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Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"

Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"


Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"

"If anyone can break the situation led by the new car Wei Xiaoli, I think it is possible for Xiaomi."

When chatting about Xiaomi's car making recently, a friend in the industry said bluntly.

Although this friend analyzed from multiple angles, I have always remained cautious about this conclusion: after all, Xiaomi started late, has many friends and businessmen, and has too strong opponents.

In the first 50 days before Xiaomi officially announced the car, Xin Zhijia once wrote: "Xiaomi, maybe a car can be built"; now, 50 days have passed since Xiaomi officially announced the car.

From Zongmu to Hesai, thinking of Xiaomi's recent series of investment actions in the automotive industry chain, it may have become a new node to re-examine this "spoiler" at this moment.

What you know about Xiaomi making cars

Judging from the frequent moves in the automotive industry chain in the past, Xiaomi's ambitions for smart cars are obvious at a glance.

According to incomplete statistics, in the past eight years, three parties including Lei Jun, Xiaomi Technology, and Shunwei Capital have invested in more than 40 companies related to complete vehicles, upstream and downstream of the supply chain, and travel.

In the two months after the announcement of the car, Xiaomi's pace has not stopped.

For example, Hesai, a leading domestic lidar manufacturer, has invested in ZongMu Technology, a supplier of intelligent driving technology and products.

Among them, Xiaomi, Hillhouse, and Meituan jointly led Hesai’s $300 million Series D financing on June 8; on June 3, they participated in ZongMu Technology’s $190 million Series D investment—this is also Xiaomi It is the first time to invest in the automobile field after the official announcement of the car.

However, just like Xiaomi's previous style-except for some literal announcements, Xiaomi has not released more information about these investments.

Regarding these two investments, Xinzhijia also consulted a number of industry insiders.

There is a view that

What Xiaomi invests in is its own car's future.

At present, Xiaomi's investment ecological chain has completed the closed loop of complete vehicles, parts, smart cockpits, smart networks, and car sales. These forward-looking layouts have played a vital role in Xiaomi's car-building projects.

Some people also said,

It may be related to the market environment.

Around 2015, the market was immersed in the excitement brought by the autonomous driving Demo. As the time of landing repeatedly bounced, the autonomous driving industry fell into a cold around 2018.

"The market environment has begun to pick up, especially with the emergence of a hot subdivision track like Lidar. There is no reason why companies like Xiaomi that hold a lot of money should not invest. It is equivalent to becoming a prosperous and damaging Xiaomi."

After all, among the nearly 1,000 companies in the Xiaomi ecological chain, many of them are not closely related to Xiaomi's actual business.

However, in the view of Xinzhijia, this may be a signal that Xiaomi can make up for the shortcomings of its own car.

Disassemble the major components of the smart car to see.

First of all, the three core parts of electric vehicles have been further developed in China, and Xiaomi's supply chain integration capabilities are naturally needless to say.

In addition, in terms of intelligent experience, the cabin has always been the center of gravity and advantage of Xiaomi's layout in the automotive field, realizing the linkage between the cabin and its smart hardware.

Previously, Xiaomi had helped Mercedes-Benz MBUX human-computer interaction system, Weimar EX5 model, FAW Pentium T77 Mi Fan customized version model to realize the control of smart home through Xiaoai classmates; Xiaomi mobile phone can play the role of Xiaopeng and The role of BYD car keys; Mi Watch also supports the intelligent control of related models of Weilai.

To some extent, these smart hardware is the core advantage of Xiaomi-they are most closely integrated with users’ lives, can clearly understand users’ daily habits and life patterns, and facilitate the collection of massive amounts of user real data to create personalization Customized driving experience.

At the same time, in terms of mobile phones, Xiaomi has developed the MIUI operating system on the basis of Android. Perhaps this successful experience can also be copied to the car and the "MIUI system" suitable for cars.

In contrast, Xiaomi's accumulation of outside the cabin (autopilot) is slightly weaker.

Although there are related patents, including vehicle cruise control, vehicle control, assisted driving, driving safety, parking information prediction, etc., these patents are more focused on functional improvement, and the true technical strength in autonomous driving may have to wait for time to verify.

For the current automatic driving, the most critical is the software system and hardware sensors, especially the lidar-through the close connection with Hesai Technology and ZongMu Technology, Xiaomi may be able to step on a few pits here.

In addition to intensive investment actions, Xiaomi has also made various preparations for the birth of new products.

In the process of making car making decisions, Xiaomi conducted 85 visits and communications in 75 days, had in-depth exchanges with 200 veterans in the automotive industry, held 4 internal management discussions, and 2 formal board meetings.

Although he did not disclose more details about the car-building plan, Lei Jun was full of confidence. "For Xiaomi Motors, the first battle is the decisive battle. Today, Xiaomi has a research and development team of more than 10,000 people, with a research and development fund of 134 and 40. Moreover, mobile phones and cars have a lot of similarities in technology. The Xiaomi car in three years will definitely not disappoint everyone's expectations."

