Huawei-Backed Vehicle Brand AITO Rapidly Expanding Sales Channels

AITO, a high-end smart car brand jointly operated by Huawei and SERES, a subsidiary of Chongqing Sokon Industry Group, is reportedly expanding its sales channels. Its authorized user centers in Yibin, Xuchang, Zunyi, Guilin and other cities in China have issued relevant bidding announcements involving the construction of exhibition halls and workshops, domestic media outlet Cailian Press reported on Wednesday.

“Our user centers have now covered 140 cities,” a SERES insider said in the report, also mentioning that although some sales channels are still under renovation and waiting for business, about 180 authorized AITO user centers have opened, and the brand is preparing for more user centers in some other cities.

According to AITO’s official website, the sales channels of M5, a medium-sized SUV model, include the Huawei Intelligent Life Hall, Huawei Authorized Experience Store, AITO User Center and AITO Authorized User Center. Specifically, the first two are channels for product displays, and delivery is mainly carried out through the user centers. According to the firm’s plan, AITO will open 1,000 experience stores and about 300 user centers this year alone.

“An experience store can be regarded as Huawei’s selected retail store, that is, using Huawei’s existing offline channels. Most of the user centers undertake delivery and after-sales business, which are upgraded from the original SERES sales channels. The majority of the recent tenders are the latter,” said an AITO sales channels insider, adding that AITO has adopted a new retail mode of online orders and offline experience and delivery, and Huawei is fully responsible for the sales channels.

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In December last year, SERES released the AITO brand, along with the first medium-sized SUV model equipped with a Huawei Harmony OS smart cockpit. Subsequently, at Huawei’s flagship new product launch conference held last winter, AITO officially launched its smart luxury SUV, the AITO M5.

At this press conference, Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group, said that the target sales volume of the AITO M5 is 300,000 units in a year. However, in April this year, he admitted that it was unrealistic for the model to achieve the annual sales target due to factors such as the ongoing global chip shortage.

According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, in April, the sales volume of the AITO M5 was 3,245 units, an increase of 6.57% from 3,045 units in March. From January to April, the cumulative sales volume of AITO M5 was 8,166 vehicles.