Xiaomi: Electric car buyers told they will face a six-month wait

  • Written by Mariko Aoi
  • 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 their car to be delivered.

Screenshots on Chinese social media show the company advising buyers that delivery of the SU7 Max could take 27 weeks.

The company previously said that pre-orders reached 88,898 within 24 hours of starting to take orders on Thursday.

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

The tech giant, which is the world's third-largest smartphone seller with a market share of about 12%, competes with electric vehicle rivals including Tesla and BYD in the world's largest auto market.

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

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

The SU7, which has drawn comparisons with the Porsche Taycan and Panamera, has a minimum range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), besting the Tesla Model 3's 567 kilometres.

As part of its campaign to promote the SU7, Xiaomi also released special editions of the car called Founder's Edition, which come with free gifts, such as refrigerators.

On Sunday, the tech giant's CEO, Lei Jun, said he said in a post on Weibo It will open a second round of sales for the Founder's Edition.

Xiaomi's electric cars are made by a unit of state-owned automaker BAIC Group at a factory in Beijing that can produce up to 200,000 vehicles a year.

But this move comes as the growth of electric car sales has slowed globally, sparking a price war.

Tesla, headed by billionaire Elon Musk, has cut the cost of its cars in China by thousands of dollars in recent months, as local rivals such as the world's best-selling electric car maker BYD cut prices.

Last week, BYD reported record annual profits but said growth slowed toward the end of last year.

Shanghai-based electric car maker Nio also lowered its forecast for first-quarter deliveries as consumers tighten spending as China's economic growth weakens.

American electric vehicle giant Tesla is set 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 automotive business over the next 10 years.

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