The Chinese technology group Xiaomi is planning to produce its first electric car. So far, the company is more known for its smartphones or robots, but now Xiaomi also wants to enter the automotive industry. Spy photos have already surfaced on Weibo claiming to show the exterior and some interior details of the model – a sedan with a GT silhouette, long nose, gently sloping roofline reminiscent of Gran Coupe models such as the BMW i4.
Production is slated to begin in 2024 and according to Xiaomi founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun, the car project is more advanced than previously thought. It was actually planned to present a prototype in 2022. However, interested parties waited in vain. Winter tests were recently carried out, the company now says, and mass production is expected to start in the first half of 2024.
Lei Jun has already announced that he devotes half his time to the auto business, which is said to have a research and development team of more than 2,300 people. The Xiaomi Auto factory is being built in Beijing and is expected to have a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year after the final construction phase. Lei emphasizes that Xiaomi is based in Beijing and will continue to grow there.
He called on the Chinese government to promote the development of a diverse and innovative car culture by moderately easing restrictions on car modification and setting national standards for tuning parts and accessories and the car aftermarket.
The first photos of the electric car show the prototype of a four-door sedan the size of a Mercedes C-class model with a streamlined design. One notable feature is a bump on the roof that may be a LiDAR sensor. This points to self-propelled functions. The first model will be available in two variants at prices between 40,000 and 50,000 euros.
Xiaomi had already officially announced its entry into the car industry in 2021. In addition, in November 2022, the company bought the Chinese car manufacturer Foton Motor, which also owns the rights to the Borgward name, among other things. Xiaomi has also taken over the license to build cars. However, it is unlikely that the name Borgward will be used again.
The Chinese company wants to stir up the competition in the market with its electric car debut. Lei Jun said a lot of energy will be put into this issue. Although Xiaomi is so far best known for its smartphones and other electronic devices, the company has already proven that it is able to operate in different industries. So the step into the car industry could be another big success for Xiaomi.
Source: Cnevpost – Xiaomi’s car project progresses beyond expectations, mass production set for H1 2024, CEO says