Interior Motives Summer 2021: SAIC IM Airo

IM Airo by Heatherwick ext - F3Q L landscape

Heatherwick Studio, which designed the revamped London Routemaster Bus and the 2012 Olympic Cauldron, has created the SAIC Airo ‑ a living room on wheels that cleans the air as it moves

The biennial Shanghai auto show has routinely delivered Chinese car start-ups aplenty for as long as there’s been a show there, but IM – “Intelligent Motion” – was one of the more interesting brands to physically unveil at the 2021 event.

Firstly, that’s because although IM was only officially formed on Christmas Day 2020 and showed its first production electric sedan and SUV online in January 2021, the co-founders have serious clout. SAIC Motor has long-standing JVs with established Western car brands and owns British brand MG, while Alibaba is a bit like a Chinese Amazon but also ranked as the fifth-biggest global artificial intelligence company by Datamation – a skillset and size that could be very useful for future autonomous car development at scale.

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