Yang Rong (simplified Chinese: 杨骐榕; traditional Chinese: 楊騏榕), also known as Yung Yeung and Benjamin Yeung is an exiled Chinese tycoon. He was born in Anhui province in 1957. Only a year after the magazine Forbes proclaimed him China's third richest businessman in 2001, Yang fled to the US following a dispute with the Chinese government.
Famous for his close association with a Chinese microvan manufacturer that would later go on to produce licensed versions of BMW products using indigenous components, Yang has continued to be involved in the automotive industry since his flight to the US. There, his ventures have yet to achieve the same scale of success as those in his native China have done.
In the US, Yang has been involved with at least two fraught businesses, Greentech Automotive and Hybrid Kinetic Motors. The latter is a hybrid vehicle company with a stated aim of manufacturing cars in Alabama, and the former touted plans to build all-electric vehicles in Mississippi. Hybrid Kinetic later dropped its Alabama plans due to a funding shortfall, and Yang has distanced himself from his other American venture, Greentech Automotive.
Some blame his immigration to the US on a failed bid to locate a production base in Ningbo. As Ningbo is near the rich coastal city of Shanghai, this was contrary to Chinese state policy encouraging economic growth in the poorer regions, and Yang incurred the wrath of the government of Liaoning in the attempt. In 2002 he was accused of embezzlement, and an arrest warrant was issued precipitating Yang's flight from the country.
While Yang was in control, Brilliance Auto made a number of IPOs. These included listing a subsidiary on the NYSE in 1992, the same subsidiary again on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1999, and that same year a different subsidiary on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Hybrid Kinetic Motors and other ventures
After leaving China in 2002, Rong began a start-up car company in the United States, Hybrid Kinetic Motors Corporation (SEHK: 1188). While its desire to manufacture in the US did not come to fruition, in the early 2010s the company expressed interest in several Mainland China production base sites and in 2013 broke ground for a new facility in the Lianyungang Economic and Technological Development Zone, Lianyungang prefecture, which may produce batteries and become operational in 2018.
- JAC joint venture
As of 2010 the company will enter a possible joint venture with Jianghuai Automobile selling parts in China for use in green technology vehicles. A Tianjin, Shandong province, production base will be complete by 2013, and while the original intent was to manufacture whole vehicles, this JV will only supply parts.
- 2009 Alabama factory plan
- 2009 Mississippi factory plan
- UPDATE 1-China's Jianghuai to invest $4.4 bln in new-energy cars reuters.com, Mon Aug 9, 2010 8:04pm EDT
- Report: Hybrid Kinetic Motors to spend $500 million for Italian styling green.autoblog.com, Jan 21st 2010
- UPDATE 1-Hybrid Kinetic to make green auto parts in China reuters.com, Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:50am EST
- "China's 100 Richest Business People". Forbes. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Politics fuels battle for Renault plant by ALEXANDRA HARNEY and Richard McGregor Financial Times. London (UK): Nov 30, 2004. pg. 28
- Niedermeyer, Edward (7 October 2009). "GreenTech Automotive Reveals Prototypes". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Chappell, Lindsay (8/2/2010). "Hybrid Kinetic's big plans -- at least on paper". Automotive News 84(6423).
- MOTAVALLI, JIM (September 8, 2011). "GreenTech Intends to Build E.V.’s in Mississippi". Wheels Blog. The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Niedermeyer, Edward (July 28, 2011). "What Happened to Hybrid Kinetic Motors?". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- Schmitt, Bertel (8 August 2011). "Clinton’s Sleepover Fundraising Maven Breaks Ground For 300,000 Car Factory In Inner Mongolia While Chinese Head To The U.S. On $500,000 Green Cards". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Exiled China tycoon in U.S. clean vehicle plan reuters.com, Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:50am EDT
- "Yang Rong's Hybrid Kinetic Motors signs contract with Giugiaro". Chinaautoreview.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
- China's 100 Richest Business People. #3 Yang Rong forbes.com
- For HK motors desire for production base site, see "A delegate of HK Motors visited City of Ying Kou, Liaoning Province, China". Hybrid Kinetic Motors. 2012-03-31. Retrieved 3 August 2013. and also see "A delegate of HK Motors visited City of An Shun, Guizhou Province, China". Hybrid Kinetic Motors. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- For 2013 groundbreaking, see "【图文】 连云港正道新能源产业园举行奠基仪式" [(Graphic) Lianyungang Economic and Technological Development Zone groundbreaking ceremony]. Hybrid Kinetic Motors. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- 'Fled' car boss makes return with hybrid JV globaltimes.cn, August 05 2010
- Auto Plant In Bay Minette? wkrg.com, Thu, September 24, 2009 - 1:48 pm CST, cached version
- Chappell, Lindsay (2009-08-31). "'Very huge and very unconventional'". Automotve News 84(6375).
- Hybrid Kinect Motors Official Site