Xiaomi, a renowned name in the consumer electronics sector, has recently unveiled its first electric car, marking a significant shift in the company's focus and ambitions. This launch closely follows Huawei's introduction of its own electric vehicle, highlighting a growing trend among Chinese tech giants venturing into the electric vehicle (EV) arena.
A Bold Step into the Automotive World
The Xiaomi SU7 sedan was revealed just two days after Huawei introduced its Aito M9 SUV. While both companies have established their reputations as leading smartphone and electronics manufacturers, their recent moves indicate a serious commitment to automotive ventures.
In 2021, Xiaomi announced plans to invest $10 billion over the next decade into a subsidiary dedicated to smart EVs. At the launch event, Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun expressed the company's vision for the future, aiming to rank among the world's top five automakers within the next 15 to 20 years.
"It’s a new starting point for Xiaomi, and I’m convinced that one day in the future, there will be Xiaomis running on every road of this world," Lei Jun stated with optimism.During a comprehensive three-hour presentation, Lei Jun shared the company's aspiration to create a vehicle that rivals established brands like Porsche and Tesla.
Acknowledging the challenges faced in the automotive sector, he said, "To build a good car, it is still very, very difficult." However, Lei Jun suggested that Xiaomi's new offering is comparable to Tesla’s Model S and Porsche’s Taycan Turbo, even showcasing a slide with performance statistics of all three models.
Industry Perspectives and Market Ambitions
Mark Rainford, a Shanghai-based automotive industry commentator and host of the YouTube channel "Inside China Auto," praised Xiaomi's electric vehicle. Describing it as "a winner," Rainford predicted it would perform well in the Chinese market.
He noted its compelling features on paper, especially its integration capabilities with Xiaomi’s smartphones.
Xiaomi's venture into the luxury car segment indicates a strategic shift in targeting a different market segment.While the price of the Xiaomi model was not disclosed at the event, Lei Jun hinted that it would be "a little bit high," signaling the company's entry into a more upscale market.
"It’s clear they believe they’re a match for or even better than Porsche and Tesla’s flagship models, which is very ambitious for a brand most might consider a very strong consumer electronics brand but not necessarily perceive as premium," Rainford added.