Economy & Business

    Chinese Xiaomi starts delivering the first of more than 1,00,000 EVs ordered

    The Hawk
    April3/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    As Xiaomi Rolls Out the "Founder's Edition," Anticipation Builds Amongst Buyers Facing Wait Times of Up to 7 Months. The SU7's Competitive Pricing Challenges Market Giants, Propelling Xiaomi into the Spotlight of the Global EV Market.

    Xiaomi's first electric vehicle, the SU7

    Beijing: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday said it has received more than 1,00,000 orders for its first car - a sporty electric vehicle (EV) called the SU7 - as it began deliveries.

    "Xiaomi's car officially debuts, the real revolution in smart cars has officially begun, and China will surely give birth to a great company like Tesla," CEO and founder Lei Jun said at a ceremony in Beijing marking the first deliveries.

    The first deliveries come from a limited batch of 5,000 cars that Xiaomi had already produced - called the "Founder's Edition," equipped with additional accessories for early buyers.

    Following last week's launch of the SU7 - short for Speed Ultra 7 - Xiaomi advised buyers of its sedan that they could face wait times of four to seven months, a sign of robust demand.

    Xiaomi's shares surged as much as 16 per cent on Tuesday as the SU7 drew strong interest, though a brokerage forecast the firm would lose nearly $10,000 per car this year. Its shares traded more than 3 per cent lower Wednesday morning, against a 1.1 per cent fall in the broader Hang Seng Index.

    At Tuesday's highest, the company had a valuation of $55 billion at a share price of HK$17.34 - higher than that of traditional US automakers General Motors and Ford at $52 billion and $53 billion, respectively.

    Xiaomi's SU7 enters a crowded China EV market with an attention-grabbing price tag - under $30,000 for the base model, cheaper than Tesla's Model 3 in China.

    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.

    The company earns the majority of its $37.5 billion revenue from selling smartphones.

    The SU7 launch fulfils the ambition of Lei, who announced the company's foray into EVs in 2021, pledging to invest $10 billion in the auto business as "the last major entrepreneurship project" of his life.