Xiaomi has decided to bet on the latter: the Chinese manufacturer, well known for its smartphones but also for its wide range of products of all kinds, wants to enrich its catalog with an… electric car!
Xiaomi has earned its place in the consumer electronics market with its range of value-for-money smartphones, but the manufacturer hasn’t stopped there. The brand is also attached to connected televisions, video projectors, headphones, alarm clocks, watches and bracelets, routers, scooters, humidifiers, robot vacuum cleaners, mixers, electric toothbrushes…
A difficult bet to win
Phew! And we are still far from having reviewed the catalog. Xiaomi now wants to embark on a new great challenge, that of the automobile. The company is rumored to launch its first electric car in 2024! Lei Jun, the founder and head of the group, does not hide his desire to go there, even though he is very early. The sector is currently swimming in the doldrums, it is unable to overcome the crisis of electronic components.
Xiaomi originally wanted to launch with a partner, BAIC. But the discussions would have stalled and now the manufacturer intends to go it alone with, perhaps, the creation of a factory in Yizhuang, China. The inaugural model would be a saloon whose price could well give many European motorists wishes: 150,000 yuan, or less than 22,000 euros.
Tesla entered the electric vehicle industry more than 10 years before us. Some people think that we already missed our window to enter the market, but I disagree. The race is just beginning and I think that Xiaomi has many opportunities. pic.twitter.com/h6aqMytZgG
– leijun (@leijun) September 8, 2022
And that’s not all. Xiaomi is also developing its own autonomous driving system, which could also see the light of day in 2024. The technology, dubbed Xiaomi Pilot, is already available in prototype form. The information is collected by a Lidar developed in partnership with Hesai Technology. Lidar is the choice of much of the industry, with Tesla being the exception that proves the rule (the US manufacturer is all about cameras).
Still, Xiaomi will have to speed up if it really wants to have its first vehicle on the road in 2024.