Smartphone Maker Xiaomi on Road to BEV Manufacturing

Despite a perceived glut of BEVs out-supplying consumer demand, China has given its approval for smartphone maker, Xiaomi, to make these cars.

The company has won the approval of China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to manufacture BEVs in line with its target of producing cars for market by early next year, Reuters reports. Xiaomi’s venture is only the fourth since end-2017 to win NDRC approval.

However, while approval brings Xiaomi closer to becoming a mass-BEV maker just two years after it first announced the plans, the venture still needs clearance from the Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT), which assesses new automakers and models for technical and safety requirements. It also would be entering China’s car manufacturing sector at a time when there’s a capacity glut, with even big names like NIO struggling to make enough profits, and slowing demand that have sparked a price war and hit supplier margins.

While it awaited the approvals, Xiaomi has forged ahead on the venture, completing construction of factory facilities capable of producing 200,000 BEVs annually in Beijing, according to a report in state-run newspaper Beijing Daily in July. The company plans to produce about 100,000 EVs next year, said one source. It has also accelerated hiring workers for its car plant since last week as it prepares a production ramp-up in December.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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