Reuters has reported that Chinese tech firm Xiaomi Corp is planning to manufacture electric vehicles (EVs) through Great Wall Motor Co Ltd’s plant, and the partnership announcement expected this week. As one of the world’s largest makers of smartphones, it would make electric vehicles for the mass market under its own brand, Reuters was informed by sources.
Great Wall Motors, which has not provided contract manufacturing for other car companies, would give it engineering consultancy to fast-track the project, the report adds.
The decision to make cars is part of the plan to diversify Xiaomi’s revenue channels as smartphones, with wafer-thin margins, makes up the bulk of the firm’s income. Xiaomi said last month that it was studying the developments and trends in the electric vehicle market. Like Apple, Xiaomi is looking at entering the auto industry seeing the tectonic shift to fully battery-powered vehicles this decade.
Electronics companies with their businesses primarily dependent on mobile devices, including but not exclusive to cellphones, are increasingly showing interest in EVs. With their existing traditional business segments reaching stagnation, these companies have been looking at other industries for growth now, and the auto industry seems to be the most attractive one. Be it the companies designing and launching mobile devices like Apple or their suppliers like Foxconn, many look at foraying into the auto industry now, and Xiaomi is no exception.
Xiaomi last month released a statement on Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market (HK stock exchange) to clarify rumours that it plans to start selling EVs. While the announcement says that Xiaomi has not formalised a plan to launch an EV, it does confirm that the company is indeed looking at entering the auto industry with an EV. So, maybe not in the near future, but in the mid-to-long-term future, a Xiaomi electric car could see the light of the day.
The Group has been paying attention to the developments in the electric vehicle industry, and has continuously studied the relevant industry trends. The Group has not initiated any formal project regarding the study of electric vehicle manufacturing business.Xiaomi Corporation via Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
Lei Jun, the CEO and Co-Founder of Xiaomi, reportedly visited Tesla CEO and Co-Founder Elon Musk a few years ago. Jun is indirectly involved EV business, as he is the Co-Founder of Shunwei Capital which has invested in NIO and Tesla. Based in China, which is much faster in rolling out EVs than the USA, and Xiaomi might be able to roll out its EV much earlier than Apple. Moreover, Xiaomi, unlike Apple, is a budget brand, and so, low-end specifications would allow developing its EV in a shorter time and fewer complications.
Featured Image Source: NIO