Chinese financial news site Yicai reported on Tuesday that an R&D employee from an assembly plant said he recently received recruitment offers from ride-hailing firm Didi to join its vehicle manufacturing team. “The salary is about 500,000 to 800,000 yuan ($78,510-$125,614). If the interview result is good, there will be higher salary and even options,” the individual said.
According to the job description provided by the headhunter, the individual was suitable for the position of senior R&D manager, working in Beijing or Shenzhen. Therefore, the source believes the firm has started to establish its own independent R&D system, which will deploy teams in these two cities.
Didi has entered the field of autonomous driving. In April, 2021, the company released its self-driving hardware platform – Didi Gemini – at Auto Shanghai (the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition). After being mounted on Volvo XC90 redundant models, the platform can realize multi-layer redundancy in four aspects: core high-performance sensors, vehicle-mounted autonomous driving system, remote assistance system and the strong compatibility of factory-installed mass production models. The platform had become the main configuration of Didi’s new generation autonomous driving fleet.
Many sources have reported that Didi ultimately intends to build its own cars. At the end of 2020, the company released the D1 model in cooperation with BYD, which is mainly launched for the online car-hailing market. The model was produced and manufactured by BYD. As for this model, Didi mainly drives demand, while BYD provides technology and production capacity.
In addition, in the process of cooperation, BYD and Didi jointly invested capital to establish a joint venture company, namely Meihao Chuxing (Hangzhou) Automotive Technology Co., Ltd. The new company is mainly engaged in the design and R&D of online car-hailing vehicles. In terms of equity, BYD accounted for 65% while Didi accounted for 35%.
Recently, the company was once again rumored to acquire Zedriv and independently carry out R&D, manufacturing and production of the vehicles entering the mass consumer market. Cyber Car previously reported that the company will officially announce a comprehensive car-building plan, code-named “Da Vinci,” in June. The company will strive to deliver in June 2023. At present, the company’s car-building team is about 1,700 people. Its model for the online car-hailing market is D1 Light, which is still produced in cooperation with BYD. It is a lightweight version of the current D1 model.
Zedriv was established in 2017 with its first mass-produced SUV model GX5, which began delivery in August 2019. Then the company launched the GC1 and GC2 models. According to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), the cumulative sales volume of the firm in 2021 was 1,840 vehicles.