In a move to expand its presence in the auto industry, China’s Huawei Technologies has partnered with more legacy automakers to produce Aito-branded electric cars. This partnership was announced by Huawei’s Smart Car CEO, Richard Yu, at the China EV 100 forum in Beijing. Huawei will team up with Chery Automobile, BAIC Motor, and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group in jointly developing and manufacturing Aito-branded vehicles.
The Partnership with Legacy Automakers
Huawei’s partnership with Seres Group to make Aito cars has been successful, with a total of 80,000 Aito cars sold in 2022, up more than six times from a year ago. The company plans to build a series of models, including SUVs, sedans, and multipurpose vehicles under the Aito brand, fully utilizing the automakers’ resources of production capacity. The move is expected to increase Huawei’s presence in the electric car industry.
Huawei’s Role in the Auto Industry
Huawei’s Chairman Eric Xu reiterated at a press conference that the company doesn’t make cars on its own but only helps other automakers make better vehicles. With its HarmonyOS system developed as an alternative to Android, Huawei has been hit by a series of export controls by Washington which says it is a security risk, a claim that the company denies. The sanctions have blocked Huawei from buying key components as well as from using Google’s Android operating system. This has also affected Huawei’s partnerships with global automakers, who have given up using Huawei’s vehicle connectivity technologies in the past two years, according to Yu.
The Role of Aito-Branded Electric Cars in Huawei’s Branding Efforts
As I see it, the Aito-branded electric cars are an essential part of Huawei’s branding efforts. Also, the company’s partnerships with legacy automakers will help it leverage their resources in production capacity and create high-quality vehicles that meet the standards of modern consumers.