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SAI Weekly #13 - 24: Xiaomi Lowers (Price) Floor on EVs While Simultaneously Raising Stakes on Global EV Makers



 

Since I’m recovering from the cruise, this newsletter will be short and sweet.

 

Big, big news out of Beijing tonight / today for the westerners – Xiaomi finally reveals pricing of the highly anticipated SU7 sedan, after about a two-hour infomercial for Xiaomi products of course. It’ll start shipping to customers by the end of April. The excitement has turned into orders with 50K placed by Chinese buyers after sales portal being open for just 27 minutes!



Some of the VIPs Lei Jun drew inspiration from were in attendance also likely anxious to see where pricing was going to land. 



So much to unpack here so I’ll just start with where Apple left off.

 

Xiaomi has now officially wrestled away the ‘most significant move into the EV / mobility space by a technology company’ title away from Apple. With Apple’s waving the white flag just weeks ago along with the complete unveiling of and peak into the feature list / price point of the Xiaomi SU7, that should be completely settled.

 

Lei Jun seemed to have been almost bullied into entering the space through a combination of Apple’s ‘rumored’ skunkworks R&D for the Apple Car, #FOMO + the pressure from seeing other Chinese tech founders taking the EV dip seemed to have convinced him to throw Xiaomi’s hat into the ring as well. I wonder what Lei Jun, Xiaomi founder and CEO thought when Apple officially tapped out. I don’t think it was relief.

 

I was not able to join the Beijing event in-person obviously, but got real-time updates from friends that did. Lei Jun milked the first almost two hours or so before getting to the good stuff, and good it was.

 

Xiaomi has lowered the floor for global #EV pricing even further while significantly raising the stakes with the feature rich, yet arguably affordable SU7.

 

We know Xiaomi’s superpower is platform integration between their entire ecosystem of consumer, lifestyle and professional products. For those that aren’t familiar, Xiaomi started in the mobile handset business, undercutting Apple and Huawei in China.

 

They actively acquired small companies that built technology driven consumer products and began to incorporate them all into a Xiaomi Life platform. They now, alongside their handsets, have their own branded laptops, tablets, TVs, air purifiers, hair dryers, Wifi routers, micromobility products, water kettles and much, much more.

 

Generally, they can all be controlled via a mobile app. They also sell content and services via this platform which has really begun to grow, even outside of China. That’s how they built their brand and created the loyalty they have with Chinese consumers.

 

But the Million-dollar questions for this EV are: How will they incorporate it into the Xiaomi Life platform? Should they even try to?

 

No real surprises on pricing since the rumored pricing has been plastered over the interwebs the last few weeks. There are three trims with the basic trim starting at just under $30K in today’s FX. The Top trip will run you about $42K. The list of SU7 features is quite impressive, especially when you consider the pricing – packed and feature rich are two things that come to mind for me

 

If Xiaomi can deliver a standalone passenger vehicle with a compelling UX while also seamlessly integrating the vehicle into a customer’s Xiaomi Life outside the vehicle, the combination will make for an extremely powerful platform for their services and the stickiness most tech companies kill for.

 

They need to nail it though, the Goldilocks of ‘just right.’ If it’s not seamless or if it seems overly intrusive, it’ll be rejected. Full stop. And we know in the China market, you only get one chance to make a first impression – to that I say good luck!

 

Some slides below I'll highlight from the preso. All these were either taken from the Xiaomi X feed or via CNEVPost BTW.







CHINA EVs & MORE (CEM)

Join us tomorrow, 9am ET for the live show. After a couple weeks of juggling schedules we are back to our original spot. We’ll spend a decent amount of the time talking Xiaomi since it’s fresh in my mind and Lei will talk about his trip to NY for the auto show. Please join us with questions, comments!

 

If you can can’t join the live show, I invite you to listen to our recorded China EVs & More episodes at this site. And as always, we appreciate any feedback that will make the show better.

 

 

INTERVIEWED / QUOTED

-   AFP. Had a few outlets reach out to discuss BYD’s 2023 earnings release this week. They crushed it of course with its highest profit ever. They sold just over 3M vehicles last year with almost a 55 / 45 split between BEVs and PHEVs. As to how they did it, well click the link and it’ll detail my thoughts on the ‘how.’

 

You may have seen me quoted in a couple other articles this week as well but haven't had time to round them up in time for this newsletter. 

 

 

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This weekly newsletter is a collection of articles we feel best reflect the happenings of the week or important trends that have effects on the global automotive and mobility sectors. We also provide a point of view that we hope educates and sparks debate.

 

 

The Sino Auto Insights team



 

Sino Auto Insights is a Beijing, China-based market research and advisory firm that specializes in assisting companies analyze, strategize, and develop products and services that will shape the future of mobility and transportation.


Members of our team have experience working in Detroit, Silicon Valley as well as here in China across multiple sectors and functions as entrepreneurs as well as working at larger companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, GM and FCA, and many others.

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