On March 28, Huawei and AION, a Chinese electric vehicle marque of Guangzhou Automobile Corporation (GAC), responded to Chinese media regarding the AH8 project’s cooperation change. For the project, Huawei was changed to become an auto parts supplier for AION. Both companies stated that AH8 is an important vehicle in AION’s independent high-end vehicle planning. After full communication and comprehensive judgment based on actual conditions, the cooperation has been adjusted and will be independently developed by AION.
In July 2022, GAC announced its agreement for its subsidiary AION to implement the AH8 vehicle project with Huawei. This made AION the third automobile company confirmed to carry out the Huawei Inside mode after BAIC and Changan Automobile.
According to their strategic cooperation agreement, both companies would jointly develop a series of intelligent cars based on GAC’s GEP3.0 chassis platform and a new generation intelligent car digital platform built by Huawei CCA (computing & communication architecture). The cars would also be equipped with Huawei’s Full-stack Intelligent Car Solution.
However, on the evening of March 27, GAC announced that it would suspend deep cooperation with Huawei due to adjusting cooperative methods. The announcement showed that GAC-controlled subsidiary AION’s AH8 project had changed from joint development with Huawei into self-development. After this change, Huawei will continue participating in development as an important supplier. The total investment in this project has increased from 925 million yuan ($134.5 million) to 1.233 billion yuan ($179.3 million), funded through self-raising funds.
According to a report by Chengdu Economic Daily, the main reason for GAC’s strategic change is adjusting cooperative methods. “GAC emphasizes shaping its own technological core competitiveness when building its own brand AION. To ensure independence, key technologies must be controllable. Our upcoming intelligent technology, electronic and electrical architecture are about to enter mass production. Therefore, launching another system with our partners is not feasible at this time. In the next stage, we will continue to focus on developing our own technology and products in order to build our brand.”
AION also emphasized: “Our cooperation with Huawei has not been terminated but changed from Huawei Inside mode to auto parts supplier mode. It does not mean that we do not recognize Huawei’s strength. There is no disagreement between AION and Huawei, and we are still deep cooperative partners.”
In addition, a Huawei employee told Securities Times that “This event is an isolated incident and has no connection to any other car company’s collaborations.”