Xiaomi switches from Apple to Tesla challenger with EV launch

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Anyone who tried a Xiaomi The smartphone knows that it is a worthy competitor to the iPhone. Now the question is, will Xiaomi provide the same challenges Tesla at Apple?

On Thursday, the Chinese juggernaut launched its first electric car, the SU7 sedan. Billionaire founder and CEO Lei Jun-a household name in China-he said at the exhibition in Beijing: “Many people ask me who the Xiaomi SU7 is made for. My answer is, isn’t it time for Tesla Model 3 users to upgrade?”

Another serious rival in China comes at a difficult time for automaker Elon Musk. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Tesla was limiting EV production at its Shanghai factory amid intense competition and sluggish growth in China. Tesla’s stock market is down nearly 30% this year, which has boosted the company Musk’s no-advertisement mantra. Tesla also faces competition from Warren Buffett-backed China BYDwhich it dethroned a few months ago as the world’s largest EV seller.

Of course, Tesla has already established itself as an EV manufacturer, while Xiaomi is new to the scene.

“During the three years I’ve been making this car, my biggest realization is that making cars is very difficult,” Lei said he said Thursday. “Even a giant like apple he left that.”

In February, Lei responded to Apple’s decision to end its EV project, saying “to be surprised” by decision. He also cited Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as an early inspiration to become an entrepreneur.

Xiaomi, which also makes smart TVs and home appliances, tends to be as popular as Apple in China.

A big bet on EVs

Lei said on Thursday that the SU7, which is available only in China to begin with, beats the Tesla Model 3 on 90% of the specifications, Xiaomi needs a few years to achieve the rest. He said the sedan had a driving range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles) versus 606 for the Model 3. The base model will be sold under $30,000, cheaper than the Model 3 in China.

Lei admitted that his company is losing money on every car it sells at the moment. In December, he he said that Xiaomi spends 10 times the amount of money that car manufacturers usually devote to a new model. But, he he added On Thursday, “Xiaomi has enough money to face fierce competition in the next five years.”

Time will tell if Lei made the right call by entering the competitive EV market or if he should have left like Apple did. Many EV startups have been worth billions now he is suffering.

“The danger is that they focus on the EV space and stop looking at the parts and products that got them there,” said Tu Le, founder of consultancy Sino Auto Insights. he said Reuters.

But Xiaomi has already started a strong startat least, it’s a company that said it received 120,000 solid orders for the SU7 in 36 hours, meaning that this year’s production capacity is sold out.

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