Xiaomi's Strategic Shift: Lei Jun Drives Automotive, Lu Weibing as Brand GM

Author: Muriel Meng Editor: Yiru Qian Feb 04, 2024 03:12 PM (GMT+8)

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Xiaomi car

On February 3rd, Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun announced on Weibo that he would focus more on the automotive business, while the Group President, Lu Weibing, would also serve as the General Manager of the Xiaomi brand. Wang Teng, on the other hand, would take over as the General Manager of the Redmi brand.

Lei Jun's Weibo post stated that the nationwide comprehensive road test of the Xiaomi SU7 is currently underway, with the final sprint for the launch of the Xiaomi SU7. In order to devote more energy to the automotive business, Lu Weibing, the Group President, would concurrently serve as the General Manager of the Xiaomi brand. Lu Weibing would also be the main speaker for Xiaomi's upcoming smartphone launch events, starting with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. Meanwhile, Wang Teng would assume the position of Redmi brand General Manager.

Following the announcement, both Lu Weibing and Wang Teng expressed gratitude and wished Xiaomi great success.

Public information shows that Lu Weibing joined Xiaomi Group in 2019 and initially oversaw the Redmi brand. He has held positions such as Vice President of Xiaomi Group, President of International Department, President of China Region, and concurrently served as the General Manager of the Redmi brand. In 2022, Lu Weibing took on the role of Xiaomi Group President and was also included in the core team of Xiaomi's automotive division. Wang Teng previously served as the Product Director, Brand Spokesperson, and General Manager of the Marketing Department for Redmi, and also had experience in overseeing market sales in Henan.

On December 28, 2023, Lei Jun publicly introduced the technical details of Xiaomi's first car, the SU7. Lei Jun stated that Xiaomi's goal for its automotive business is to rival Porsche and Tesla, and create a dream car for the new era of the automotive industry, featuring aesthetics, performance, comfort, and safety in a smart mobility space. Xiaomi aims to become one of the top five global automakers through 15 to 20 years of effort. Following the technology announcement, Xiaomi's automotive division is actively preparing for the official launch. According to publicly available information, vehicle testing for the Xiaomi SU7 is being conducted in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changchun, and other cities.

While emphasizing the focus on the automotive business, Lei Jun also highlighted that the smartphone business remains Xiaomi's core focus, and he will continue to invest sufficient energy into it.

However, Xiaomi's smartphone business has recently faced challenges.

According to IDC's report, in the fourth quarter of 2023, the shipment volume of smartphones in the Chinese market reached approximately 73.63 million units, representing a year-on-year growth of 1.2%, showing signs of recovery for the first time after ten consecutive quarters of decline. IDC's data reveals that in the fourth quarter of 2023, the top five smartphone manufacturers in China were Apple, Honor, vivo, Huawei, and OPPO, with Xiaomi not being among the top five. Canalys' report indicates that although Xiaomi entered the top five rankings, it ranked last compared to Apple, Honor, vivo, Huawei, and OPPO in terms of market share.