufacturing industry, and has the willingness to support their corporate citizens in ways the American government doesn’t.

      We might find our Chinese friends operating at a loss while being financially supported by Beijing. This is a relationship that our manufacturing industry doesn’t enjoy.

      It seems we are more influenced by price than supporting domestic industry.

      1. Mister G says:

        BINGO…Americans mainly care about price, lower prices, lower prices is the American way. When a Chinese EV costs $12k they will sell like electronics at Walmart on black Friday lol…nobody will care about manufacturing jobs leaving America lol

      2. G2 says:

        Don’t forget the 2008-09 bailouts of all US auto makers (except Ford and Tesla) when you talk about subdidised auto industries.

  5. James says:

    Here is your Faraday Future.

  6. Another Euro point of view says:

    I hope they have fun at least.

  7. ffbj says:

    LeEco car? Wasn’t that one of companies that China pulled the plug on? So now they are showing up here.

    1. przemo_li says:

      Did they?

      When TOP 10 quiz happened (will happen)?

      Is there official list somewhere online already?

      1. ffbj says:

        According to a recent article on Bloomberg:
        “Another is Jia’s LeEco, said Huang Hao, a Beijing-based spokesman. LeEco will invest 6 billion yuan in a factory with initial capacity for 200,000 cars a year, the company said Aug. 10.”

        The word “Another” above, refers to companies that will be applying for approval from the Chinese government. Older established car companies like BYD, that make evs already are grandfathered in, this crackdown on funding only applies to newer entrants into the space.
        So my conjecture is that they, LeEco, are focusing on the U.S. atm, since the landscape for new ev entrants has gotten much tougher in China.

        Hard to know how this will play out as China attempts to cull the herd of new, not established, ev offerings.

      2. ffbj says:

        I knew I read it somewhere:
        http://insideevs.com/leeco-not-approved-sell-electric-cars-china/

        Don’t know which are the 10 remaining.

  8. jim stack says:

    They make Tesla seem even more advanced and on time. It was an accident that delayed them but maybe they should have had an extra car or two on site before making promises.

  9. Rick Danger says:

    Look, see, ya can’t see the LeSee, see, it ain’t here, see?

    1. ffbj says:

      I see. I see you are a sailor.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        The End 😀