Didi to Enter Automobile Manufacturing Business: Report

(Source: DiDi)

A range of Chinese media outlets reported on Tuesday that Didi Chuxing is expected to start its own automobile manufacturing business. One report from LatePost further revealed concrete details on plans to have the company’s Vice President Yang Jun lead the new venture while the team actively recruits from major domestic auto manufacturers.

It has also been reported that Didi will explore more options in self-driving businesses and is in the process of developing self-driving trucks.

Didi Chuxing has not issued any public statements regarding the matter.

Compared to Evergrande and Xiaomi, Didi holds several advantages in its attempt to enter the automobile manufacturing sector. The Chinese riding-sharing firm has previously revealed some interest in entering the automobile business in 2019. The company collaborated with Chinese auto manufacturer BYD and co-invested in the BYD D1. The vehicle is designed exclusively for Didi’s riding-sharing business. Didi also started a car service business in 2016, upgraded its product lines in 2019 and separated its car service business to establish the Xiaoju Car Service.

It remains unclear how the company plans to execute intentions to make its own cars. Didi has at its disposal a range of alternatives, such as collaborating with existing manufacturers like BYD or establishing new partnerships with other firms. Didi also revealed an ambitious goal of obtaining more than one million self-driving taxis by 2030.

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Didi may also utilize its car service and car rental networks, which could facilitate its manufacturing businesses. The company would be able to rent its own manufactured vehicles to potential employees, thereby lowering a crucial entrance barrier to becoming a Didi driver. Didi is also actively exploring options to transition into fully electric vehicles to lower its operational costs.

Bloomberg also reported earlier that Didi plans to raise as much as $500 million to expedite its self-driving vehicle developments and invest in artificial intelligence technologies.

Other reports have suggested that Didi is gearing up to launch its initial public offering sometime this year. The company currently is valued at approximately $62 billion.