On the company’s most recent Investor Day, Lei Jun, the founder of Chinese consumer electronics maker Xiaomi, stated that a quarter of his time was spent on mobile phones, IoT, and high-end involvement, half on cars, and a quarter on other things. He expects Xiaomi Auto – their car division – to be among the top five in the world within the next 15 to 20 years.
Given the rapid growth of EVs in recent years, it’s not impossible for some legacy automakers to fall behind, making room for new entrants. Xiaomi believes it has everything it needs to get there.
In an interview, Lei stated that Xiaomi’s 100% ownership of Xiaomi Auto is based on the reuse of company-wide resources. He admits that Xiaomi Auto is 6-7 years behind the competition in China, but its initial release date is set for 2024, which should be soon enough. The company will rely on its expertise in software and overall user experience to catch up quickly. In fact, Lei Jun believes that the software component of development is becoming the most important aspect in cars.
Xiaomi has been making rapid progress in car development; last year, their Auto division received $439 million in investment, more than 2,300 R&D personnel, and the company’s first car has already begun winter testing. Additionally , in the past three years, Xiaomi has established 10,000 offline Chinese stores, which are very helpful to the marketing of Xiaomi Auto.
“We are a company that serves users. We look forward to one day linking mobile phones, cars and smart home appliances.” Lei added, “We do not rule out mergers and acquisitions of some good companies, but we will consider stable operations.”