Xiaomi wants to create a vehicle that is “as good as” a Tesla or a Porsche

The first electric car from Xiaomi was unveiled a few days after another one from Huawei, indicating that the Chinese tech giants’ efforts to get into the electric vehicle race are starting to pay off.

On Thursday, two days after Huawei debuted its Aito M9 SUV, Xiaomi unveiled the SU7 sedan. The two businesses have established themselves as producers of smartphones and other consumer electronics, but they have recently made clear that they have high hopes for the automotive industry.

Xiaomi declared in 2021 that it would put $10 billion into a smart EV-focused subsidiary over the course of the following ten years.

CEO Lei Jun stated during the launch event on Thursday that the company was starting a “new decade” and that, within the next 15 to 20 years, it hoped to rank among the top five automakers in the world.

“It’s a new starting point for Xiaomi, and I’m convinced that one day in the future, there will be Xiaomis running on every road of this world.”

Lei stated that the company’s goal was to build “a dream car that is as good as Porsche and Tesla” during a three-hour presentation.

He continued, It soon realized the uphill battle it faced. He said to the crowd,  “To build a good car, it is still very, very difficult,” 

Lei countered that Xiaomi had, after a few years, developed a product that was comparable to both the Porsche Taycan Turbo and the Tesla Model S, comparing the three models’ respective performance metrics on an onstage slide.

Shanghai-based automotive industry analyst Mark Rainford, who runs the “Inside China Auto” YouTube channel, referred to Xiaomi’s product as “a winner” and said it would do well in China.

He remarked, “It looks very compelling on paper, both performance- and tech-wise,” adding that the automobile could link to Xiaomi smartphones with ease.

According to Rainford, the company seems to be targeting a different market by producing what is considered a luxury good.

“It’s clear they believe they’re a match (for) or even better than Porsche and Tesla’s flagship models, which is very ambitious for a brand most might consider a very strong consumer electronics brand but not necessarily perceive as premium,” he continued.