Xiaomi says sales of its electric car 3-5 times higher than expected

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Xiaomi says sales of its electric car 3-5 times higher than expected
Credit: © Reuters.

By Qiaoyi Li and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) - Sales of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's first electric car have been 3-5 times higher than expected, CEO Lei Jun said on Thursday, as the company began delivering standard versions of the so-called SU7 to buyers ahead of schedule.

Lei, Xiaomi's founder, made the comments during a two-hour livestream on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, that garnered over 34 million viewers.

Xiaomi launched its car, which draws styling cues from Porsche (ETR: P911_p ), late last month, entering a crowded China EV market with an attention-grabbing price tag - under $30,000 for the base model, which is $4,000 cheaper than the base model of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA )'s Model 3 in China.

Xiaomi has deep pockets and has said it expects to lose money on the SU7.

It started some deliveries from a limited batch of 5,000 cars it had already produced - called the "Founder's Edition," equipped with additional accessories for early buyers on April 3 but Thursday marked the beginning of deliveries of the SU7's standard version in Beijing and Shenzhen.

Lei said Xiaomi had brought forward deliveries of its standard version by 12 days. Asked by online users about future development plans, he said Xiaomi had no plans to build off-road vehicles and would primarily focus on the SU7.

"As for the software, I require it to be quickly iterated at least once a month. If there are any problems, they should be improved as soon as possible," he said.

Besides the Standard version, Xiaomi previously said it plans to start deliveries of Max models this month and Pro models by the end of May.

Lei was repeatedly asked during the event whether Xiaomi was planning a sports utility vehicle but did not take the question.

He was accompanied during the livestream by Wei Jianjun, CEO of Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor, who complimented Xiaomi on having been able to produce such a car within three years.

The debut of Xiaomi's EV has caused waves within the Chinese market, with other Chinese EV brands with comparable models announcing price cuts and subsidies after its launch.

While the world's largest auto market is challenging for newcomers due to a cut-throat EV price war and slowing demand, analysts have said Xiaomi has deeper pockets than most EV startups and its smartphone expertise gives it an edge in smart dashboards - a feature prized by Chinese consumers.

© Reuters. Visitors film around Xiaomi's first electric vehicle, the SU7, displayed at an event in Beijing, China December 28, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/ File photo

Analysts predict that losses on the SU7 could be substantial. Based on a projected volume of 60,000 units this year, Citi estimates the SU7 could generate a net loss of 4.1 billion yuan, or an average 68,000 yuan per car.

($1 = 7.2389 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 

 

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