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Xiaomi releases electric car $4K cheaper than Tesla’s Model 3 as price wars heat up

BEIJING Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, announced Thursday that it will offer its first automobile for significantly cheaper than Tesla’s Model 3, as pricing wars flare up in China’s fiercely competitive electric car sector.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun stated that the base version of the SU7 will sell in China for 215,900 yuan ($30,408), a price that he acknowledged would result in the business losing money on each car sold.

Tesla’s Model 3 costs 245,900 yuan in China.

Lei said that the base version of the SU7 outperformed the Model 3 in more than 90% of its specs, with the exception of two aspects on which he predicted Xiaomi would need three to five years to catch up with Tesla. He also stated that the SU7 had a minimum driving range of 700 kilometers (almost 435 miles), versus the Model 3’s 606 kilometers. The business reported that orders had exceeded 50,000 cars in the 27 minutes since sales began at 10 p.m. Beijing time Thursday.

According to Lei, deliveries will begin by the end of April. Lei also claimed that Xiaomi’s vehicle factory, which automates all “key” procedures, can create an SU7 in 76 seconds. It was not immediately clear if the factory was fully operational.

Earlier this week, the Xiaomi CEO announced on social media that the SU7 would be the greatest car “under 500,000 yuan” ($69,328).

The vehicle is entering an extremely competitive market in China, where competitors are introducing a flood of new models and lowering prices in order to compete. Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, has cooperated with traditional automakers, most notably developing the Aito brand, whose automobiles are frequently displayed in Huawei smartphone dealerships.


According to Autohome, Tesla’s Model 3 is the best-selling new energy sedan in China, with a driving range of at least 600 kilometers (372 miles) and a price below 500,000 yuan.

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The Han sedan starts at 169,800 yuan, according to Autohome.


The statistics showed that Nio’s ET5 starts at 298,000 yuan and Xpeng’s P7 starts at 209,900 yuan. According to Autohome, the Geely-owned Zeekr 007 sedan starts at 209,900 yuan.

According to the China Passenger Car Association, sales of new energy vehicles, including battery-powered cars, have increased to account for around one-third of all new passenger car sales.


Accessories
The heads of competitive electric car startups Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto were among the notable attendees at the Xiaomi SU7 launch event.

On Thursday, Lei demonstrated a variety of extras, including an in-vehicle refrigerator, a personalized front-window shade, and a smartphone holder, some of which are free with a car purchase before the end of April and others sold separately.

According to Lei, the SU7 supports Apple CarPlay and can be integrated with the iPad. He also demonstrated driver-assist technology for roads and cities, which would be completely available in China by August.

Tesla’s Autopilot for interstate driving assistance is already available in China, but the company’s “Full Self Driving” for city streets has yet to be launched there.

Despite claiming Xiaomi aspired to compete with Porsche at an automotive tech event in December, Lei admitted that the SU7 had a long way to go before it could compete at this higher level. He said that the “Max” version of the SU7, designed at competing with Porsche’s Taycan, would cost 299,900 yuan.

Ecosystem of devices
The SU7 is part of Xiaomi’s recently announced “Human x Car x Home” plan, which aims to create an ecosystem of devices running its new HyperOS operating system. Phones generate the majority of the company’s sales, with appliances and other consumer products accounting for slightly less than 30%.

Although Xiaomi is best known for its lower-cost products, President Lu Weibing told CNBC earlier this year that the firm has been pursuing a premiumization plan since 2020, and that there are approximately 20 million people in that price range who may purchase the SU7.

Lu told CNBC that the SU7 will first be marketed to Chinese consumers, and that any international launch would take at least two to three years.

The business unveiled the vehicle at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February, after revealing its exterior and technology in Beijing in late December.







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