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Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years
Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

Autopix (ID: autopix) exclusively learned that last week, Xiaomi's first car entered the fifth stage of production line verification (PT5) at the Yizhuang factory. In addition, Xiaomi's Yizhuang factory will complete the target of 300 vehicles in December, which is several times more than in November.

This does not mean that the car will start mass production (SOP) in December, the new production is mainly to supply the needs of the terminal show car, and the mass production node will not be earlier than the first quarter of next year. Since it was the first car, Xiaomi demanded robustness more than speed. AutoPix understands that Xiaomi's first car has added one or two verification stages in both R&D and production.

But after the first car straightens out the system, the speed of Xiaomi's new car will accelerate. AutoPix has exclusively learned that Xiaomi has planned three cars that will be released in the next three years.

Among them, the first two are pure electric, and the internal code names are "Modena" and "Le Mans" respectively. The third product will be a hybrid model, which will be internally codenamed "Kunlun".

At the same time, the show car has entered the preparation, indicating that Xiaomi's automotive terminal marketing has begun to enter the cold start stage. In order to make room for the car, some products on the Xiaomi ecological chain will be withdrawn from the Xiaomi Home.

Text: Dong Bobo

Editor|Mao Shiyang

Car pixel (ID: autopix) original

01. Xiaomi cars are not in a hurry

On November 30, on the production line of Xiaomi Yizhuang, a total of 3 Xiaomi's first cars rolled off the assembly line throughout the day. The number is planned to increase over the next two days – six on December 1 and nine on December 2.

Although it is a single-digit improvement, it is not easy to achieve. On November 30, it took nearly 10 hours for the factory to complete the assembly of three vehicles.

Although the official name has not yet been announced, Xiaomi has internally called the first new car "MODENAT", and the factory code name is MS11. In mid-November, this car was listed in the declaration catalog of a new batch of models by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology under the name of "SU7", which was the first time the outside world saw the appearance of this car.

▍ Xiaomi SU7 declaration map

An engineer close to Xiaomi told Autopixel (ID: autopix) that since the new car is still in the production line commissioning and verification phase (PT), production is not the core goal of this stage, and it is important to close the problems encountered.

Xiaomi Modena has been in the factory for more than 4 months, and the commissioning task is still intense.

Two weeks ago, Xiaomi just dispatched some R&D employees from the headquarters to solve some of the car machine problems through remote OTA and on-site on-site installation. More problems arise in the manufacturing process, where the final assembly line is often stopped, and the distribution of parts is often untimely.

The problem in mass production is not tricky, but for Xiaomi, which is building a car for the first time, it will still take time to solve.

"Last week we moved from PT4 to PT5. A person in charge close to Xiaomi Auto revealed that even so, "looking at the current progress, mass production (SOP) will have to be next year, and the specific time is still difficult to estimate." ”

According to the general process of vehicle production, after the new car completes the design and enters the factory, it first goes through the design verification stage (ET), then enters the production verification stage (PT), and then goes through pre-production (PP) before starting small batch production (SOP) - this is the most iconic node in the whole process, which means that new products can achieve standardized operations and start large-scale production.

Among them, it takes at least one to three months to go from PT to PP before SOP. This means that Xiaomi Moderna, which is currently in the PT5 stage, will not be mass-produced earlier than the first quarter of next year.

What's more, since it is the first product, Xiaomi has left more time to verify. For example, in the PT stage, the PT link of most mature car companies is usually arranged into four stages, and Xiaomi has left more.

The R&D person in charge of a leading car company told AutoPix that there are two situations in the increase stage, one is that there are many problems to be solved and the stage needs to be added to verify. On the other hand, the cycle is compressed, so one or two phases are set aside at a later stage to test the problematic solution.

Not only the PT link, a person in charge close to Xiaomi revealed to AutoPix that because it is the first car, Xiaomi has also set aside more verification stages in vehicle research and development. For example, in the prototype experiment (E4), Xiaomi also added more stages to the definition and implementation of user requirements for verification.

More than 900 days have passed since Lei Jun announced in April 2021 that he would "stake all the reputation in his life and personally lead the team to fight for Xiaomi cars". In the face of public opinion that seems to be more anxious than Xiaomi, Xiaomi does not seem to have an arrangement to speed up the progress in the preparation of the first car.

But in any case, for every additional car off the assembly line before the SOP, there will be fewer chances of problems in the later stage.

02. Xiaomi Home reduces categories

A week ago, Mercedes-Benz China followed the example of NIO, Xpeng and other new car-making forces and renamed the usual "Mercedes-Benz Night" during the Guangzhou Auto Show to "Mercedes-Benz Technology Innovation Day". The former is themed on brand marketing, while the latter is more like an annual technology conference, similar to NIO's "NIO DAY" and Xpeng's 1024 Technology Day.

Time is starting to matter.

Autopixel (ID: autopix) exclusively learned that throughout December, Xiaomi's Yizhuang factory plans to complete the assembly of 300 Modena vehicles, and the task has more than quadrupled from November. In order to meet the December target, Xiaomi's Yizhuang plant began to prepare parts in advance, and plans to add new personnel in the middle of this month.

Behind the increase in production in December, the plant has already begun to prepare some of the show vehicles. This means that the marketing actions of Xiaomi Automobile, which has been stagnant, will gradually start cold.

Car pixel (ID: autopix) learned from the person in charge close to Xiaomi China that at present, in the Xiaomi car sales system, the person in charge of the three links of sales, delivery and after-sales service has been put in place, the team framework has been basically built, and the vacant positions are also being recruited one after another.

