Xiaomi car stores opened, the first batch of sales outlets was at least 60

財經汽車 ·  Feb 29 21:10

Source: Finance Auto Author: Song Liwei

The construction of authorized Xiaomi car dealership stores has been much slower than expected by the outside world. This is mixed with investors' wait-and-see sentiment, as well as factors that Xiaomi continues to absorb outside voices to further refine and polish the first mass-produced model.

Recently, Finance Auto learned exclusively that the authorized Xiaomi 2S store located in Beijing's North Fifth Ring Road has just begun, and the estimated construction period is more than a month. Also, according to sources familiar with the matter, the first batch of Xiaomi Auto stores may be set up at 670, covering the first tier, new tier 1, and tier 2 cities. The exact launch date for the first model, the SU7, will be at the end of March.

小米汽车北京某授权2S店内工人正在施工 摄/宋立伟
Workers in an authorized 2S store of Xiaomi Motors in Beijing are undergoing construction/Song Liwei

This coincides with the “Xiaomi car will go on sale on March 28,” as previously revealed by senior Krypton officials.

Although Xiaomi Auto did not respond to this, according to the company's related statements, there is not much difference in time.

Since Xiaomi Motor held its first technical conference on December 28 last year, the outside world's attention and speculation about the SU7 pricing have not stopped. At the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, with a series of market changes, such as BYD's first launch of the price war, the replacement of Krypton 001, and the suspension of the car project by Apple, the pricing space for Xiaomi cars seems to have narrowed even more.

Under the premise that the industry generally believes that “all parties are putting pressure on Xiaomi,” the opposite also proved that car companies are somewhat “afraid” about Xiaomi's cross-border approach. Zhang Yi, CEO and chief analyst of Ai Media Consulting, believes.

In his opinion, Lei Jun, who has already lost money in the mobile phone industry due to the low price strategy, will probably not let history repeat itself. As a new entrant in the automobile industry, facing the current competitive market environment, the pricing strategy of the Xiaomi SU7 must be more considered how to stabilize. In other words, the first shot must be exchanged for expected sales, so that it can give dealers and investors confidence.

01. Xiaomi 2S store opened, the final version of SU7 may be a bit different

On December 28, 2023, the first technical conference was held on December 28, 2023, 1003 days after the official announcement of the end of the car. Among the many spectators, the dealer group was given special attention and arranged to take a leading position in the venue. For the only mobile phone manufacturer currently in the industry that has ended up building cars, in the face of actual pressure from a lack of car brand accumulation and a mature dealer network, Xiaomi naturally places distribution investors in an important position.

小米汽车首场技术发布会现场 摄/宋立伟
Photographed at the first technical conference of Xiaomi Automobile/Song Liwei

Obviously, Lei Jun, founder, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Group, did not disappoint the dealer community in his speech that day.

On the second day of the press conference, the Xiaomi Group formally signed a letter of intent to cooperate with the first batch of 14 sales service partners at its Beijing headquarters.

In response, Lu Weibing, partner and president of the Xiaomi Group, said that this means that the construction of sales and service channels for Xiaomi cars has been accelerated across the board, and the new retail model for Xiaomi cars has moved from the planning stage to the actual implementation stage. However, in reality, the construction of the contracted store did not seem to be carried out as quickly as anticipated by the outside world.

Recently, during a visit to an authorized Xiaomi 2S store in Beijing, Finance Auto discovered that the refurbishment work only officially began on February 23 after the store's original brand had retired.

According to construction personnel on site, the estimated construction period is more than 1 month.

However, according to people familiar with the matter, the Xiaomi SU7 will go on sale at the end of March, so the construction period of the store is clearly already very tight.

Also, according to the person familiar with the matter, the first batch of Xiaomi Auto stores may be set up at 670, covering more than 20 first-tier, new-tier, and second-tier cities. As for the current construction progress of these stores, the relevant parties of Xiaomi Auto said that it is not easy to disclose it now.

However, with regard to the many questions raised by the outside world recently, particularly around core issues such as the pricing pressure and product competitiveness of the SU7, the Xiaomi car government also avoided discussing it.

“Of course, Xiaomi can hear and absorb all voices from the outside world, but considering traffic, public opinion, and other reasons, it really can't respond to the outside world right now.” Officials involved in Xiaomi Auto confessed.

Furthermore, he also revealed that since last year's press conference, Xiaomi has been actively listening to suggestions from rice fans and rims professionals, and has been further refining, polishing, and improving the SU7 model. This is one reason why Xiaomi has been slow to release more news.

小米汽车SU7首次亮相 摄/宋立伟
Xiaomi SU7 debuted photo/Song Liwei

02. Compared to impacting the high-end market, Lei Jun needs to be pragmatic and stable

For car operators, the “smoke” of the beginning of the Year of the Dragon is clearly stronger than ever. Meanwhile, there was not only the pressure brought about by the price war, but also the chill released by Gaohe Automobile's suspension of work and production for 6 months, and Apple's suspension of the car project it had been investing in for 10 years.

None of this seems like a positive sign for Xiaomi cars. And when pressure is put on Lei Jun from all sides, the pricing of the SU7 is even more critical.

Earlier, Lei Jun once again responded to two of the biggest concerns of the outside world through social platforms: first, how to price SU7; second, don't worry about the current competitive pressure.

He said that the SU7 was designed according to Dream Car standards, and the price is indeed a bit expensive. The specific price will be officially announced at the product launch conference, but it is certainly not 99,000 yuan, 149,000 yuan, or 199,000 yuan.

Furthermore, he also noticed that the NEV industry is currently very busy, but Xiaomi has never been afraid from small to large.

According to the industry, compared to the 200,000 yuan new energy models on the market, the Xiaomi SU7 does not have a competitive advantage in terms of product strength, so in terms of pricing strategy, Xiaomi will be more cautious.

Zhang Yi also said that when it comes to pricing the first Xiaomi car model, Lei Jun will inevitably not repeat the pricing strategy of Xiaomi phones and exchange the ultra-low price for the market. He believes that the Xiaomi phone was successful in terms of sales performance, but the objective evaluation in terms of profitability and brand premium failed. This is Lei Jun's biggest concern now; otherwise, he probably wouldn't have to face this kind of pressure to start a business again at this age.

Whether in the mobile phone industry or the automobile industry, it is much easier for brands to move from high to low than from low to high. In fact, there is no shortage of such opportunities for Chinese brands in the field of new energy vehicles. Brands such as Look Up, NIO, Inquire, and Ideal also prove this.

小米汽车SU7 摄/宋立伟
Xiaomi SU7 Photography/Song Liwei

In addition, Zhang Yi also emphasized that Chinese residents' deposits have now exceeded 120 trillion yuan. This is a huge figure. Even before the pandemic, this figure was only about 90 trillion yuan. In fact, this shows that everyone has the ability to spend, especially under the premise that consumer demand in the two major fields of real estate and education and training is declining. Theoretically, there is huge room for release in terms of automobile purchasing power.

Therefore, he predicted that the probability that Xiaomi will choose the middle and high-end route is greater, and that the pricing strategy will not be too high. After all, the closed ecological loop of people, cars, and families is not enough to form a moat for Xiaomi cars. Currently, Lei Jun's top priority is how to stabilize the first gun. Only in this way can he give confidence to all parties. At the same time, this also determines Xiaomi's ability to find money in the future.


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