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Huawei and BAIC’s first EV comes with ambitious sales target, global expansion plans

mobility electric vehicles huawei arcfox baic

BAIC launched the HI(Huawei Inside) version of the Arcfox αS electric sedan, featuring Huawei’s intelligent driving technologies and in-car dashboards in April, 2021. Credit: Arcfox

Huawei and Chinese automaker BAIC are aiming for monthly sales of their first joint electric vehicle model under a new brand to exceed 10,000 units, as they also set their sights on markets in Asia and Europe, Chinese media has reported. 

Why it matters: The launch of the new car brand with BAIC, named Stelato and scheduled to be unveiled in April at this year’s Beijing Motor Show, would be another test for Huawei as the smartphone maker has been looking to grow its automotive business after being hit by US sanctions

  • Huawei’s track record in EVs has so far been mixed. It has managed to bring the struggling Aito brand back to life with manufacturing partner Seres following the successful launch of the redesigned M7 plug-in hybrid crossover in September. However, the first Luxeed EV was a setback for the tech giant and its partner Chery, as buyers were confounded by delivery delays stretching for months. 

Details: Huawei and BAIC Bluepark, a mainland-listed subsidiary of the state-owned automaker, expect monthly sales of the first model under the new Stelato brand to achieve more than 10,000 units, according to an internal memo seen by Yicai (in Chinese). 

  • According to the report, the executive sedan will be priced between RMB 300,000 and RMB 500,000 ($41,730-$69,550), and is scheduled to debut next month at this year’s Beijing Motor Show; it would then officially launch in June. 
  • BAIC, a main partner of Daimler in China, is planning to create a capacity of around 300,000 EVs for the Stelato project, with more high-end EV models from sports sedans to SUVs in the pipeline, the report said. 
  • The automaker last month told investors it is setting up a sales and service network for overseas markets, especially Europe and Asia. An existing partner to Huawei, BAIC sold fewer than 50,000 units of its Arcfox-branded EVs from 2021 to 2023. 
  • Meanwhile, Huawei is set to launch its first model as part of a separate partnership with JAC Motor by the end of this year. The two companies plan to produce 35,000 units of the multi-purpose vehicle annually in a new plant scheduled for completion in 2025, according to an environmental filing published on March 1. 

Context: More Chinese automakers, such as state-owned Changan and Dongfeng, are joining Huawei’s expanding “Harmony Intelligent Mobility Alliance” in hopes of re-creating their brand images with Huawei’s smart cockpit and automated driving technologies, and leveraging its sales network.

  • Aito for now remains the biggest success story of Huawei’s push into EVs, as vehicle deliveries grew 24% year-on-year to 94,380 units in 2023. Sales further increased to more than 54,000 units during the first two months of this year when most automakers reported flagging sales.

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @jill_shen_sh


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