's car factory in Beijing has been conducting small-volume trial production for some time now, with dozens of vehicles already produced, according to local media.

(Image credit: National Business Daily)

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi's first electric vehicle (EV) model will begin mass production in December and will be officially launched in February next year, local media outlet National Business Daily said today, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Xiaomi's car factory in Beijing has been carrying out small-volume trial production for some time, with dozens of vehicles already produced, the person said.

In terms of shape and design, Xiaomi's model is a sedan, much like 's (NYSE: XPEV) P7, the person said.

A reporter from the National Business Daily recently visited Xiaomi's automotive manufacturing base, whose facilities are currently being kept strictly secret from the public, with people entering and exiting the facility subject to strict vetting, according to the report.

(Image credit: National Business Daily)

Xiaomi held a closed-door partner meeting on November 8, and attendees were not allowed to bring phones or computers or reveal any information about the meeting, the report noted.

The only information that can be disclosed about Xiaomi's car is that the first vehicle is due for mass production in the first half of 2024, the report said, citing a source at the company.

Xiaomi officially announced its entry into the car-making bandwagon on March 30, 2021, saying it would invest RMB 10 billion ($1.38 billion) in its automotive business for the first phase, with an expected $10 billion investment over the next 10 years.

Xiaomi has made few announcements about the progress of its car-making efforts over the past two years, with its executives' only few mentions repeating that the company's first EV model will be launched in 2024.

(Image credit: National Business Daily)

On August 23, Reuters reported that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which oversees new investment and capacity in China's automotive sector, had approved Xiaomi's production of EVs.

On September 6, local media outlet Jiemian cited a person familiar with the matter as saying that Xiaomi's EV was in the pilot production stage, which has been underway for nearly a month, with about 50 prototypes being produced each week.

Earlier this month, a user on Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu posted multiple spy photos of the body of what is said to be Xiaomi's EV, showing many design details despite it being wrapped in camouflage.

These spy shots show the model as a sedan with frameless doors, hidden door handles, and a charging port located at the rear of the body.

In an October 13 post on Medium, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, a well-known tracker of Apple's supply chain, said that Xiaomi's first EV model is expected to go on sale in 2024, with shipments estimated at 50,000 to 60,000 units.

The model, whose key selling points are autonomous driving, software ecosystem, 800V fast charging and powertrain specifications, is estimated to sell for less than RMB 300,000, Kuo said.

If the price approaches or falls below 250k yuan, shipment estimates could be revised upward, Kuo said.

At the end of November 2021, Xiaomi signed a contract with the Beijing authorities to build a headquarters base for its automotive business as well as a sales headquarters and R&D headquarters in Yizhuang, and will build an automotive factory with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units.

The plant will be built in two phases, with annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles in Phase 1 and Phase 2, respectively, an announcement at the time said, adding that Xiaomi's first car is expected to roll off the production line and go into mass production in 2024.

There have been recent rumors that Xiaomi has been in contact with car companies, including Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp (JAC) and Chery, to discuss a production partnership, the National Business Daily report noted.

Xiaomi is likely to partner with other car companies for production, but will use its own automobile production qualifications, the report said, citing an executive at a new energy vehicle (NEV) maker who wished to remain anonymous.

Even if Xiaomi's car factory can be put into production quickly next year, it will need a process of capacity creep, and with founder Lei Jun setting a 2024 sales target of 100,000 vehicles, it will be difficult for the new factory to reach that capacity quickly, the executive said, according to the report.

($1 = RMB 7.2382)

Spy shots of Xiaomi's 1st EV model show design details