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Dongfeng to Launch Tesla Model Y Competitor with Huawei's Assisted Driving Technology

Dongfeng's planned electric SUV under the Voyah brand, which includes Huawei's assisted driving technology, directly competes with Tesla's Model Y. Dongfeng intends to make a huge impression on China's premium EV market by focusing on young families and incorporating innovative features. Dongfeng Motor plans to produce a global vehicle under its Voyah brand, competing directly with Tesla's vehicle Y.

Dongfeng’s Voyah
Credit: Dongfeng/Voyah

The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) will be entirely electric and is scheduled to hit the market as early as the third quarter of this year.

What distinguishes it is the application of Huawei's vision-based approach to automated driving features on city streets. The future SUV will be constructed at a joint plant with Nissan, as both businesses compete fiercely in the electric vehicle industry. Nissan, Dongfeng's manufacturing partner, believes the new model will appeal to young families and accelerate sales in China's already congested mainstream luxury EV category.

The SUV, Zhiyin (知音), will only be offered in fully electric models. This is consistent with a recent regulatory filing, which disclosed that the car will have six variations, with battery options using two types of cathodes: nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) for increased energy density and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) for cost-effectiveness.

The five-seater SUV is 4.7 metres in length, 1.6 metres in height, and has a wheelbase of 2.9 metres. This places it in the same size class as the Tesla vehicle Y, but smaller than Voyah's initial vehicle, the Free SUV.

The all-wheel drive version will include two electric motors with a total power output of 160 kW. Other variations will have electric motors with power levels of 215 kW or 230 kW. Notably, all models will lack lidar components, instead relying on a "pure vision" solution that employs cameras and artificial intelligence for automated driving.

HarmonyOS, Huawei's intelligent driving software and operating system, will be integrated into Voyah's global model. This agreement was revealed in April during the Beijing Auto Show, emphasising the company's commitment to developing smart EVs.

Dongfeng will build the new SUV at its joint plant with Nissan in Wuhan, China. The factory, which debuted last year, has an annual production capacity of 300,000 units. Nissan has been building electric vehicles, including the Ariya, at this site.

However, sales of its second EV-only model in China have been very modest, with fewer than 2,000 units sold in the previous six months. Context: Nissan's joint venture with Dongfeng had a 21.5% drop in sales in China last year. In response, the companies stated their intention to sell vehicles from China by 2025. Furthermore, Dongfeng's Voyah brand has worked with Huawei to produce smart EVs, and the company has already delivered 24,869 EVs, including all-electrics and plug-in hybrids, between January and May.

  • Dongfeng's upcoming electric SUV from its Voyah brand, equipped with Huawei's assisted driving technology, poses a direct challenge to Tesla's Model Y.

  • With its focus on young families and the integration of advanced features, Dongfeng aims to make a significant impact in China's luxury EV market.

  • Dongfeng Motor to launch a global model from its Voyah brand, directly competing with Tesla's Model Y.


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