Huawei on Wednesday began selling Chinese-made cars equipped with its powertrain system and in-car infotainment solution, a move the company says could offset a drastic decline in its global handset business resulting from US restrictions limiting its access to crucial technology.
Details: Three electric crossovers equipped with Huawei’s electric drive and automotive connectivity system, Hicar, were on display at a Huawei store in Shanghai tuesday when the company announcement during a press event that he would start selling cars in his home country through his retail network.
- Called Seres SF5 and manufactured by little-known Chinese automaker Chongqing Sokon Industrial Group, the range-extended electric vehicle will be the first car model available for trial and purchase through Huawei’s online store and 12 domestic flagship stores from of Wednesday.
- Huawei aims to ease customer range anxiety with the plug-in hybrid, which has a range of 180 kilometers (112 miles) in all-electric mode and more than 1,000 km powered by a gasoline engine, Chinese media reported citing Richard Yu, CEO of the company’s consumer business unit. The SUV is priced at RMB 216,800 (about $33,365) and up, and is slated for delivery from May.
- Yu told Chinese media in Shanghai on Tuesday that he expects the company’s expansion into smart and electric vehicles to offset losses in its mobile business, acknowledging that its core business “has encountered significant difficulties. ” (our translation) under US sanctions.
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The context: With its strong technological capabilities and an ambitious expansion plan, Huawei has quickly established itself as a major force in the Chinese automotive industry. It targets the growing sector of smart, connected and electric vehicles.
- State-owned automaker BAIC on Saturday launched the Alpha S, the first electric sedan under its premium EV brand Arcfox, the SCMP. It is now the first production model equipped with Huawei’s comprehensive hardware and software solutions, including its Harmony operating system and over 100 key components such as Kirin chipsets.
- Ford’s manufacturing partner Changan Automobile said at the Auto Shanghai expo on Monday that it will launch its first premium electric vehicle model co-developed with Huawei and the battery supplier by the end of this year. CATL, Chinese media reported citing company chairman Wang Jun.
- Huawei’s revenue growth in overseas markets plummeted last year after the Chinese telecom giant lost access to US-made components due to US sanctions.
- Reuters reported in February that Huawei was in preliminary discussions to sell two of its high-end smartphone lines, which the company later denied. Huawei sold its budget phone brand, Honor, to a state-backed consortium in November.