Xiaomi: Electric car buyers told they have to wait six months

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By journalsofus.com

  • By Mariko Oei
  • business reporter

Just days after Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched its first electric vehicle (EV), buyers have been told they may have to wait up to six months for delivery of their car.

Screens posted on Chinese social media show the company advising buyers that deliveries of the SU7 Max could take up to 27 weeks.

The company had earlier said that pre-orders had reached 88,898 within 24 hours of starting taking orders on Thursday.

Xiaomi did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

The technology giant, which is the third-largest seller of smartphones in the world with about 12% market share, is taking on EV rivals including Tesla and BYD in the world’s biggest market for cars.

The standard SU7 model is priced at 215,900 yuan ($29,872; £23,663) and the Max version is priced at 299,900 yuan.

The starting price of Tesla’s Model 3 in China is 245,900 yuan.

The SU7, which has been compared to Porsche’s Taycan and Panamera models, has a minimum range of 700 km (435 mi), beating the Tesla Model 3’s 567 km.

As part of its campaign to promote the SU7, Xiaomi also released special editions of the car called Founders Edition, which come with freebies such as a fridge.

On Sunday, the technology giant’s Chief Executive Lei Jun said in a Weibo post that it would launch a second round of sales for the Founders Edition.

The company hopes SU7’s shared operating system with its phones, laptops and other devices will appeal to existing customers.

Xiaomi’s EVs are made by a unit of state-owned carmaker BAIC Group at a plant in Beijing, which can produce more than 200,000 vehicles per year.

But the move comes as EV sales growth has slowed globally, triggering a price war.

Tesla, led by multi-billionaire Elon Musk, has cut the price of its cars in China by thousands of dollars in recent months as local rivals such as BYD, the world’s best-selling EV maker, have lowered prices. .

Last week, BYD reported record annual profit but said growth had slowed late last year.

Shanghai-based electric carmaker Nio also cut its forecast for first-quarter deliveries as consumers cut back on spending as China’s economic growth weakened.

American EV giant Tesla is scheduled to announce its delivery numbers for the first three months of 2024 this week. Tesla shares fell nearly 30% in the first quarter.

Xiaomi has said it will invest $10bn (£7.9bn) in its vehicle business over the next 10 years.

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