China's well-known smartphone and smart device maker, Xiaomi, will launch its first electric vehicle model in three years, with pricing starting between CNY 100,000 and CNY 300,000.
At Xiaomi's 11th anniversary, the CEO, Lei Jun, held a TikTok live meeting answering questions regarding the company’s carmaking process.
Lei Jun regards the company's smart ecology as an enclosed loop with indispensable elements, including smart bracelets, smartphones, smart appliances – and smart cars. He announced that Xiaomi's first model will be launched in three years, with a price between CNY 100,000 and CNY 300,000.
During the meeting, Jun indicated that 45% of users would prefer the upcoming model to be a sedan, 40% want an SUV, 7% to 8% would prefer a sports car, and 5% to 6% want it to be a crossover-styled car. Most likely, Xiaomi's first car will be a sedan or SUV, but details are still under discussion.
On March 30, Xiaomi Group announced that the board of directors formally approved the intelligent electric vehicle business project to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary. The initial investment is CNY 10 billion and the total investment is expected to reach USD 10 billion in the next 10 years. At the same time, Lei Jun will also serve as the CEO of the intelligent electric vehicle business.
In the previous internal communication meeting about car making, Xiaomi has revealed that the company currently has two teams, the Industrial Investment Fund and the Strategic Investment Department. These teams have invested in many car-related companies and projects, such as intelligent cockpits. These companies will likely become supply chain resources in the future, providing smartphones, requiring lenses, and particular sensors.
This year, Xiaomi also plans to expand the recruitment of 5,000 engineers to achieve a 50% growth target on top of the original 10,000-strong R&D team. Professionals in the automotive industry will be Xiaomi's hiring priorities in the future. Currently, Xiaomi has an R&D team of more than 10,000 people and has invested more than CNY 13 billion in the R & D process.
In 2013, Lei Jun visited Elon Musk twice. He was very interested in electric cars and became one of the first Tesla owners. Xiaomi is also among the first investors inAzera and Xiaopeng and has shown itself willing to support the development of new energy vehicles.
Xiaomi Technology Co., Ltd. submitted an application for trademark registration of Xiaomi Automobile on April 1. As of 2020, Xiaomi Group had over 800 patents related to automobiles, of which invention patents accounted for over 96%.