Recent reports revealed that Xiaomi Corporation is supposedly facing delays in getting the license for manufacturing its own EVs in China under the Xiaomi Automobile brand. Thus, the Chinese electronic company is in “early talks” to team up with Beijing Automotive Group Co. (BAIC) to deliver EVs by next year.
Xiaomi primarily develops smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, and home appliances. However, the company’s smartphone sales in China decreased substantially in recent years. Therefore, pushing the consumer electronics manufacturer to search for new outlets to maintain its cash flow.
Hence, in March 2021, Xiaomi revealed definitive plans to start developing its EV brand. And by September of that year, the company officially registered an EV company brand – the Xiaomi Automobile, in China. But, the electronic manufacturer was still searching for a veteran partner in EV manufacturing to transition into building cars. At that time, Lei Jun, the co-founder, and CEO of Xiaomi, promised to invest around $10 billion over the next ten years to make Xiaomi-branded EVs by 2024.
Xiaomi Automobile in talks with BAIC
Bloomberg reported that Xiaomi Automobile is in talks with BAIC Group’s EV automotive brand, BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. In addition, anonymous sources revealed that the two companies are exploring various ways to collaborate.
One of the strategies includes Xiaomi buying a stake in Beijing Hyundai No. 2 plant, licensed to develop cars in China. And if this is the route the two companies take, BAIC BluePark will build EVs co-branded with Xiaomi Automobile. However, the Hyundai No. 2 plant would need significant upgrades to support EV production. But, even so, the plant already possesses the production capacity to support Xiaomi-BAIC EVs.
On another note, last year, Xiaomi announced a signed contract with a Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area committee to set up its entire automotive business in the suburb of Yizhuang. Additionally, the company admitted to visiting 85 industries and conducting extensive meetings with over 200 automotive veterans for its search for an automotive partner. And the news of the EV business park in Yizhuang seemed like Xiaomi Automobile planned to develop EVs alone.
However, nearly a year later, the company seems to be again looking for EV manufacturing veterans due to zero progress based on the latest reports. But, the talk is still in the preliminary phase. Thus, chances are that the partnership with BAIC might never happen. In any case, Xiaomi Automobile needs to speed up its progress if it plans to deliver EVs in 2024. Hence, co-branding with an EV manufacturing partner is of the utmost importance to Xiaomi.