Xiaomi unveils SU7 electric car, challenging Tesla with lower prices By Stuffsearth.com

Estimated read time 10 min read

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi introduced its highly anticipated electric vehicle (EV), the SU7, venturing into the competitive EV market with a product that takes design inspiration from Porsche and undercuts Tesla (NASDAQ:)’s Model 3 on price.

The Xiaomi SU7 is an electric sedan that features dimensions of 4997mm in length, 1963mm in width, and 1455mm in height, along with a wheelbase measuring 3000mm. It offers two-wheel size options: 19 inches and 20 inches, with tire specifications of 245/45 R19 and 245/40 R20, respectively. Xiaomi has introduced two versions of the SU7, one equipped with lidar and the other without.

The SU7’s in-car system will run on Xiaomi’s HyperOS, a proprietary operating system developed in-house that is versatile enough to operate both smartphones and vehicles.

During an event attended by industry leaders, including executives from Nio and Xpeng, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced the entry of the standard SU7 EV model at a price of 215,900 yuan ($29,872.02), with its Pro and Max variants priced at 245,900 yuan and 299,900 yuan, respectively.

“We currently forecast EV shipment of 60k/131k/252k units for 2024/25/26E. Co. announced they received 50k orders in 27 minutes after launch, which is encouraging,” analysts at Citi said in a note.

Highlighting the affordability of the SU7 compared to Tesla’s Model 3, which starts at 245,900 yuan in China, Lei stressed Xiaomi’s ambition to offer a superior product. He pointed out the SU7’s range of 700 km, which beats the Tesla Model 3’s 567 km, and drew parallels with high-end models from Porsche, such as the Taycan and Panamera.

The move fulfills Lei’s 2021 promise to invest $10 billion in the automotive sector as his last major entrepreneurial venture. Xiaomi has partnered with BAIC Group for manufacturing and quickly garnered consumer interest, receiving 50,000 orders within 27 minutes of opening for pre-orders.

Despite the challenges of transitioning from electronics to automobile manufacturing—a journey Lei described as “extremely difficult”—Xiaomi is set to make an impact. The company plans to offer the SU7 in 211 stores across 39 Chinese cities by the end of the year, though international availability remains unconfirmed.

The launch comes at a challenging time for China’s auto market, with analysts divided on Xiaomi’s prospects. While some view the foray into premium EVs as a natural extension of Xiaomi’s brand, others question whether consumers will transition from associating Xiaomi with affordable consumer goods to premium electric vehicles.

However, Xiaomi’s diversification and expertise in smart technology may provide a competitive edge in the EV landscape, particularly in smart cockpit features prized by Chinese consumers.

“We believe next to monitor includes orders update, delivery progress, and shipment ramping, etc. Next catalyst for the group includes Investor Day/Beijing Auto Show (April), 1Q24 results (May), Mi MIX FOLD launch (2Q24),” analysts added.

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