Xiaomi CEO teases price on upcoming car, showrooms begin displaying vehicle

Xiaomi CEO teases price on upcoming car, showrooms begin displaying vehicle © Reuters. Visitors film around Xiaomi’s first electric vehicle, the SU7, displayed at an event in Beijing, China December 28, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

By Kevin Krolicki and Sarah Wu

BEIJING (Reuters) – Xiaomi (OTC:)’s CEO said on Monday that his firm’s first electric vehicle aims to be the “best looking, easiest to drive and smartest car” priced below 500,000 yuan ($69,424), as the Chinese electronics maker gears up for orders this week.

The company will on Thursday evening announce its official price range and start taking orders for the SU7, short for Speed Ultra 7. CEO Lei Jun’s comments, made on his official Weibo (NASDAQ:) account, mark the first time the company has confirmed the upper end of its price range.

Anticipation for the car has been building up since Xiaomi unveiled the vehicle in December and announced it aimed to become one of the world’s top five automakers. Lei has touted it as having technology capable of delivering acceleration better than Tesla (NASDAQ:) cars and Porsche’s EVs.

Seventy-six Xiaomi stores in 29 Chinese cities began displaying the car on Monday, with prospective customers and car bloggers lining up in one central Beijing showroom to get a close view of the “ocean blue” and other versions. The company also uploaded its “Xiaomi Car” app to Chinese app stores.

Among those in line was Jim Yan, who said he admired the SU7’s curves and design aimed at decreasing drag.

“Whether it’s Xiaomi’s phones or Xiaomi’s cars, their design is very original,” said Yan, 28, who works in the legal industry.

For Yan, and many consumers of Xiaomi’s cheaper phones and home electronics, the brand has gained a reputation of providing good value.

“In my mind, Xiaomi’s pricing is at most mid-range. If the price is too high, especially since this is their first car, I think it remains to be tested by the market,” Yan said.

The SU7 will come in two versions – one with a driving range of up to 668km (415 miles) on a single charge and another with a range of up to 800km. By comparison, Tesla’s Model S has a range of up to 650km.

China’s fifth-largest smartphone maker has been seeking to diversify into EVs amid stagnating demand for smartphones – a plan it first flagged in 2021. Other Chinese tech companies that have partnered with automakers to develop EVs include telecoms giant Huawei HWT.UL and search engine firm Baidu (NASDAQ:).

Xiaomi has pledged to invest $10 billion in autos over a decade and is one of the few new players in China’s EV market to gain approval from authorities, who have been reluctant to add to the supply glut.

Its cars are being produced by a unit of state-owned automaker BAIC Group in a Beijing factory with an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles.

($1 = 7.2021 renminbi)


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