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China’s Xiaomi Enters the Competitive EV Market With a “dream car” to Challenge Tesla

The much-awaited Speed Ultra 7 (SU7) vehicle from Xiaomi will make its official debut in Beijing on Thursday night.

The well-known Chinese smartphone brand’s founder and CEO, Lei Jun, hinted at the unveiling this week, saying he intended for the company’s first electric car to be the “smartest, easiest to drive, and best-looking car” at a price below 500,000 yuan ($69,180).

On Weibo on Wednesday, he stated, “Xiaomi wants to build a ‘dream car’ comparable to Porsche and Tesla.”

He continued, “ If we want to build good cars, we must seriously learn from these two best car manufacturers in the world,” 

During the launch ceremony, Xiaomi will reveal the exact pricing.

But the company’s lofty automotive goals coincide with a period of fierce industry competition in China. Due to significant state subsidies over the last ten years, the largest EV market in the world has grown too congested.

Presently, over 200 prominent producers are engaged in the production of plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles. Last year, in response to declining consumer demand, businesses engaged in a pricing war in an attempt to increase sales.

By 2023, average profit margins had dropped to a mere 5%, according official data. Due to a slowdown in sales, the largest company in the sector, BYD, reported earlier this week that its quarterly profit growth was the lowest in the previous two years.

Lei states that since Monday, Xiaomi’s SU7 has been on display in stores located in 29 different cities throughout the Chinese mainland.

In the final quarter of 2023, 13% of smartphone sales worldwide and in China went to Xiaomi, a company known for producing smartphones and other consumer goods, according to statistics from Counterpoint Research. For the entire year 2023, it was ranked No. 5 in China.

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

According to Lei’s Weibo posts, the baseline Xiaomi SU7 has a starting range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), which is greater than the long-range Model 3 from Tesla.

In an extremely competitive industry, Xiaomi seems to be aiming to attract high-end customers by keeping the price tag below 500,000 yuan. Compared to the starting price of 898,000 yuan ($124,248) for an imported Porsche Taycan, it is substantially less expensive. Additionally, Tesla’s Model S sedan, which has a starting price of 698,900 yuan ($96,700), is positioned competitively against it.

China has substantially lower prices for EVs than the rest of the globe. The Seagull hatchback, for instance, is the most economical vehicle offered by BYD and starts at just 69,800 yuan ($9,658).

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