Xiaomi‘s vehicle manufacturing business has been established for more than a year now, and related rumors have emerged one after another from within the industry. Recently, insiders revealed that the firm has been partnering with various Chinese automakers and that a joint model could be released soon. “This model will directly compete with Tesla in terms of many configurations, but its price is more attractive. It may be down to less than 100,000 yuan ($14,165),” reads a report by domestic media outlet iJiwei on November 12.
At the beginning of 2021, Beijing-based consumer tech giant giant Xiaomi officially announced the establishment of an intelligent electric vehicle business. On September 1 of the same year, Xiaomi Automobile Co., Ltd. was incorporated with a registered capital of 10 billion yuan, and CEO Lei Jun personally took the lead. On August 11 this year, Lei said in his 2022 annual speech that autonomous driving is the key to the success of the automobile industry, so Xiaomi regards the technology as the first breakthrough for intelligent electric vehicles. At present, the first phase of Xiaomi autonomous driving is planned to have 140 test vehicles, which will be tested nationwide one after another, with the goal of entering the first camp of the industry in 2024.
On October 19, Lei wrote on social media, “I think EVs are a form of consumer electronics with intelligentization, software, and user experience at the core. The essence of the auto industry will evolve from mechanics to consumer electronics, where market share is highly concentrated among the top players. I’m convinced that the world’s top five brands will hold more than 80% of the market share when the EV industry reaches maturity. In other words, the only way for us to succeed is to be one of the top five and ship more than 10 million cars annually. The competition will be brutal.”
Now, what the industry and consumers care about is whether Xiaomi‘s EVs can be successfully delivered with mass production in 2024. From the initial establishment of the company team and the timeline of automobile mass production, to the recent news that Xiaomi is expected to get the qualification of manufacturing cars in the middle of next year. During this time, Xiaomi has also released a number of patents related to autonomous driving, automobile charging, vehicle control and other technologies, as well as a small list of supply chain manufacturers, including laser radar firm Hesai Technology, battery firm CATL, BYD and so on.
According to data from Sinolink Securities, as of the end of September 2021, Xiaomi had invested in 62 enterprises in the field of smart cars, including 17 intelligent driving enterprises, 13 intelligent electric enterprises and six intelligent cockpit enterprises. In 2021 alone, there were as many as 22 newly invested enterprises. In addition, the company has invested in batteries, lidar and other fields.