Seres acquires the Aito name from Huawei, gaining control in a surprise deal

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Seres late yesterday announced it was spending 2.5 billion yuan (344 million USD) to buy the Aito trademark and patents from Huawei. Aito to date has been the most successful of Huawei’s various collaborations with automakers which are done on the basis of three different business models.

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The most basic of the three models is where Huawei simply provides parts such as Lidar, electric motors, etc. Then there is Huawei Inside where Huawei provides an intelligent cockpit and intelligent driving solution but is not involved in the design, production or sales of vehicles. Aito though is part of the most involved HIMA (Harmony Intelligent Mobility Alliance) level where Huawei is also involved with other elements including the design, production, sales, after-sales and other stages of the vehicle but stops short of actually producing the car.

Aito was the first brand under the HIMA model, and was established in 2021. The deal announced yesterday covers 919 registered or pending trademark rights and 44 appearance patents held by Huawei.

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Despite these assets being valued at 10.2 billion yuan in May 2024 the deal seems to simply concentrate on the changing ownership of them and not any change in the operations of Aito. It should also be noted that Huawei in May transferred the Stelato trademark to BAIC New Energy and last month the Luxeed name to Chery.

Aito however has been by far the most successful of the brands under HIMA and in June delivered 46,141 vehicles. Strangely in June the more expensive the model was the better the sales for Aito with the M9 selling 17,241, the M7 18,493 units but just 7,046 for the M5, the smallest and cheapest model.

Both Seres and Huawei have emphasized that it is business as normal and that there is no fundamental change in the operations of the brand. Huawei has been at pains since the establishment of HIMA to communicate that it does not make cars. There is some speculation that this is partly due to a desire to take these brands into international markets.

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Source: Fast Technology

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