XIAOMI PARTNER WITH F1 TEAM ON NEW SCOOTER
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
That they were teaming up with a Formula 1 racing team on a special edition of their Pro scooter was the most eye-catching announcement when Xiaomi (officially) launched their new range of e-scooters. Apart from the pithy name of the Xiaomi Mercedes-AMG Petronas Pro 2 scooter, there was no other detail and just some general platitudes about bringing "the experience of Mercedes F1 to our fans". The hope was that this scooter would be something special - F1 cars hit 375 km/h (15 times faster than an e-scooter).
I made inquiries about being able to sell them and waited with anticipation for more news. Well, the wait is over as Xiaomi have now revealed there Mercedes Pro 2 scooter is nothing more than an ordinary Pro 2 with a paint job. As such, it is perhaps one of the most cynical marketing gimmicks in the long history of cynical marketing gimmicks. The blurb reads, "Combining design elements from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team with Xiaomi's world leading scooter engineering, we turned your dream into reality".
The Xiaomi Mercedes Pro 2
Let's just be clear: those "design elements" amount to nothing more than aesthetics; or, more precisely, paint (and a matching reflector). I suppose it's worth reminding ourselves why Xiaomi teamed up with Mercedes on an electric scooter in the first place. For Xiaomi, a brand that most Westerners do not even know how to pronounce, joining forces with a famous and prestigious brand like Mercedes helps give them more credence in Europe. For Mercedes, well, they make money from sharing their brand name.
In my original post I cast doubt on whether there could be any transference of technical knowledge either way as I would expect both Mercedes and Xiaomi to be very protective over their battery research, and I have been proved right. It's hard being right all the time. I leave you with the last paragraph from my original post:
Hopefully, the special edition Xiaomi Mercedes-AMG Petronas Pro 2 will be something beyond just a Pro 2 with Mercedes branding but I think we can call this a "commercial arrangement" at heart. I can just hear the Xiaomi executives hinting that Lewis Hamilton should perhaps do some course recces on the new e-scooter, and I expect he will (after all, the team do pay his wages).