Lei Jun reveals in live stream: Xiaomi cars sell 3-5 times expectations, dressed like Musk, Jobs!

As a gulf blue Xiaomi SU7 slowly pulled up in front of the Xiaomi Auto Factory’s delivery center building, Lei Jun, Chairman of Xiaomi Corporation, began a live stream on Douyin.

“It’s been a while since I last live-streamed. I’ve prepared some goodies for everyone in the live-room – mugs and model cars in the same color scheme as the SU7,” Lei said on April 18th, describing the live-stream as an opportunity to chat with netizens about the first 20 days of Xiaomi SU7 sales.

Image source: Screenshot from Lei Jun’s Douyin live-stream

During the stream, Lei not only addressed hot topics such as Xiaomi SU7’s greater-than-expected order volume, the deployment of offline stores, and the delivery situation, but he also responded to rumors such as him scoring 700 in the college entrance exam and mimicking Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

“I’m not a top scorer in the college entrance examination, and I’ve never scored 700 in it. My worst moment is not when I only had a cold 4 billion in my card. When they say I am the main male character in the ‘bragging story,’ it all feels uncomfortable,” Lei said, “Success comes from diligence, hard work, opportunities, and the assistance of others, not boastful stories.”

“Sales were three to five times higher than expected”

Lei’s live stream began with a tour of the Xiaomi Auto internal delivery center in the Beijing Economic Development Zone.

He greeted owners taking delivery that day and actively asked for photos with them. Lei also revealed that the Xiaomi SU7 Founders Edition had been delivered, while the Standard and Pro editions had begun deliveries in Beijing and Shenzhen on the day of the live stream, April 18, 12 days ahead of schedule.

Lei said, “People keep urging us to deliver faster, and ask if I can assemble the cars myself in the factory. Here, I want to take this opportunity to share that our factory is a modern one, where the main processes are fully automated. Me taking up a wrench would speed things down and add chaos.”

On April 16, Xiaomi Auto stated that the auto factory is currently in the production ramp-up phase. Early-stage production, preparation of materials and capacity are still being improved. The company has mobilized all its suppliers, made every effort to increase capacity, and speed up the delivery pace. “Xiaomi Auto is dedicated to improving the manufacturing and delivery process, striving to get the cars into customers’ hands as quickly as possible,” said Lei Jun. The delivery time for the Xiaomi SU7 might be moved up, and customers will notice that the waiting time is shortening.

Aside from that, Lei also mentioned: “The Xiaomi SU7 quickly became popular as soon as it hit the market. Sales were three to five times higher than expected, which got me worried. After the Xiaomi SU7 was launched, it attracted nationwide test drives. Almost every detail was examined under a magnifying glass, but it turned out well. The Xiaomi SU7 pulled through.”

When asked by the netizens whether “Xiaomi Auto has been successful,” Lei Jun responded that now is not the time to discuss whether Xiaomi Auto has been successful, but the first step can be said to be successful. “Manufacturing a car takes time, Xiaomi is a long-term oriented company, and right now we need to focus on the quality of the cars and provide good customer service. Our aim is, through 15 to 20 years of hard work, to become one of the top five car manufacturers in the world.”

To put the minds of netizens worried about the deployment of Xiaomi Auto offline stores at ease, Lei said that Xiaomi Auto is accelerating the process. “Currently, Xiaomi Auto delivery centers have covered 29 cities nationwide, these cities cover the main markets of new energy vehicles. By the end of this year, Xiaomi Auto delivery centers will cover 40 cities.”

According to Lei, Xiaomi Auto will showcase all the color series of Xiaomi SU7 at the 2024 Beijing Auto Show, and will announce the latest channel layout of Xiaomi Auto there.

Responding to “Dress imitation of Jobs and Musk”

During the stream, Lei responded to online comments suggesting that his outfit during Xiaomi’s launch event was imitating Musk. “A while ago, everyone said I was imitating Musk’s dress style. I was quite frustrated because there are only so many colors for men’s suits, and it’s easy to wear the same thing. If I were to imitate Musk, I could actually look more like him,” Lei said.

Lei said, “Elon Musk is a very remarkable entrepreneur, and Tesla is a great company that marks an epoch in the history of the automobile industry. So, please don’t compare me with Musk. I think what we are doing is not exactly the same, and it’s not a good comparison.”

Lei stated that Xiaomi cannot be viewed as just a car manufacturer, its strategy is an all-encompassing ecosystem, which includes cars, phones, and various digital products. Although the essence of Xiaomi is that of a technology company, with technological innovation being key, “There is one thing that is the same, and that is that we, like Musk, have helped to popularize technology and promote societal progress,” Lei said.

Interestingly, when Lei was launching the Xiaomi phones, his outfit for the on-stage presentations was also speculated to imitate Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. As a result, he got the nickname “Lei Jobs”. On this, Lei Jun responded live by saying it was an “unjust accusation.” “At that time, I didn’t think about changing my clothes for the press conference. I just wore the normal clothes of an engineer. If I wanted to imitate Jobs, I could’ve done a much better ‘cosplay,'” Lei said.

As for whether Lei Jun would continue making phones, he responded, “Phones are the foundation for Xiaomi, and although a large portion of my energy is currently spent on car manufacturing, I still devote a third of my energy to our phone business.”

However, he stated that he would, in principle, no longer appear at Xiaomi phone launch events but would make stage appearances if necessary. “I will mainly dedicate more of my energy to product research and development,” Lei said, adding that Xiaomi’s goal for the next decade is to become the world’s leading hard technology innovator.

Lei Jun also repeatedly emphasized during the livestream that Xiaomi Auto is the last entrepreneurial venture of his life, and his goal is to do everything he can to ensure the success of Xiaomi Auto. “Manufacturing a car is really tough and it can take up to three years to produce one car.” Lei admitted, “Previously I was an investor, but after actually starting manufacturing, I realized that it’s much more difficult and tiring than I imagined.”

About users’ curiosity to know about Xiaomi Auto’s product type planning, Lei repeatedly responded with “it’s a secret”. But he made it clear that Xiaomi Auto will not make off-road vehicles for the time being. “Currently, we are mainly focusing on doing a good job with Xiaomi SU7. You can only really do a good job with the product if you concentrate on it. If you try to do everything, you may not do well,” he believes.

Auto industry heavyweights taking turns live streaming

Reporters from Daily Economic News found that before Lei Jun officially began his live stream by driving the Xiaomi SU7 into the venue, there were already over 100,000 viewers in the live stream room and more than 3.37 million likes. At the end of the live stream, the cumulative number of likes reached up to 190 million, pushing the exposure of Lei Jun and Xiaomi Auto to unprecedented heights.

Indeed, entering 2024, the “involution” of the car market has begun to roll popularity. After NIO Chairman Bin Li’s first live stream, other automotive industry veterans like Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group, Wei Jianjun, Chairman of Great Wall Motors, and Yin Tongyue, Chairman of Chery Holding Group, have all followed suit, stepping from behind the scenes into the live stream rooms.

Through the various live streams by these industry leaders, it’s clear that live streaming is more than just a contemporary trend. It’s a new norm that automotive industry players have adopted to connect with and engage their audiences. This shift signifies a breaking down of barriers and a welcoming of transparency, taking customer engagement to new heights in the automotive world.

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