Luxeed, a joint venture between state-owned Chery Automobile and telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, is set to launch its first production model in November. The S7, an electric vehicle (EV) with a coupe-like design, will be built on Chery’s E0X platform, designed for two-motor all-wheel-drive EVs.
While specific details such as price, range, and intelligent features have not been fully disclosed, Richard Yu Chengdong, the head of Huawei’s car unit, stated that the S7 will outperform Tesla’s Model S in various aspects.
This move by Luxeed places it in competition with a range of premium EVs that have gained popularity among China’s middle-class consumers due to their advanced digital technologies, including autonomous driving, self-parking, and voice-activated controls.
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Analysts see Luxeed as a promising venture, benefiting from the combination of Huawei’s technological capabilities and Chery’s manufacturing expertise. Chery, based in Anhui province, is transitioning toward EVs in response to their rapid adoption in China and globally. In 2018, they established Jetour, a subsidiary focused on the EV market, which reported delivering over 180,000 EVs in 2022, a 17 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Huawei, despite facing U.S. sanctions, has made inroads into the EV industry. The company introduced its Huawei HI intelligent automotive solution in April 2021, providing carmakers with computing systems, 4D imaging radar, autonomous driving platforms, and intelligent thermal management. It has been supplying automotive chips, lidar sensors, and technologies for internet connectivity to various car manufacturers.
Additionally, Huawei launched the Aito brand in late 2021 in collaboration with carmaker Seres to produce luxury EVs sold in Huawei stores across mainland China. The Aito M9, a full-size luxury electric sport-utility vehicle, is set to enter the mainland market in December.
While China’s automotive and EV market is experiencing significant growth, with battery-powered vehicle sales expected to rise by 55 per cent in 2023, the market is becoming crowded with around 200 players.
Tesla, especially with its locally produced Model 3, remains a leader in the premium EV sector but faces strong competition from Chinese EV startups like Nio, Li Auto, and Xpeng, known for their advanced intelligent features.
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