Xiaomi kicks off pilot production of its first electric vehicle at its newly constructed factory in Beijing, China.
The sedan, scheduled for launch in 2024, is one of an extended range of models being developed by the Chinese consumer electronics company, which generated $38.2 billion in revenue in 2022.
Technical details relating to Xiaomi’s first production model are yet to be revealed, though it is claimed to have received approval for production by China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, which regulates new investments and production capacity within the country’s automotive industry, in August.
Before it can be placed on sale, though, it must be granted further clearance from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which assesses new automakers and their production models to ensure they meet technical and safety standards.
A key rival to Apple and Samsung in the global smartphone industry (Xiaomi 13, pictured, below left), Xiaomi earlier announced it plans to invest up to $10 billion in its newly formed EV division over the next 10 years. The world's third-largest producer of smartphones by shipments intends to become one of the world's top five EV manufacturers by the end of the decade.
Located near the Beijing-Benz plant run in a joint venture between Chinese state-owned company Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. and Mercedes-Benz, the new factory in the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang is being constructed in two phases, with combined annual production capacity set to reach 300,000 vehicles over the longer term, according to Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun.
Both the first and second construction phases of the factory are aimed to provide annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, with the first phase having been completed and granted regulatory approval by Chinese authorities in June 2023.
Lei, who also is a delegate of China’s National People’s Congress, told journalists in October 2022 that full-scale production of Xiaomi’s first EV, known under the internal codename MS11, was planned to begin during first-quarter 2024.
The Yizhuang site established by Xiaomi also houses its EV division headquarters and R&D operations.
Since the announcement of its plans to enter the EV ranks in March 2021, Xiaomi has invested heavily in automotive drivetrain, battery and automated driving technology companies in moves aimed at establishing a supply chain network for the company’s production activities.
Xiaomi plans to position itself as a leader in automated driving systems.
Hesai Technology, a leading maker of 3D lidar sensors, announced a $300 million round of investment led by Xiaomi in June. Geometrical-Pal, a Shanghai-based start-up that focuses on integrated systems for automated driving, confirmed a $63 million financing round led by Xiaomi in July.
Xiaomi also has invested $190 million in ZongMu Technology, a supplier of automated driving assistant systems for valet parking already offered on Chinese state-owned automaker FAW’s Hongqi brand models. It also acquired Chinese automated driving technology company DeepMotion for $77 million earlier this year.