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China’s Xiaomi Race to Develop a Porsche-worthy Vehicle

by Ikenna Ngere

The first electric car from Xiaomi was unveiled a few days after another one from Huawei, indicating that the Chinese tech giants’ efforts to get into the electric vehicle race are starting to pay off.

On Thursday, two days after Huawei debuted its Aito M9 SUV, Xiaomi introduced the SU7 car. The two companies have established themselves as producers of smartphones and other consumer electronics, but they have recently made clear that they have high hopes for the automotive industry.

Xiaomi declared in 2021 that it would put $10 billion into a smart EV-focused subsidiary over the course of the following ten years.

CEO Lei Jun stated during the launch event on Thursday that the firm was starting a “new decade” and that, during the next 15 to 20 years, it intended to rank among the top five automakers in the world.

“It’s a new starting point for Xiaomi, and I’m convinced that one day in the future, there will be Xiaomis running on every road of this world.”

Lei stated that the company’s goal was to build “a dream car that is as good as Porsche and Tesla” during a three-hour presentation.

It quickly realized the uphill battle it faced, he added. “To build a good car, it is still very, very difficult,” he told the audience.

Lei countered that Xiaomi had, after a few years, developed a product that was comparable to both the Porsche Taycan Turbo and the Tesla Model S, comparing the three cars’ respective performance metrics on an onstage slide.

Shanghai-based automobile industry analyst Mark Rainford, who runs the “Inside China Auto” YouTube channel, referred to Xiaomi’s product as “a winner” and said it will do well in China.

“It looks very compelling on paper, both performance- and tech-wise,” he said, noting that the car could easily connect with Xiaomi’s smartphones.

According to Rainford, the corporation seems to be targeting a distinct market by producing what is considered a luxury product.

“It’s clear they believe they’re a match (for) or even better than Porsche and Tesla’s flagship models, which is very ambitious for a brand most might consider a very strong consumer electronics brand but not necessarily perceive as premium,” he added.

Lei stated that the pricing of the model would be “a little bit high,” but Xiaomi did not disclose it at the ceremony.

The company’s electric vehicle debut coincides with Huawei’s introduction of the Aito M9, a six-seater car with a starting price of 469,800 yuan, or around $66,500.

According to Huawei, the SUV boasts “the largest space performance in its class,” and the company has included upscale amenities like a projection screen that mimics the sensation of viewing a movie in a theatre without making the spectator feel queasy.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the car also has double armrests and seats with massage capabilities to let passengers unwind while travelling.

The world’s largest auto market, congested with competitors and glutted with inventory, has recently witnessed a price war as a result of intense rivalry. The new cars join this market.

Additionally, Huawei unveiled an electric sedan last month that was intended to compete with Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA).


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