Beyond Smartphones: Tech giants dip their toes into the automotive pool

Gajanan Kashikar Published: January 10, 2024, 07:36 PM IST

The automotive landscape is witnessing a new breed of competitors, which are tech giants traditionally known for their expertise in making phones, various accessories, and other electronics. While not entirely unexplored territory, names such as Sony, Xiaomi, Huawei, and even the manufacturing giant Foxconn are have appeared alongside established carmakers at auto shows around the world and unveiling their own vehicle concepts. Here we shed some light on the vehicles made by the phone makers.


Sony took the world by surprise in 2020 with the Vision-S 01, an electric sedan prototype equipped with entertainment and safety technology. Not content with a one-off, the brand followed up in 2022 with the Vision-S 02, a seven-seater SUV concept, showing off autonomous driving and connectivity. The brand has also partnered with Honda Motor Company to produce EVs under Afeela brand. Following the partnership, the company revealed its first-ever electric vehicle prototype under Afeela last year at CES. This Afeela EV, equipped with level 3 autonomy, is expected to hit the US market by 2026.


The Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has partnered with an electric vehicle (EV) company NIO to develop autonomous driving technologies. Xiaomi recently unveiled the SU7, its first EV. The 'SU', is a short for Speed Ultra. It comes with a single motor setup, while there is also a dual-motor setup with an all-wheel-drive system, which is called SU7 Max. That said, the EV will make its debut in China this year.


Huawei is another Chinese firm moving deeper into the automotive business in partnership with Chery Autos. The company recent unveiling was the Luxeed S7 electric saloon, which uses an 800V platform, enabling a 15-minute charge is claimed to offer a driving range of 400km.

Huawei has partnered with not one but at least five different carmakers in China to introduce a range of electric vehicles equipped with its advanced autonomous technology. With these collaborations, the tech giant has launched the Aito M7 SUV and the Avatr 12 coupe, followed by the Luxeed S7.


The Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, famously known for manufacturing Apple iPhones and other electronics, has shown interest in electric vehicle manufacturing through partnerships and investments.

In 2022, Foxconn unveiled two electric vehicle concepts at its third annual Hon Hai Tech Day. The Model B is an electric crossover hatchback, while the Model V is an electric pickup. The manufacturing giant has even partnered with a Taiwanese carmaker Yulon Group to make the Model C, its electric SUV, which was showcased at its previous Tech Day event. Meanwhile, it already manufacturers electric vehicles for Lordstown and Fisker on their behalf.

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