Xiaomi|Lei Jun: Xiaomi is officially a car company

Editor︰Prince jie

From smartphones to electric vehicles, Xiaomi, led by founder and chairman Lei Jun, has done what Apple gave up halfway through.

On April 3, 2024, a delivery ceremony for the first batch of Xiaomi's smart electric vehicle "SU7" was held at Xiaomi's car factory in Yizhuang, Beijing, hosted by Lei Jun himself.

He even announced on the spot, "From today onwards, Xiaomi officially becomes a carmaker".

Xiaomi|Lei Jun: Getting it done with a resolve to succeed

Lei Jun led Xiaomi to join the smart electric vehicle industry and officially launched the first car "SU7" three years later. (Image source: VCG)

As for the confidence to transition, Lei Jun once stated that Xiaomi has many advantages, because the current essence of smart electric vehicles is the integration and fusion of the automobile industry and the consumer electronics industry. For Xiaomi, entering the automobile industry is a challenge, but the overall difficulty is manageable.

In fact, leading Xiaomi from smartphones to electric vehicles is not about disruptive innovation, but more about stable and steady progress, starting from the basics.

For example, for the "SU7", Xiaomi mobilised 3,400 engineers for the first car, with total R&D investment exceeding CNY10 billion.

"We have put in more than 10 times the investment. After having such confidence, I am doing it with a resolve to succeed."

The Xiaomi car super factory is very advanced, and key processes are all intelligent and automated. (Image source: VCG)

The Xiaomi car super factory is highly intelligent, with large die casting, stamping, body connections and other key processes all fully automated, incorporating over 700 robots, including automatic inspections and AMR autonomous movements, etc.

When production is fully activated, a new car can be manufactured every 76 seconds on average.

Lei emphasised determination while Apple gave up 

At the end of February this year, upon learning that Apple had canceled its car-making plans, Lei Jun initially expressed "huge shock".

But at the same time, he emphasised that Xiaomi's strategy is "People-Car-Home Ecosystem", and the initial decision to build cars was "an extremely determined strategic choice". He believed that the company must "devotedly build a good car for Mi fans".

Lei Jun also mentioned that he has always held a sense of awe for the entire automobile industry. After deciding to join the industry, he visited various car companies to pay his respect in person.

Xiaomi's first smart electric vehicle "SU7" was well received by the market as soon as it was launched. (Image source: VCG)

Some analysis suggests that the current development of the new energy vehicle industry is already quite mature, and it is difficult for any enterprise or product to bring disruptive innovation to the market quickly.

But the trust users have in the "Xiaomi" brand is precisely its biggest competitive strength in the industry.

If the brand is trusted, it is already enough for Xiaomi to secure a certain market share, as long as Xiaomi can prove that it can produce a qualified product, which means reliable quality, reasonable price and being similar or slightly ahead of the industry in terms of configuration, performance, etc.

Xiaomi|To build a global leading automobile company

Led by Lei Jun, Xiaomi has completed a 3-year car-making plan, moving from selling phones to selling cars. (Image source: VCG)

Apart from the final product, Lei Jun led Xiaomi to successfully deliver cars in just 3 years, which becomes one of the focuses of the public wondering how it could be so fast.

In response to this, Lei believes that Xiaomi itself already has 14 years of entrepreneurial experience and accumulation, and has built a very reliable R&D team, hence avoiding many "detours".

He also stated that China has a good industrial foundation, especially in the manufacturing of intelligent electric vehicles, "Therefore, if there is no detour in 3 years, there is a chance to make the first car."

Notably, when we look at information of other Chinese EV companies, such as Xiaopeng, NIO, and Li Auto, the time from the establishment of the company to mass production of the first car is also 3 to 4 years.

Xiaomi wants to make cars, and Lei Jun is fully prepared, always ensuring the company has sufficient cash reserves to cope with any challenges.

"We want to use 15 to 20 years to become a leading car company in the world, and this long journey has just begun," said Lei.

Read more: Lei Jun's Xiaomi legend: How did he win the reputation?

Read more: The journey of Lei Jun before founding Xiaomi

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