From the perspective of architecture, the sales system of Xiaomi Auto will be the same as Xiaomi's other product lines, under the system of Xiaomi China, but in terms of team, the car team will operate independently.

Just as Huawei's stores are responsible for the sales of automobiles and consumer electronics at the same time, Xiaomi's automotive products will also be placed in the brand's offline store "Mi Home", which is also the best way for Xiaomi to quickly roll out the sales network. As early as the end of October 2021, the number of Xiaomi Home outlets nationwide has exceeded 10,000.

Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

▍ Xiaomi Home

Problems also arise.

"The [Mi Home] store is too small. A person in charge close to Xiaomi China told AutoPix that Xiaomi China is currently solving the problem in three ways, one is to renovate the store, the second is to build a new store, and the third is to go to the category.

AutoPix has learned that some less important products in the Xiaomi ecological chain will be withdrawn from the Xiaomi Home store one after another after the car comes in. In addition, Xiaomi Home will adjust the location of its stores in some business districts and add larger stores to accommodate the show cars.

As early as 2021, after Xiaomi decided to build a car, Xiaomi China has taken leaving a show car space as a factor when adding new stores.

In 2021, the 10,000th Xiaomi Home opened in Shenzhen, and Lu Weibing, president of Xiaomi China, said that the store represents the upgraded Xiaomi Home 4.0 version, with a store area of 600 square meters.

A week ago, on November 26, an updated design of a Xiaomi Home retail store circulated on social media. Judging from the drawings, the store will add a new car exhibition area, and a booth that can park two show cars is planned.

After the first car, a number of new Xiaomi cars have been planned and will be released in the next three years.

03. Three new cars in the next three years

After Modena, more products from Xiaomi cars began to prepare.

Autopixel (ID: autopix) has exclusively learned that Xiaomi has planned three models. After the launch of its first car, the Modena (MS11), next year, Xiaomi will also release an all-electric model with the internal code name "Le Mans". In addition, Xiaomi's third new car project "Kunlun" is already being designed.

Xiaomi spent nearly three years preparing for its first car, Modena, but in the follow-up research and development, the cycle of Xiaomi's new car will be greatly shortened, and it is expected to maintain a new rhythm of at least one new car per year in the future.

But unlike Modena and Le Mans, AutoPix has learned that the Kunlun project will be planned as a hybrid model.

Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

▍Lei Jun is a Xiaomi bus platform

Previously, 36Kr reported that Xiaomi's third car will choose range extension as a technical route. However, the person in charge of Xiaomi's R&D team close to AutoPix revealed that as of November this year, "Kunlun" is still in the stage of conceptual design (E1) to detailed design (E2). What is certain is that it will be a hybrid product, but strictly speaking, whether it will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a range-extended hybrid (REEV) cannot be concluded at the current design stage.

It is worth noting that on the social recruitment channel, Xiaomi Auto did release R&D positions related to range extension, including range extension system design and development engineers. In addition, hybrid-related positions include fuel system engineer and exhaust system engineer.

Ideal is the main supporter of REEV, and its latest sales in November exceeded 40,000 units. After the ideal proved the acceptance of range extension in the terminal market, there are top-selling range extension products under brands such as Deep Blue, Wenjie, VOYAH, and Leap.

The biggest difference between the narrow plug-in hybrid scheme similar to BYD, Great Wall and Geely and the extended range is that the former fuel engine will directly participate in the drive in the fed state, but under the range extender technology, the fuel engine will start to generate electricity in the fed state, and the motor will still drive the vehicle.

The merits of the two technologies have been debated in the industry. However, it is generally believed that the comparative advantage of PHEVs in the narrow sense is energy consumption, and in the high-speed range, the fuel engine will be in an advantageous position when the fuel engine enters the high-efficiency range. However, the disadvantage of PHEVs in the narrow sense is that they are "imitation inductors", and the driving experience of electric motor drives is often better than that of gasoline vehicles.

However, putting aside the discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the technical level, the R&D person in charge of a car company told AutoPix that in terms of technical accumulation, PHEVs in the narrow sense need to accumulate in engine technology and also need the support of transmission technology.

At present, Great Wall's main two-speed hybrid, Chery and Geely's main three-speed hybrid, are all technical routes launched under the conditions of fuel vehicle technology accumulation in the past few years. From this point of view, range extension is indeed a shortcut for some new forces to bypass technical barriers and launch hybrid models.

However, regardless of whether you choose a plug-in hybrid in the narrow sense or a range extension direction, Xiaomi's approach to using hybrid products as a third product is more like a pragmatic move to increase sales faster.

According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the total sales of new energy vehicles in the first 10 months of this year were 7.28 million units, a year-on-year growth rate of 37.8%. However, in terms of specific segments, pure electric vehicles (BEV) sold 5.16 million units from January to October, a year-on-year growth rate of 25.2%, and generalized plug-in hybrid vehicles, including range extension, sold 2.116 million units, with a year-on-year growth rate of 82.6%.

Sales growth rates for hybrid vehicles are much higher than for electric vehicles. In the view of industry organizations, hybrid models can quickly steal the market share of gasoline vehicles, and this trend will continue for another one to two years.

Even so, Xiaomi, which will only enter the market around 2026, will still miss most of the cycle of rapid hybrid production. It is difficult to predict how big the cake of the hybrid market will be if Xiaomi can cut it.

Xiaomi plans to build 300 cars in December: the new hybrid car will be named "Kunlun" and three new cars will be planned in three years

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