Beijing (PingWest)- Jidu Auto, an electric vehicle venture between China’s tech giant Baidu and Chinese automaker Geely, aims to invest CNY50 billion into manufacturing smart cars over the next five years, Xia Yiping, the chief executive of the firm said in a press conference on Friday.
Xia Yiping said the firm plans to hire 2000 to 3000 employee including 400 to 500 software engineers within the next two to three years,
Xia is quite confident about the firm’s expansion and development in the future.
“We plan to release a new model every one or one and a half year after its first model release.”
Jidu Auto is 55% owned by Baidu and 45% owned by Geely.
According to Xia, Shanghai and Beijing based Jidu will manufacture its smart cars in Hangzhou Bay in China’s eastern city of Ningbo where Geely has several factory.
Jidu Auto’s came after the partnership between Baidu and Geely signed in January, when two parties committed to set up a new company to manufacture electric vehicles, and the new EV company will count on Baidu’s intelligent driving system Apollo and Geely’s car manufacturing expertise and EV modular platform-Sustainable Experience Architecture.
Apart from Baidu, Chinese tech companies are racing in the battle to develop smart cars amid policy supports and a surge in electric vehicle sales over the past a few years.
Xiaomi is planning to make its own electric vehicle with the rumor planning to build cars in Great Wall Motor factory.
Most recently, Huawei Technologies Corporation has started to sell smart cars in its flagship stores across China.
Seres SF5, an extended range electric vehicle jointly launched by Huawei and carmaker Seres, is the first smart car to be marketed and to be sold by Huawei in its stores.