Li Auto Sees Resignation from Multiple Departments and Lower Sales Expectations of First Pure EV
As the first electric vehicle maker with a monthly sales volume of over 20,000 units last year, Li Auto did not give enough rewards to its employees because of this achievement, but greatly reduced their year-end awards. Affected by this, employees in many departments have left their jobs after the Spring Festival holiday.
Jiemian News reported on February 3 that the year-end awards of all employees of Li Auto in 2022 were not as good as before. They only took home an extra half of their monthly salary as a year-end bonus, and only a few of them received an entire month’s salary. In the past, employees would receive year-end awards equal to their salaries of 2 months to 4 months.
In 2022, a total of 133,200 vehicles were delivered by Li Auto, only 78.38% of the sales target of 170,000 vehicles. On the one hand, most Chinese automobile companies faced supply chain challenges last year. On the other hand, Li Auto switched its main sales model from the Li ONE to L8 much too quickly in the third quarter of last year, which provoked complaints and questions by consumers, resulting in a short-term decline in sales.
An employee of Li Auto said that Li Auto performed better than NIO and XPeng, and the sales of the L9 and L8 both exceeded 10,000 units, but the actual situation and expectations were very different. In contrast, XPeng‘s year-end rewards were still issued as per usual while those of NIO will be issued in April this year.
The halving of the year-end award may be the direct reason why some Li Auto employees chose to change jobs. One Li Auto employee said that in the first working week after the Spring Festival holiday, employees in many departments such as automatic driving, intelligent console, chassis and procurement, left their jobs.
Moreover, some posts, such as chip engineer and algorithm engineer, are difficult to attract talents. Although Li Auto‘s salary level is comparable to that of its rivals, its strict rules and regulations have discouraged many job seekers.
According to insiders, Li Auto has a strict punch-in system, a fixed daily and weekly report, and overtime work is common. Li Auto‘s performance appraisal system means that 20% of employees will be rated as “unqualified” every quarter, which will directly affect the year-end award or the salary increase and promotion in the coming year.
With the improvement of the economic situation in China, practitioners in the new energy vehicle industry began to seek better opportunities. According to the latest report released by Zhaopin.com, one of the top job recruitment sites in China, the number of job seekers increased by 19.1% year-on-year in the first week after Spring Festival, and the number of jobs in new energy, electrical, and power industry increased by 21.6% year-on-year.
The net loss of Li Auto expanded from 641 million yuan in the second quarter to 1.646 billion yuan in the third quarter of last year. The gross profit margin of vehicles was 12% in Q3 last year, which was significantly lower than 21.1% in the same period of 2021.
This year, Li Auto will face more challenges in the extended-range vehicle field, and its first pure electric model will undergo a market test. A pure electric MPV is one of the key models for Li Auto this year. At first, the planned sales volume of this model could reach over 10,000 units per month, but at the end of last year, the planned delivery volume was cut to 5,000 units, which was influenced by products such as Denza’s D9 and Zeekr 009.
In terms of the critical energy supplement network, Li Auto‘s layout is slow. Firm founder Li Xiang has previously revealed that the experimental pure electric vehicle could be charged for 10 minutes to give the vehicle enough juice for another 400 kilometers. However, in order to realize ultra-fast charging, it is necessary to carry an 800V high-voltage platform and 4C rechargeable battery, and the charging station needs to adopt 480V high-power charging capability. At present, the charging of Li Auto‘s products depends on third-party charging platforms, and it is planned to build over 3,000 super/fast charging stations by 2025.