Mi cars you don't know

Lei Jun's appointment as the CEO of Xiaomi's car manufacturing subsidiary is already a well-known thing.

However, Xinzhijia understands that Xiaomi's car-making project has entered a substantive planning stage in 2020, and the promoters are Wang Chuan and Li Wanqiang.

Wang Chuan is mainly responsible for the implementation level, comprehensively exploring the smart car industry, meeting with talents in the automotive industry, and fully researching car-making technology and factories.

In the matter of car building, Li Wanqiang is not only in charge of marketing, that is, brand marketing, but also in charge of external financing and government relations.

In the eyes of many Xiaomi's first-line product managers, Wang Chuan is one of the best in Xiaomi that can balance the trinity of product definition, engineering realization and channel marketing. In terms of brand marketing, Li Wanqiang can be regarded as the soul of Xiaomi.

At the same time, Xiaomi’s supply chain integration capabilities and marketing capabilities should not be underestimated; in addition, Xiaomi has accumulated a large fan base in the mobile phone market, and Xiaomi Auto also has natural traffic.

However, in addition to the possible shortcomings in autonomous driving mentioned above, Xiaomi may also encounter other challenges when building cars.

About branding

A little attention to Xiaomi will find that its mobile phone business is fully impacting the high-end market, and two high-end models were released in the past year.

The relevant smartphone industry personages revealed to Xinzhijia that although Xiaomi has made great efforts in 2020, Huawei's dominance in the high-end market of domestic mobile phones is still very strong, and Xiaomi's high-end brand recognition is not high, especially in politics. Enterprise high-end customer market.

At this stage, hitting the high-end market may be a more central issue for Xiaomi, but the long-standing "price-performance ratio" label may delay progress, and may even extend to automotive products.

On the one hand, the product price, on the other hand, the brand characteristics.

For example, Tesla, its biggest feature is automatic assisted driving; and the biggest highlights of the three new domestic car manufacturers are Weilai Power Exchange, Ideal Range Extended, and Xiaopeng Intelligence.

For Xiaomi, who is building cars from 0 to 1, if you want to make a fortune in a market surrounded by wolves, brand building should be more cautious.

About manufacturing

Looking at the entire industry, Internet car manufacturing can be divided into two major models: self-built factories; OEMs.

Unlike consumer electronic products, the automotive industry chain is complex and lengthy, and has extremely high requirements for safety and reliability. At the same time, building a car independently requires heavy asset investment.

For Xiaomi, in-depth cooperation with OEMs may be the most ideal way.

However, OEMs such as Jianghuai, Geely, SAIC, and BAIC have all reached relevant cooperation with enterprises, and Xiaomi's selection range may be further reduced.

About staff assignment

Based on the previous reason, Xiaomi's high-end mobile phone business naturally needs personnel.

However, a source revealed to Xinzhijia,

Car-building projects are already hotter than mobile phones. Many people are willing to work together in the past.

If too many people flock to the car-making project, the mobile phone business that originally wanted to focus on the high-end market will easily be unable to do so. "If the car-making project really starts to be implemented, the internal will also worry that the basic disk is not stable enough," the source said.

Moreover, Xiaomi still has the idea of ​​making cores, and multi-line parallelism is easy to distract.

On the other hand, with more and more companies entering the smart car market, the competition for relevant talents in the circle has intensified. At present, Xiaomi has not disclosed information about the high-level administrators of the car manufacturing subsidiary.

Don't worry too much about funds. Lei Jun has already promised an initial investment of RMB 10 billion in smart electric vehicles and USD 10 billion in 10 years.

Xinzhijia learned that after hearing that Xiaomi will build a car, many mainstream VCs are willing to follow up immediately with a valuation of 10 billion U.S. dollars.

Xiaomi cars that should be expected

Before 1860, a ship carrying 900 Maori armed with guns and tomahawks landed on the islands east of New Zealand.

Following this, a massacre was committed against the Morioris on the island and the survivors were driven as slaves.

You know, thousands of years later, the Morio people are also powerful Polynesian eagles, this time they are seriously degraded compared to the menacing Maori.

History and business have always been surprisingly similar, due to the same laws. Players on the head of the car circle are enthusiastically racing to encircle the land and build city walls to accumulate energy for the upcoming smart car war.

After all, three or five years later, the first car products of cross-border players such as Xiaomi and Baidu will most likely arrive as scheduled, and even cause huge waves.

Really do not rule out the possibility of Xiaomi creating a revolutionary product.

In these words of my friend, I can feel his expectations for Xiaomi cars.

The expectation here may not only come from Xiaomi's car products, but also from the more exciting car circle because of the existence of "Xiaomi"-in the near future, the vitality of this market will be further stimulated.

Regardless of the purpose of the investment in Zongmu and Hesai, it is foreseeable that Xiaomi will invest in many auto-related companies in the future.

Whether it can stand the test of time, the market will give the answer.

Now, let us keep looking forward.



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AboutMicro News: Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"
Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"
Invested in Zongmu, led the investment in Hesai, and restocked twice a week. Xiaomi made a car and officially pressed the "accelerator button"
AboutMicro News
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