Ffirst, the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Car, and now this: On Friday, Reuters reported that the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (OTC: XIACF) plans to start manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs).
Quoting “three people with direct knowledge of the subject,” the news agency wrote that Xiaomi would manufacture its automobiles at a factory owned and operated by Great Wall Automobile Company (OTC: GWLLF). The latter is a large Chinese manufacturer focusing on SUVs and pickups. It controls the Haval, ORA, WEY and GWM Pickup brands.
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However, Great Wall said he had not discussed an automotive partnership with Xiaomi. Great Wall has never provided third party manufacturing services to any other company.
Either way, the article’s sources indicate that for the Xiaomi partnership, Great Wall will act as an engineering consultant for new electric vehicles. They added that Xiaomi aims to produce mainstream vehicles, which would reflect its approach with smartphones. The cars will carry the Xiaomi brand, and the company hopes to launch them around 2023.
If the speculation turns out to be true, Xiaomi’s move would have precedent. There’s Apple Car from the maker of the iPhone, which, although not yet confirmed by the company, has been reportedly under development for years.
Closer to home for Xiaomi, internet giant Baidu announced in January that he would use a Geely (OTC: GELYF) factory to start producing its own electric vehicles; Geely will act as a consultant for this project.
Xiaomi has yet to comment on the Reuters report.
Investors seem excited at the prospect of Xiaomi venturing into the white-hot electric vehicle market and are not concerned that the company has virtually no experience in this area. Xiaomi stock jumped 8.5% on Friday, beating the gain of S&P 500 index.
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