Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng‘s Guangzhou factory obtained a production qualification in January, and is expected to be open to users and partners in early March. Currently, only the G9 is produced there, local media outlet Jiemian News reported on February 10.
On September 28, 2020, the construction of the factory started and was originally planned to be completed and put into production by the end of 2022. It has five process workshops for stamping, welding, painting, final assembly and packing, which are used for its new model research and development, vehicle production and sales. In that year, XPeng also reached an agreement with a company that is wholly controlled by Guangzhou Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone. The startup provided 4 billion yuan ($585 million) in financing to support XPeng in accelerating its business expansion.
XPeng currently sells four models: G3, P5, P7 and G9. Originally, the G3 was manufactured by Haima Automobile’s factory, but after the agreement expired, it was transferred to XPeng‘s Zhaoqing factory. The P5 and P7 were also produced in Zhaoqing. The G9, which adopts a brand-new platform, is produced on the Guangzhou base that was originally designed to have an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles. In addition, XPeng plans to build a new factory in Wuhan, Hubei Province.
Since 2017, regulatory departments in China have tightened the application and examination of new energy vehicle production qualifications. EV makers often choose original equipment manufacturers or acquire enterprises and factories that are on the verge of bankruptcy but have production qualifications. XPeng rival Li Auto‘s newly-built green intelligent manufacturing factory with an annual output of 100,000 pure electric passenger cars is expected to receive its production qualification in April, and the first pure electric SUV will be rolled off the production line in July. Mass production will start in September.
On February 8, an automobile blogger revealed that Wang Fengying, the former president of Great Wall Motor who had just joined XPeng, had set the goal of “selling millions of vehicles in three years and reaching 100 billion dollars in market value in five years”. As a reference, in 2021 and 2022, XPeng delivered 98,155 and 120,757 vehicles respectively.
In view of XPeng, Wang Fengying once pointed out two hidden dangers. First, there is a lack of clear backbone categories, which makes it difficult to establish a clear brand image in consumers’ minds. Secondly, there are no differences between an intelligent vehicle made by XPeng and one made by a rival.