New Chinese car brand Cowin Auto is looking to develop smart and connected passenger vehicles with smartphone maker Xiaomi and internet search giant Baidu, reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald.
Cowin, which is scheduled for its official debut at the Chengdu Auto Show in September, is a spin-off company of Chery Automobile, a state-owned carmaker based in the city of Wuhu in northern China’s Anhui province.
Chery owns 50% of Cowin, which was established last year when Chery founder and deputy managing director Lu Jianhui branched off with a team of 200 workers. The name Cowin was formerly a sub-brand under Chery that focused on making cheap vehicles for young drivers, but it is now developing new vehicles from scratch.
Sources close to Cowin said that the company is in talks to co-invest in a connected car research lab with Xiaomi, one of China’s biggest private smartphone developers, and Baidu, the search engine giant known as “the Google of China.” The goal is to produce an affordable car that appeals to the electronics- and smartphone-obsessed 20-32 age group.