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SAIC, Alibaba-backed premium EV brand “IM” makes world’s debut

Monika From Gasgoo| January 13 , 2021 19:46 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- The premium auto brand “IM” (dubbed “Zhiji Motor” in Chinese) jointly developed by SAIC Motor, Alibaba and Shanghai’s Pudong New Area was formally launched on Jan. 13. Meanwhile, two concept models under “IM” were unveiled at the same time.

SAIC Motor Zhiji, SAIC Motor IM, China automotive news

IM-branded car; photo credit: SAIC Motor

“IM” stands for Intelligence in Motion, indicating the brand's focuses on AI and in-depth intelligence for automobiles, said SAIC Motor.

The newly-unveiled models include an all-electric B-segment car and an all-electric SUV. The car will be launched first with the presale starting at the Auto China 2021 in April. It measures 5,000mm long, 1,960mm wide and 1,485mm tall, a bit smaller than that of NIO’s ET7. The SUV is set to hit the market in 2022.

The IM-branded vehicles will vie with the products under Dongfeng Motor's VOYAH and BAIC BJEV's ARCFOX.

SAIC Motor said the entire car model series of the “IM” will come standard with a 93kWh battery pack and the top-spec will be powered by an 115kWh pack, which enables a range of up to 874km. The so-called “silicon-doped lithium supplement battery cell" technology jointly developed with CATL will be used in IM's vehicles for the first time.

SAIC Motor Zhiji, SAIC Motor IM, China automotive news

Photo credit: SAIC Motor

On Dec. 25, 2020, SAIC Motor announced the registration of Zhiji Motor Technology Co.,Ltd., a joint venture among SAIC Motor, Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Development Co.,Ltd. (Zhangjiang Hi-Tech) and Alibaba Group, only one month after “Zhiji” was unveiled.

The joint venture will build an innovative “ESOP (employee stock ownership plans) plus CSOP (client share ownership plans)” shareholding platform to encourage both core employees and users to be involved in the corporate development.

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