Xiaomi officially registered Xiaomi Auto, the automotive arm of smartphone maker Xiaomi, this month and the division has entered a "substantial development phase” with plans to launch its first electric vehicle by the first half of 2024 as reported by a Chinese domestic media outlet 36Kr.
In March, the parent firm unveiled the plans to invest 10 billion yuan (around US$1.5 billion) in the initial stage of its electric vehicle business and a total of US$10 billion over the next decade. Chief executive of the company, Lei Jun, said internally that Xiaomi’s Auto wing aims to unveil the first model within the next three years after the initial model will be launched in 2024, the company expects to sell 900,000 vehicles in the three consecutive years after that.
Xiaomi desires to take a two-sided plan of action to increase production by acquiring an existing plant and constructing another on its own. Xiaomi is said to be keeping an eye on the Borgward plant in Miyun Park in Beijing with the production capacity at the plant to be 180,000 units per year. The company intends for a comparatively shorter time for starting the production. According to some sources from CINNOResearch, the company has plans to build the second plant on its own which could be located in Wuhan’s Hannan district.
Xiaomi has been in conversations with many companies, including car manufacturers and suppliers, and making investments in other companies. For example, a few weeks ago the company announced the possession of Deepmotion Tech, a Beijing-based startup for which Xiaomi spent 77 million dollars. The group has also been connected to an investment in Evergrande. ChinaStarMarket leading publication in August reported that Evergrande, a Hong Kong based real estate giant, could sell off its car business owing to the debt crisis and hold takeover talks with several companies, “including Nio, Xpeng and Xiaomi”. Reuters and Der Spiegel also reported that “Xiaomi is one of the closest candidates for entry”.
Xiaomi is the quintessential value brand in the smartphone world and is one of China’s most famous smartphone brands and throughout the last few years the company has successfully designed appliances for home, such as battery-powered hoovers or air purifiers. The entry into the automotive market marks the latest milestone in its progress towards entry into this emerging sector.