Xiaomi wants to compete with Tesla in electric vehicles with this “dream car”

Hong Kong (CNN) — Xiaomi formally unveiled its long-awaited electric car, the new Speed ​​Ultra 7 (SU7) sedan in Beijing on Thursday night.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the popular Chinese smartphone brand, teased the launch earlier this week, saying he wanted the company’s first electric vehicle to be “the most beautiful, easiest to drive and smartest car”, priced at Rs 500,000. be less than yuan. US$69,180).

“Xiaomi wants to build a ‘dream car’ compared to Porsche and Tesla,” he said on Weibo on Wednesday.
He said, “If we want to make good cars, we must seriously learn from these two best carmakers in the world.”

On Thursday, Xiaomi announced that prices for the SU7 models will range between 215,900 yuan (US$29,874) and 299,900 yuan (US$41,497).

The company’s big automotive ambitions come at a time of intense competition in the sector in China. The world’s largest electric vehicle market, fueled by heavy government subsidies over the past decade, is saturated.

Currently, more than 200 major manufacturers produce pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. A price war broke out last year as companies tried to boost sales despite low consumer demand.

According to official data, the average profit margin is set to fall to just 5% in 2023. BYD, the sector’s biggest player, said earlier this week that its quarterly profit growth was the slowest in two years as sales momentum slowed.

According to Lei, Xiaomi’s SU7 has been demonstrated in 29 cities in mainland China since Monday.

Xiaomi, which made its name as a maker of smartphones and other consumer electronics, accounted for 13% of global and Chinese smartphone sales in the final quarter of 2023, according to Counterpoint Research data. It ranked fifth in China throughout the year.

xiaomi vehicle

A group of people look at Xiaomi’s first electric vehicle, the SU7, on display at a newly opened Xiaomi store in Beijing on March 25, 2024. Credit: Tingshu Wang/Reuters

In 2021, Xiaomi announced it would invest US$10 billion over the next decade in a subsidiary focused on smart electric vehicles.

Lei said in his Weibo post that the standard version of Xiaomi’s SU7 has a starting range of 700 kilometers, which is better than the long-range version of Tesla’s Model 3.

Xiaomi seems to be targeting premium consumers. The standard SU7 is significantly cheaper than the imported Porsche Taycan, with prices starting at 898,000 yuan ($124,248). It also competes with Tesla’s Model S sedan, whose price starts at 698,900 yuan ($96,700).

In China, electric vehicle prices are much lower than the rest of the world. For example, BYD’s most affordable model, the Seagull, costs only 69,800 yuan (US$9,658).

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