Jidu Auto, the carmaking arm of Chinese search engine and AI giant Baidu, has hired former Cadillac executive Frank Wu to lead its design studio.

Reuters first reported on Monday that Wu had joined , and CnEVPost checked Wu's LinkedIn page to find that Wu had joined Jidu as head of design in March of this year.

A spokesperson for Baidu confirmed the information to CnEVPost and said Wu has been with Jidu since day one.

(Frank Wu (left), Jidu's head of design, and Jidu CEO Xia Yiping (right))

Wu spent 7 years at General Motors, leading the design of the Cadillac CT6 model and Escala concept car, which won several awards.

(Frank Wu)

In 2017, Wu joined the BAIC design team and led the design of several models including the C41, C62 and C71.

On January 11, Baidu announced the formation of an electric car company with , entering the automotive industry as a vehicle manufacturer.

Jidu was officially launched on March 2 and will make cars based on Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform.

The company's CEO Xia Yiping said in April that the new company aims to invest RMB 50 billion ($7.7 billion) in the production of smart cars over the next five years.

Jidu plans to launch its car brand in the third quarter of this year, with the aim of releasing the company's first electric car within three years.

At next year's auto show, Jidu is expected to debut its product. The car will have L4 self-driving capabilities, but whether they release their full capabilities is subject to future regulations, Xia said.

Every year to 1.5 years in the future, Jidu will introduce new a model, Xia said.

Currently, Jidu has assembled a core team of about 100 people, including R&D staff in both Beijing and Shanghai.

By the end of next year, Jidu plans to continue expanding the company to 2,500-3,000 people, including 400-500 software engineers.

Jidu recruits talent from a wide range of industries, with a large portion coming from the Internet and consumer electronics industries, in addition to traditional car manufacturers.

Xia said he hopes to maximize the mix of talent from all industries to make Jidu a digital company.

Jidu Auto, Baidu's car-making arm, will price its first model at over $31,400