- Tram Ho
Xiaomi’s first electric car will be a sedan or SUV, priced between 100,000 and 300,000 yuan ($ 15,300 to $ 45,900), according to Xiaomi founder Lei Jun. At launch, it could become a counterweight to Tesla in the billion-dollar market.
Mr. Lei revealed information about the company’s highly-interested electric car during a live-stream session on the Douyin platform, exactly a week after the company announced its entry into the electric vehicle market. ” The first car is definitely not a sports car or mobile home; it will be a sedan or an SUV ,” Lei said. He also shared that the company’s plans are at the launch stage and specific details will continue to be clarified later.
According to Lei, most of the internet users participating in the Xiaomi survey would like them to launch a Xiaomi-branded car model. About 45% of users want Xiaomi to make sedans; 40% choose SUV. Two-thirds of the respondents want to make a car and sell it for more than $ 15,000, only 8% want a price above $ 45,000. “Users want Xiaomi to produce mid- and high-end electric cars,” Lei said.
Joining the electric vehicle market also brings new expectations for Xiaomi, which started as a low-cost smartphone company. Users want Xiaomi to continue to create affordable electric cars for the majority of users. A lot of people considered Xiaomi’s first smartphone – the $ 300 Mi 1 model was the market-oriented model at that time.
The price given by CEO Lei Jun for the future electric vehicle is considered “friendly” to the majority of users, according to Li Lianfeng, a researcher at IDC. According to the latest policy of the Chinese government on New Energy Vehicles (NEV), users only receive a subsidy when buying models priced under $ 45,900. This means high-end electric models like the Tesla Model S ($ 122,000) or the NIO EC6 ($ 56,200) are not receiving subsidies.
While most electric car manufacturers today focus on two segments: high-end and low-cost, “the most popular model in China will cost between $ 15,300 and $ 38,200; they will have the best sales ” , Li Lianfeng said.
Entering the electric vehicle market, Xiaomi faces great challenges from established manufacturers. Tesla, which entered the Chinese market in 2013, dominates the premium electric sedan segment here. Last year, it sold 140,000 Model 3 units in China, priced from $ 38,200, according to Canalys data.
Meanwhile, in the low-cost segment, Wuling Motors’ HongGuang Mini EV was the second best-selling model with 119,000 units last year. Its selling price is only about 4,600 USD. ” With high-end brands wanting to lower their prices to reach more users while low-cost brands are improving smart features, the mid-range segment will face stronger competition. ” , Li Lianfeng said.
Electric cars accounted for about 6.3% of all passenger cars sold in China last year, according to Canalys. This number is expected to increase sharply in the coming years thanks to the government’s policy to promote clean energy. Sales of electric vehicles in China could reach 1.9 million units this year.
According to SCMP, Xiaomi’s electric scooter will need at least 3 years to officially reach customers. CEO Lei Jun said its vision is to combine experience in the smart home field to create a highlight for these cars. For example, electric vehicles have built-in air purification that can be enjoyable for users in some cities with high levels of pollution.
Also during the livestream, Lei Jun said the company only needed 75 days to research and discuss before deciding to pursue the electric car project. In fact, Lei is a fan of electric cars. He is an investor of two electric car companies Xpeng and NIO. He also met Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013. He says he has learned a lot from these companies.
Last week, Lei was said to have invited the founders of several major electric car manufacturers in China including Xpeng, NIO, BYD and Li Xiang One to attend the Huaxia Alumni Assocication, a billionaire club, according to the Chinese press.
Xiaomi is currently the third largest smartphone maker in the world. CEO Lei Jun said the project to manufacture electric cars will be ” the last business project ” of his life. The company plans to launch an initial investment of $ 1.5 billion, then gradually raise it to $ 10 billion over the next 10 years for the electric vehicle project.
Reference source: SCMP
Source : Genk