China’s Xiaomi is advising potential buyers of its SU7 electric sedan that they could face waits of four to seven months, in a sign of strong demand for its first-ever vehicle.

The maker of smartphones and other consumer electronics began taking orders on Thursday and said pre-orders hit 88,898 in the first 24 hours.

Deliveries for the standard SU7 model, priced at CNY 215,900 ($29,870 or roughly Rs. 24,89,900), may take 18-21 weeks, according to checks by Reuters on Xiaomi’s car app.

Deliveries for the SU7 Pro model could take 18-21 weeks, while the most expensive model, priced at CNY 299,900 (roughly Rs. 34,58,709), could take 27-30 weeks.

The SU7, whose design has drawn comparisons with Porsche’s Taycan and Panamera sports car models, has been launched amid a cut-throat price war in the world’s largest auto market where more than 40 brands vie for consumer attention.

On Monday, Huawei-backed Aito offered discounts of up to CNY 20,000 (roughly Rs. 2,30,000) on its new M7 SUVs until the end of end-April while Xpeng also offered subsidies of up to CNY 20,000 on its flagship electric SUV G9 for a limited time.

In addition, Chery announced it would offer tax breaks, trade-in subsidies and cash discounts on some of its best-selling gasoline-engine vehicles.

While the market is challenging for newcomers, analysts have noted that Xiaomi has deeper pockets than many EV startups and that its expertise in smartphones gives the company an edge in smart dashboards – a feature that Chinese consumers prize.

As part of the campaign to kick off sales, Xiaomi also released two special versions of the car called “Founder’s Edition” that come with complimentary gifts, such as refrigerators. The first 5,000 of those cars sold out immediately.

A second round of Founder’s Edition sales has been opened but it was not immediately clear how many would be sold.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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