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China’s Xiaomi dreams of making cars ‘on par’ with Porsche and Tesla

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Xiaomi office building in Shanghai, China, photographed in 2021. The Chinese tech giant has revealed big ambitions in car manufacturing.

Hong Kong

Just days after Huawei launched another electric car, Xiaomi has unveiled its first electric car, showing that the Chinese tech giant’s efforts to join the electric car race are starting to bear fruit. .

Xiaomi announced the SU7 sedan on Thursday, two days after Huawei launched the Aito M9 SUV. Both companies have made names for themselves as makers of smartphones and other consumer electronics, but in recent years they have revealed big ambitions in the automotive space.

In 2021, Xiaomi announced that it would invest $10 billion over the next 10 years in a subsidiary focused on smart EVs.

At a launch event on Thursday, CEO Lei Jun said the company is entering a “new decade” and expects to become one of the world’s top five automakers in the next 15 to 20 years. .

“This is a new starting point for Xiaomi, and I am confident that one day in the future Xiaomi will be running on every road in this world.”

During his three-hour presentation, Ray said the company wants to create “a dream car that rivals Porsche and Tesla.”

that He added that he quickly realized the uphill battle it faced. “It’s still very difficult to build a good car,” he told the audience.

However, Lei suggested that a few years later, Xiaomi came up with a product similar to Tesla’s Model S and Porsche’s Taycan Turbo, and directly compared the performance statistics of all three models in a slide shown on stage. did.

Mark Rainford, a Shanghai-based auto industry commentator who hosts the YouTube channel Inside China Auto, called Xiaomi’s products “winners” and predicted they would sell well in China.

“Performance-wise and technically, it looks very convincing on paper,” he said, noting that the car can easily connect with Xiaomi smartphones.

Mr. Rainford suggested that the company appears to be targeting a different market by developing premium products.

“It’s clear that they believe they can match or even surpass flagship models from Porsche and Tesla. This is something that many people might think of as a very strong consumer electronics brand, but not necessarily “This is very ambitious for a brand that doesn’t identify as premium,” he added.

Xiaomi did not reveal the price of the model at the event, but Lei said it would be “a little expensive.”

The company’s EV debut comes in the same week that Huawei launched the Aidu M9, a six-seater vehicle priced from 469,800 yuan (about $66,500).

Cost Photo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A customer looks at Huawei’s Aito M9 model at a store in Shanghai on December 27.

Huawei says the SUV has “best-in-class spatial performance” and features premium features such as a projection screen designed to recreate the experience of watching a movie in a theater and prevent viewers from getting motion sickness. He said it was incorporated. The vehicle also has massage seats and double armrests to help passengers relax during the ride, the statement added on Tuesday.

The new vehicles will further impact China’s crowded car market, the world’s largest. In recent months, fierce competition and large inventory levels have led to price wars.

Last month, Huawei also launched an electric sedan designed to take on Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA).

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