U.S.-listed shares in Baidu (NYSE: BIDU; HKEX 9888) and Geely Automobile (OTC: GELYF; HKEX: 00175) were both sent higher after a report noted that their joint venture (Jidu Auto), will unveil their first car in 2022.
Xia Yiping, who co-founded Mobike and serves as the chief executive officer of the JV, said during a media appearance Tuesday that the new vehicle will launch at the 17th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition in April 2022, according to a report from Yicai Global today.
The car, which will be priced at 200,000 yuan ($31,340), will leverage Baidu's autonomous driving platform Apollo, and Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture.
According to Yiping, Jidu does not plan on constructing a manufacturing plant. Rather, Yiping said Jidu will develop sales channels while hoping to cut costs and encourage suppliers to work on the electric vehicle project.
On the news today, U.S. stocks of Baidu and Geely were both sent 2% higher intraday.
The report today follows Yiping’s comments in late April, who told Reuters it plans on pouring 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) into smart vehicle production. He said, following the launch of the first model, Jidu intends on debuting a new one every 12 months or a year and a half. In the next two or three years, Jidu plans on hiring between 2,500 to 3,000 individuals. That will include up to 500 software engineers.
The EV partnership between Geely and Baidu was first announced in January. Under the deal, Baidu will provide the technology or the software that powers the EV, while Geely will contribute to designing and manufacturing the car. The ownership structure is currently set up with Baidu holding a 55% stake in the JV, while Geely owns the rest.
Since Baidu launched Apollo in 2017, it has garnered 6.2 million miles of L4 autonomous driving testing. According to Baidu, more than 10 leading automakers have implemented Apollo Self Driving.
Yiping also said today that Jidu is planning a new funding round in either the third or fourth quarter.