According to Reuters, Xiaomi will enter the electric vehicle market and has partnered with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to achieve this.
The press agency indeed reports having obtained this information from three people directly related to the case. Xiaomi is in talks with Great Wall Motors to use one of the firm’s largest factories for the assembly of its future vehicles. Based in Hebei Province, Great Wall Motors develops pickup trucks, and has just launched an autonomous brand for electric and intelligent vehicles. “Xiaomi wants to find a mature car manufacturer to provide a model infrastructure, while highlighting its own advantages in mobile internet technology”, explains Alan Kang, analyst at LMC Automotive. With this in mind, Great Wall should “Provide engineering advice to speed up the project”.
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By integrating this market, Xiaomi wishes to move away from its historical sector to diversify itself further; in addition to smartphones, the Chinese brand also offers many connected objects as well as electric scooters. Because even if it signed an impressive quarter, it is handicapped by the shortage of semiconductors affecting the industry and recorded revenues below analysts’ predictions.
Always after Reuters, Xiaomi plans to market its first vehicles, intended for a wide audience like its smartphones, from 2023. The company wants them to be compatible and connected with other devices in its ecosystem. According to its founder, Lei Jun, the firm’s expertise in the production of electronic equipment will enable it to accelerate the design of its electric vehicles.
With this maneuver, Xiaomi joins many technology companies wishing to enter the market of electric vehicles and autonomous driving. This is particularly the case of its great rival, Huawei, but also of Tencent and Baidu, which has established a partnership with the manufacturer Geely to market a first electric vehicle from 2023. Across the Atlantic, Apple is also very interested in this sector, and plans to release the Apple Car within a decade.
For now, neither Xiaomi nor Great Wall Motors have confirmed the information from Reuters, but the press agency ensures that they are preparing to formalize the news in the coming days.