If you thought a semi-autonomous electric car from Apple is a wild idea, prepare to be shocked as another tech giant is reportedly working on a vehicle or, more precisely, a family of vehicles. Today Reuters reports that Huawei is close to entering the automotive business with first production models coming by the end of the year.
The publication says four sources with “direct knowledge of the matter” shared preliminary information about Huawei's plans to dive into the auto industry. The company is reportedly in talks with at least two Chinese automakers to manufacture its electric vehicles.
One of the companies is the state-owned Changan Automobile, which currently runs a joint venture with Ford for the local production of the Mustang Mach-EV electric crossover. Reuters reports Huawei also had talks with Beijing-backed BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology. Nothing specific about the company’s actual production plans can be said at the moment though.
Despite the report, a spokesman for Huawei denied the information in a statement to Reuters. “Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However, through ICT (information and communications technology), we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build better vehicles.”
Three of Reuters’ sources claim the project should be launched before the end of 2021 with internally designed electric vehicles. Word on the street is the products will target the mass-market segment and will take form of affordable battery-powered cars.
“The novel and complicated US restrictions on semiconductors to Huawei have slowly been strangling the company. So it makes sense that the company is pivoting to less chip-intensive industries in order to maintain operations,” Dan Wang, a technology analyst with research firm Gavekal Dragonomics, commented to Reuters.