Chinese tech giant, Huawei has started selling its branded Chinese-made cars to offset the drastic decline in its global handset business due to US sanctions.
In the smartphone shipments report for the first quarter of this year, Huawei, which has always been in the top five smartphones in terms of volumes, has dropped out of the leading handing and has been included in the “other” category.
This is because US sanctions has denied the company of several technologies needed to make handsets.
It is therefore turning to its own locally-made cars to bridge the expected revenue gap from the drop in smartphone sale.
The cars, equipped with Huawei’s powertrain system and in-car infotainment solution, went on sale Wednesday.
Reports says Huawei put three electric vehicles, fitted with its electric drive and car connectivity system, Hicar, on display at its store in Shanghai, China.
This was during a press event on plans to begin selling cars in its home country via its retail network.
The extended-range electric car, manufactured by Chinese carmaker Chongqing Sokon Industrial Group, is called Seres SF5.
The SUV is priced at about $33,365 and up, and is scheduled for delivery beginning in May.
It is touted as the first car model available for test drives and purchase via Huawei’s online shop and 12 domestic flagship stores.
Chinese media quoted Huawei’s CEO of Consumer Business as saying that the car has a driving range of 180 kilometers (112 miles) in all-electric mode and more than 1,000 kilometers powered by a gas engine.
Yu told Chinese media in Shanghai that he expected the company’s expansion into smart and electric vehicles would make up for the losses in its mobile business, acknowledging that its core business “has faced significant difficulties” under US sanctions.