The partnership aims to produce its flagship EV model as early as this year under the new Ji Yue brand.
Geely-Baidu’s partnership progress
Baidu partnered with Geely in January 2021 as it aims to penetrate the EV manufacturing industry. They formally launched the Jidu brand in March of the same year after securing a startup capital of $300 million.
In addition, Baidu led a Series A funding in January 2022 for the Jidu brand. It successfully gained an additional $400 million in capital.
Jidu focused on autonomous driving technologies and human-machine interaction features. Its first vehicle concept was the ROBO-01. It boasts multiple AI-based elements and supports “human-car-environment” interaction.
However, the brand has not yet started the concept’s production. Now, the partnership looks to reorganize and introduce the renamed EV under the new brand.
Ji Yue to launch the Jidu ROBO-01 with a new name
The rebranded JV also plans to begin customer deliveries in Q4 2O23. Geely will produce the model and equip it with the SEA platform.
In addition, Ji Yue also announced that it will establish its charging network in the world’s largest automotive market.
The companies did not specify the reason behind rebranding their initial joint venture. CnEVPost suggests that Jidu Auto’s failure to deliver “any big moves in the past six months, including missing the Shanghai auto show,” may have prompted the business to restructure.
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Geely’s stake in the JV also increased to 65% from just 45%, per the recent changes. Meanwhile, Baidu’s share dropped from 55% to 35%.
Ji Yue expects to launch the Ji Yue 01 (former ROBO-01) as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.