SAIC Motor and Alibaba partner together to launch a new brand

MG Motor manufacturer, which already has experience in electromobility with models such as the MG ZS EV and the MG HS hybrid, is developing a high-end electric car scheduled to debut at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show.


January 2021.- Simultaneously premiering in Shanghai, London, and the CES technology exhibition in Las Vegas, SAIC Motor presented its new brand of electric vehicles, which also involves Alibaba Group, the Chinese giant specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology.


Entitled IM Motors, Intelligence in Motion, the new brand is intended to be a natural reflection on the evolution of intelligent vehicles focusing on the collaboration and integration of both human developments and artificial intelligence. For example, the logo uses binary code to wink at the possibilities of this type of language. IM Motors’ proposal is defined under the phrase “IM what I am”, which emphasizes the identities and self-expression of each customer.


For this project, an investment of close to US$1.52 million was made in partnership with Alibaba and other partners to capitalize on SAIC Motor’s experience in electromobility and connected cars, through brands such as MG Motor.


An example of this is the successful MG ZS EV, the 100% electric SUV awarded with five stars in the EuroNCAP, which has had a great arrival in the European, Asian, Oceania, and Latin American markets due to its technical characteristics and a more affordable price compared to the rest of the segment.


In line with its commitment to environmentally friendly vehicles, MG Motor also launched a hybrid version of the MG HS SUV, which has a battery in the vehicle floor under the rear seats, with a capacity of 16,6 kWh, allowing it to travel 52 kilometers (WLTP cycle) without emitting polluting gases.


State-of-the-art development


SAIC Motor’s new project offers a broad spectrum of advanced technologies that level the transition between driver assistance and a fully autonomous vehicle. Featuring an intelligent operating system, called IMOS, it can switch between multiple interactive contents to provide the driver with a more intuitive driving experience.


With a user-focused technology architecture, the vehicles feature (among others) three intelligent wide-angle cameras, which achieve a total of 150 million pixels and support 4K images, 180º shooting without distortion, 480-frame slow motion, night mode, and the ability to instantly share information with the 5G era in mind.


The first production vehicles came equipped with 15 high-definition cameras, 5-millimeter wave radars, and 12 ultrasonic radars. These sensors are needed for intelligent navigation on urban routes, high-speed navigation, and parking assistance, to name a few, to help accelerate the implementation of a door-to-door autopilot.


Considering the “range anxiety” of electric vehicles, the car comes equipped with a 93-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a 115-kWh variant, which, according to the brand’s tests, can achieve a range of over 800 kilometers. Additionally, 11-kW remote charging is implemented eliminating the need for plug-in charging, which helps to extend the vehicle’s range.


Together with state-of-the-art technology, the project also considers the spirit of the vehicles, which is the reason IM Motor teamed up with the studio of acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwick (designer of works such as The Vessel in New York) to design the vehicle and the charging station so that the user has an immersive experience.


As announced by the manufacturer, the first production unit (a sedan) might be seen at the next Shanghai Motor Show where they will be giving more details of the vehicles and their user experience. By 2022, the production of an SUV under the same brand is expected.


In an era of rapidly changing consumer demand, someone commented at SAIC Motor, the manufacturer is looking to leverage its competitive advantage thanks to the groundwork laid by its brands and company vehicles, as well as electric, internet-enabled, and autonomous vehicles, such as the Marvel X.