On August 23, Caixin reported that a person close to Huawei revealed that the cooperative project between Huawei and GAC AION has been suspended, and now the two sides are only involved in parts supply and procurement. AION’s spokesperson responded to Jiemian News, saying, “It’s not true, and our cooperative project with Huawei continue as per usual.”
Last July, GAC Group announced that it agreed to implement the auto project between its wholly-owned subsidiary, AION, and Huawei, which resulted in the AH8 vehicle model. This also means that AION has become the third car company to confirm the use of Huawei Inside scheme after BAIC and Changan.
According to the strategic cooperation agreement signed by AION and Huawei, both parties will jointly develop a new generation of smart car digital platforms based on GAC’s GEP3.0 chassis platform and Huawei’s CCA (computing and communication architecture), and be equipped with Huawei’s full-stack smart car solution.
The AH8 model is the first medium and large intelligent pure electric SUV jointly developed by both parties and features L4 automated driving functionality. The total investment of the project is 788 million yuan ($114.73 million) and is scheduled for mass production at the end of 2023. The project funding source has been coordinated by AION.
Although AION denied the rumor that the cooperation with Huawei was suspended, the conflict between the two sides seems to be traceable. In mid-August, Xiao Yong, deputy general manager of AION, complained at a conference forum, “Huawei is a well-known supplier. Its products’ prices are relatively high and uncontrolled. When we want to cooperate with Huawei, we find that there is basically no bargaining power.”
Xiao said, GAC AION and GAC Group will conduct their own research on battery technology and build their own battery factories next. According to the plan, AION will conduct 30% of its own research and hire out the other 70% of market procurement and cooperation in the future.
There are three ways Huawei works with automotive companies. The company often offers supplies to their partners while also providing its Huawei Inside operating system and grants access to its Smart Selection solution.
The Huawei Inside mode mainly provides automated driving solutions for automobile companies which can be separated into several systems: consoles, operations, power supply and others.
Seres is currently the only automobile company that uses the Smart Selection model to work with Huawei. The products are defined by Huawei, use Huawei’s parts and are sold through Huawei’s channels. The two sides launched the AITO M5 and AITO M7 models at the end of 2021 and in July this year, respectively. However, Seres has also been criticized as Huawei’s foundry.