Huawei-backed premium EV brand Aito cuts prices, following Tesla’s discounts, heating up competition in world’s largest car market
- Aito has cut prices on three of its M5 and M7 premium electric vehicle models by as much as US$4,444
- The heavy price adjustments made by Aito after Tesla’s discounts reflect the drop in demand for premium battery-powered vehicles in China
Aito, which was jointly launched in December 2021 by Huawei and EV maker Seres, cut prices by as much as 30,000 yuan (US$4,444) on three of its M5 and M7 models, which now cost from 289,800 yuan to 309,800 yuan, according to an announcement on Friday. The entry-level M5 model was marked down by 28,800 yuan to 259,800 yuan.
The basic M5 model’s 259,800-yuan price tag costs 100 yuan less than what Tesla’s Model Y Long Range electric sport utility vehicle currently sells for.
The heavy price adjustments made by Aito after Tesla’s discounts reflect the drop in demand for premium battery-powered vehicles in China, as lay-offs in the country’s technology industry, manufacturing disruptions and the pandemic-ravaged economy push budget-conscious consumers to opt for cheaper EV models.
Aito, which started deliveries last March, faces stiff competition in China’s crowded EV market. Beijing’s push to widen adoption of EVs nationwide has attracted more than 200 companies, which have collectively invested tens of billions of dollars in developing, designing and assembling EVs in the world’s second-largest economy.
Aito launched two models last year, which Huawei helped to sell through its network of bricks-and-mortar stores across China. Partner carmaker Seres, which is based in Santa Clara, California, is a subsidiary of Shanghai-listed Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Co.