Xpeng breaks out of a lower price range with its more expensive car G9

Xpeng Motors has announced its most expensive car to date. Pictured at a store in Shanghai, China, in July 2021 are two models previously released by Xpeng Motors, a green P7 Wing limited edition and a blue G3 SUV.

Shen Qilai | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng has released its most expensive vehicle yet, marking the company’s foray into a higher price range.

Shares of the automaker fell more than 15 percent in Hong Kong trading on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, Xpeng Motors announced that the price of its latest model, the G9 SUV, will range from 309,900 yuan ($44,270) to 469,000 yuan. Deliveries in China will begin in October, the company said.

The price range makes Xpeng’s latest cars generally cheaper than the new SUV offerings from NIO and Li Auto this fall. The Weilai ES7 is priced from 468,000 yuan to 548,000 yuan, while the Li 9 of Lili Auto is priced at 459,800 yuan.

The G9 is also cheaper than Tesla’s midsize SUV, the Model Y, which starts at 316,900 yuan.

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However, Xpeng’s previous cars were priced much lower.

The company’s best-selling P7 sedan to date is priced between 239,900 yuan and 387,900 yuan, depending on the range. The company’s other sedan, the P5, has a minimum price of 179,900 yuan.

The original Xpeng SUV is currently only listed as an upgraded version of the G3i, with prices ranging from 181,900 yuan to 201,900 yuan.

In contrast, among the sedan, Weilai is priced from 328,000 to 536,000 yuan. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at 279,900 yuan, after subsidies apply.

BYD, the main local leader in China’s electric vehicle market, sells it even lower. The company’s popular Han sedan sells for 214,800 yuan to 329,800 yuan after subsidies.

In the first eight months of this year, BYD’s Qin, Han and Dolphin vehicles were among the top five sales of new energy passenger vehicles in China, according to the China Passenger Vehicle Association. The list does not include SUVs.

According to the association data, Tesla’s Model 3 ranked sixth, while Xpeng’s P7 ranked tenth.

One of Xpeng’s selling points is its driver-assist software. This week, the company announced it would roll out the latest version of the software — which covers urban conditions beyond highways — to some users in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

In addition to the assisted driving software, the G9 also features fast battery charging and in-car movie watching and music listening that Xiaopeng calls an “immersive 5D experience.” The company claims that after revealing the in-car experience in August, it received more than 20,000 G9 pre-orders within the first 24 hours of booking.

“We are very confident that this G9 will become a very popular SUV in its class,” Brian Gu, president and vice-president emeritus of Xpeng, said in an interview with CNBC’s Eunice Yoon this week.

“We think next year the G9 will outsell what we’ve achieved for the P7, making it one of our best-selling models,” he said.

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