Xiaomi Auto’s factory is expected to obtain an automobile production qualification from June to July 2023, a big move for the company’s mass-production plans, according to a new energy vehicle research institute on October 19.
At present, Xiaomi‘s vehicle manufacturing has progressed steadily but the production qualification, an important license for electric vehicle enterprises, has not yet been approved. Automakers generally obtain the production qualification by one of three ways: OEM production, acquisition of other automakers with the qualification, and a simple application for qualification. According to Bloomberg, Xiaomi Auto has been communicating with local regulators, hoping to secure the production qualification of new vehicles for Xiaomi Auto.
Since Xiaomi announced its intention to enter the automobile market back in March 2021, a series of actions were disclosed quickly, including last year’s announcement that Xiaomi Auto would settle in Beijing. Xiaomi Auto’s headquarters integrating sales and R&D will be built, and a complete vehicle factory with an annual output of 300,000 vehicles will be constructed in two phases.
Xiaomi made preparations before announcing its entry into the automotive industry. Since 2015, Xiaomi has continuously applied for a large number of patents related to automobiles, including patents on the power and mechanical parts of automobiles, automated driving, intelligent console and Internet of vehicles.
At the end of September, news emerged that Xiaomi Auto’s first engineering vehicle had officially rolled off the assembly line. At present, the company has reportedly finalized the main suppliers of its batteries will be CATL and FinDreams Battery under BYD, while the company’s lidar systems will be supplied by Hesai Technology. Xiaomi Auto’s team has developed automated driving technology and is currently carrying out software integration. The upper pricing limit of this upcoming vehicle is expected to be higher than 300,000 yuan ($41,506).
In terms of talent, Zhou Xing, former deputy general manager of Wuling Business Department of SAIC-GM-Wuling, joined Xiaomi as the head of marketing. Xiaomi Auto also hired Hu Zhengnan, former president of Geely Research Institute, and Yu Liguo, former head of strategic planning department of BAIC Group.
Moreover, the automobile business line has become popular within Xiaomi itself. According to one Chinese automotive media outlet, there are three standards for the internal transfer to the automobile business line. First, their work must bias towards technology and research; second, the original department’s team needs to be stable; and, there are suitable replacements. Such requirements represent the higher position of automobile business in Xiaomi.