Xpeng, a Chinese electric car start-up, has released its most expensive car to date. This marks the company's foray into a higher price range. Automaker shares fell sharply in Hong Kong trading Thursday, with some shares briefly dropping by more than 15%.
On Wednesday night, Xpeng announced that its newest car, the G9 SUV, will be priced from 309,900 yuan to 469,000 yuan. The company said that deliveries are set to begin in China in October.
Xpeng's latest car is generally cheaper than new SUV offerings this fall from Nio and Li Auto. Nio's ES7 sells for 468,000 yuan to 548,000 yuan, while Li Auto's Li 9 lists a price of 459,800 yuan.
The G9 is also cheaper than Tesla's Model Y, a mid-sized SUV that starts at 316,900 yuan. The G9 is a great option for those looking for a cheaper alternative to the Model Y.
However, Xpeng's cars have been priced at a much lower range in the past. The P7 sedan, the company's best-seller so far, costs between 239,900 yuan and 387,900 yuan depending on driving range. The company's other sedan, the P5, can be bought for as low as 179,900 yuan. The original Xpeng SUV is no longer available, but an upgraded model called the G3i is available for 181,900 to 201,900 yuan.
Nio's sedans sell for 328,000 yuan to 536,000 yuan, while Tesla's Model 3 starts at 279,900 yuan after applicable subsidies.
BYD, the leading Chinese manufacturer of electric cars, offers models at very competitive prices. The company’s popular Han sedan starts at 214,800 yuan, after subsidies, and goes up to 329,800 yuan.
According to the China Passenger Car Association, BYD's Qin, Han and Dolphin cars were the top five best-selling new energy passenger cars in China for the first eight months of the year. This list did not include SUVs.
According to data from the association, Tesla’s Model 3 ranked sixth and Xpeng’s P7 ranked 10th.
Xpeng's assisted-driving software is one of the company's key selling points. This week, Xpeng announced that it is rolling out the latest version of the software to some users in Guangzhou, China. The new software covers urban driving situations in addition to highways.
The G9 features rapid battery charging and Xpeng's "5D experience" for watching movies and listening to music. The company claimed that after revealing the in-car experience in August, it received more than 20,000 pre-orders for the G9 in the first 24 hours.
"I'm confident that the G9 will be a very popular SUV in its class," Brian Gu, Xpeng president and honorary vice chairman, said in an interview with CNBC's Eunice Yoon this week.
According to the company's president, the volume of sales for the G9 model next year is expected to exceed that of the P7 model, making it one of the company's top sellers.
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