ANN/CNA – Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp is eyeing an electric vehicle (EV) production tie-up with Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), as it faces delays in acquiring a licence to make cars on its own, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.
Such partnership among EV startups and traditional carmakers has become increasingly common in China, as state planners have been limiting the issuance of manufacturing licences to new EV makers in a bid to contain excessive investment.
Chinese EV maker Nio Inc, for example, has been partnering with Anhui government-owned Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) in vehicle production.
Under the deal, Nio cars, developed and manufactured by the startup, had to bear JAC’s nameplate initially, and both later agreed to drop the nameplate over additional fees.
Xiaomi and BAIC are exploring various options including Xiaomi buying a stake in Beijing Hyundai No 2 plant, which has a licence to make cars in China, the Bloomberg report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The collaboration could see vehicles built by Beijing Automotive’s EV brand, BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology, and co-branded with Xiaomi, the report said.
Xiaomi and BAIC declined to comment. An executive at Beijing Electric Vehicle, BAIC’s EV unit, told Reuters that he is not aware of such talks between Xiaomi and BAIC, declining to be named because he is not authorised to talk to media.