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China's Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Unveils An Electric Vehicle $4K Less Expensive Than Tesla's Model 3

China's Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Unveils An Electric Vehicle $4K Less Expensive Than Tesla's Model 3
As pricing wars intensify in China's intensely competitive electric car sector, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi announced on Thursday that it will offer its first vehicle for significantly less than Tesla's Model 3.
The base SU7 model will retail in the nation for 215,900 yuan ($30,408), according to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. He recognised that this price would result in the business selling each car at a loss.
In China, Tesla's Model 3 is priced at 245,900 yuan.
Lei asserted that the SU7 standard model outperformed the Model 3 in over 90% of its specs, with the exception of two areas where he predicted it would take Xiaomi at least three to five years to overtake Tesla.
In addition, he stated that the Model 3's minimum driving range was 606 kilometres, while the SU7's was 700 kilometres, or roughly 435 miles. Sales began at 10 p.m. Beijing time on Thursday, and the business reported that in the 27 minutes since then, orders have topped 50,000 cars.
According to Lei, deliveries should begin before the end of April. Lei added that an SU7 can be produced at Xiaomi's auto plant in 76 seconds, with all "key" procedures completely automated. It was unclear at first if the factory was running at full capacity.
The CEO of Xiaomi stated on social media earlier this week that the SU7 would be the greatest sedan "under 500,000 yuan" ($69,328).
The car is going into a very competitive market in China, where businesses are having to lower their prices and introduce a lot of new models in order to stay in business. The massive Chinese telecom company Huawei has formed partnerships with conventional manufacturers; one such partnership was the introduction of the Aito brand, whose cars are frequently on exhibit in Huawei smartphone dealerships.
Based on statistics from industry website Autohome, the most popular new energy sedan in China is the Tesla Model 3, which costs less than 500,000 yuan and has a driving range of at least 600 kilometres (372 miles).
The starting price of BYD's Han sedan is 169,800 yuan, per Autohome.
According to the data, Xpeng's P7 starts at 209,900 yuan, while Nio's ET5 starts at 298,000 yuan. The starting price of the Geely-owned Zeekr 007 car is 209,900 yuan, as stated by Autohome.
According to the China Passenger Car Association, sales of new energy vehicles—which include battery-only powered cars—have increased dramatically in China, making up around one-third of all new passenger car sales.
Xpeng, Li Auto, and the heads of rival electric vehicle companies Nio were among the notable attendees of the Xiaomi SU7 launch party.
Lei unveiled a number of extras on Thursday, some of which are free with a car purchase before the end of April and others of which are chargeable. Some of the accessories include an in-car refrigerator, a personalised front-window shade, and a smartphone holder.
According to Lei, the SU7 can interface with the iPad and supports Apple's Car Play. Additionally, he disclosed that driver-assist technology for cities and roads will soon be available completely in China in August this year.
China can now access Tesla's Autopilot for interstate driving assistance, but the company has not yet introduced "Full Self Driving" for urban streets.
Lei stated that Xiaomi aspired to compete with Porsche at a December auto tech event, but the SU7 still had a ways to go before it could contend at this more expensive level. He declared that the SU7 "Max" model, which is meant to compete with Porsche's Taycan, would retail for 299,900 yuan.
The SU7 is a component of Xiaomi's newly unveiled "Human x Car x Home" strategy, which aims to create a network of gadgets linked to the company's new HyperOS operating system.
Less than 30% of the company's revenue comes from appliances and other consumer goods, with phones accounting for the majority of sales.
Despite its reputation for producing more reasonably priced goods, Xiaomi's President Lu Weibing revealed to CNBC earlier this year that the business has been pursuing a premiumization plan since 2020 and that the SU7 may be purchased by roughly 20 million people in that price range.
According to Lu, the SU7 will be available for purchase in China for the foreseeable future, and any international launch will require a minimum of two to three years.
After revealing the vehicle's exterior and technology in Beijing in late December, the business debuted the car at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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