Nov.15 (NBD) -- "Production may have begun as I can hear noises coming from Xiaomi's car factory a few days ago," a man working near the factory told NBD.

NBD visited the plant in Beijing's Economic and Technological Development Zone and saw that the factory was taking shape. The office building was adorned with the Xiaomi logo, and large trucks and yellow construction vehicles were coming in and out.

Photo/Li Xing (NBD)

Zhang Hai (pseudonym), a parts supplier who was waiting at the gate of Xiaomi’s car factory for a visit, told NBD that the four major manufacturing (stamping, welding, painting, and assembly) workshops in Xiaomi’s car factory (Phase I) have been completed, and small-scale trial production has begun. The cars that have been produced are parked in the assembly workshop.

Xiaomi announced its entry into the smart car industry in 2021, and its progress has been closely watched ever since. A source who declined to be named said that Xiaomi would begin mass production in December 2023 and launch its first car in February 2024. Previously, Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi Grup, said that the first Xiaomi car would be mass-produced in the first half of 2024.

Factory security remains tight, and suppliers lining up to visit

Mi Car has been shrouded in mystery due to its high confidential level. "When we enter the factory, we are not allowed to use our phones or any other tools, and we cannot take any information out," Zhang Hai told NBD. 

NBD also found that the plant is surrounded by green metal sheets and stone walls, with only the North Gate One allowed for entrance and exit.

A security guard at the Mi Car's gate told NBD that external personnel who need to enter the factory must not only register visitor information at the security booth at the gate but must also contact Xiaomi's staff to pick them up. "The internal security system of Mi Car is very strict, and we have to go through this process every time we come here," said another parts supplier who was waiting for internal staff to pick him up at the gate. 

At the north gate of the Mi Car factory, NBD saw that there were nearly 20 people registering at the gate and waiting for their contacts to pick them up. “Most of us are parts suppliers for Mi Car. Some have already formed partnerships and some are seeking for possible cooperation.” Zhang Hai said.

Rong Fang (pseudonym), another supplier of Mi Car, told NBD that he came to visit Xiaomi’s car factory after attending Xiaomi’s closed-door meeting. “ The representatives who attended Xiaomi’s closed-door meeting have all signed confidentiality agreements and cannot disclose any information announced at the meeting.” Rong Fang said.

Public information shows that on November 8, Xiaomi held a closed-door meeting with partners at Xiaomi Tech Park. The attendees were all core customers of Mi Car, involving Xiaomi’s mobile phone and car-related supply chain enterprises. is only open to people who have been invited and no electronic devices were allowed in the venue.

On November 13, a person in charge of Xiaomi Group also told NBD that for Xiaomi’s car, the only information that can be disclosed to the public at present is the mass production time of the first car ( the first half of 2024).

Tens of new cars have been produced

Xiaomi's car factory is divided into two phases. The first phase, which covers an area of 720,000 square meters, has an annual production capacity of 150,000 cars and was completed in June 2023. The second phase of construction is scheduled to start in 2024 and be completed in 2025.

According to public information, the Phase 1 buildings of Mi Car's factory passed inspection on June 12. NBD saw that the lands undeveloped and under construction were separated from the No.1-No.5 factory buildings and office buildings by metal wires. Zhang Hai told NBD that in addition to the factory buildings, Mi Car factory has also set up an internal low-speed test track for trial-produced vehicles.

Photo/Li Xing (NBD)

According to a source who did not want to be named, Mi Car's factory has started trial production for some time. "There are currently tens of cars being produced. "The factory will start mass production at the end of this year in preparation for the launch of the model in February next year," the source said.

Recently, a set of detailed pictures of the body of Mi Car's first model were exposed on the internet. Judging from the photos, the overall design of the new car is smooth. It may adopt the popular hidden door handles.

According to an unnamed source, the new car is a sedan, similar to the Xiaopeng P7. Zhang Hai, a parts supplier, also said that the car looks like a sports sedan based on the white body with film in the factory.

In response to the exposure of a large number of Mi Car photos on the internet, Hu Zhengnan, who is responsible for Xiaomi Auto's related business, posted on his personal Weibo account, saying, "Oh no! It's hard to prevent this. My head is hurting now. Why don't we just go on sale directly?"

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the key selling points of Mi Car's first model will focus on automatic driving technology, software ecosystem, 800V fast charging, and power configuration. The price is expected to be less than 300,000 yuan. “After Mi Car's first model is launched in the market in 2024, the estimated sales volume is 50,000 to 60,000 units,” Kuo believes.

Production license in the works

Although the production schedule has been confirmed, there is still no further news on the production qualifications of Mi Car.

“Mi Car will definitely use its own production qualifications. The group has invested so much money, it is impossible to use someone else's qualifications to produce,” said several Xiaomi Auto parts suppliers to NBD.

According to a report by Reuters, Xiaomi has already obtained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission to produce electric vehicles in August, but still needs approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. However, this news has not been officially confirmed. NBD also repeatedly verified with Xiaomi Group, but did not get a response.

It is worth noting that Xiaomi Auto has reportedly negotiated with automakers like JAC Motors, Chery Automobile, BAIC BluePark, and Brilliance Auto over production matters. Among them, the cooperation between Mi Car and BAIC Bluepark has progressed further, and both sides have expressed interest in further negotiations. In response, a person in charge of BAIC Bluepark only replied to NBD, "We have not yet received any relevant information internally."

“In theory, Mi Car has its own factory and does not need other companies to produce cars for them. BAIC BluePark's Zhenjiang factory will produce four models in 2024, and its cooperative model with Huawei also needs to be produced by modifying the Futian factory.” A person familiar with BAIC BluePark told NBD.

In addition, there have been reports that Haima Auto has reached a cooperation agreement with Mi Car. In response, Haima Auto told NBD that"We are not aware of this news."

However, the above-mentioned unnamed source believes that it is highly likely that Mi Car will cooperate with other car companies to produce, but will use its own production qualifications. "Even if the Mi Car factory can be quickly put into production next year, it still has a production capacity ramp-up process. And Lei Jun has set a sales target of 100,000 units in 2024. It is difficult for the new factory to quickly reach this capacity," the unnamed EV executive explained.


According to Lei Jun's plan, Xiaomi Auto's first model aims for an annual sales target of 100,000 units in its first year, and a cumulative delivery target of 900,000 units in the following three years, "becoming a first-level player in 2024." This means that Mi Car will need to produce at least 300,000 units from 2025 to 2027.

"Mi Car's contact with other car companies is a strategy based on its long-term sales goals. It can help to ease Mi Car's production constraints to some extent," the unnamed EV executive believes.

Editor: Alexander