September 24, 2022

Xpeng has announced its most expensive car to date. Pictured here at a store in Shanghai, China in July 2021 are Xpeng’s two previously released models, the P7 Wing Limited Edition in green and the G3 SUV in blue.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng has released its most expensive car to date, marking the company’s foray into the higher price range.

The automaker’s shares briefly fell more than 15% in Hong Kong trading on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, Xpeng announced that its latest car, the G9 SUV, will be priced from 309,900 yuan ($44,270) to 469,000 yuan. Deliveries should begin in China in October, the company said.

The price range makes Xpeng’s latest car generally cheaper than this fall’s new SUV offerings from Nio and Li Auto. Nio’s ES7 retails for 468,000 yuan to 548,000 yuan, while Li Auto’s Li 9 is listed at 459,800 yuan.

The G9 is also cheaper than Tesla’s Model Y, a mid-size SUV that starts at 316,900 yuan.

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

The company’s best-seller so far, the P7 sedan, costs between 239,900 yuan and 387,900 yuan depending on the range. The company’s other sedan, the P5, can be had for just 179,900 yuan.

Xpeng’s original SUV, which is now only available as an upgraded model called the G3i, is priced from 181,900 yuan to 201,900 yuan.

By comparison, in the sedan segment, the Nio retails for 328,000 yuan to 536,000 yuan. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at 279,900 yuan, after applicable subsidies.

BYD, the dominant local leader in China’s electric car market, sells in an even lower price range. The company’s popular Han sedan costs from 214,800 yuan, after subsidies, to 329,800 yuan.

Overall, BYD’s Qin, Han and Dolphin cars entered the top five best-selling new energy passenger cars in China in the first eight months of this year, according to the China Passenger Car Association. There were no SUVs on that list.

Tesla’s Model 3 ranked sixth, while Xpeng’s P7 was ranked 10th, the association’s data showed.

One of Xpeng’s selling points is its driver assistance software. This week, the company announced that it is rolling out the latest version of the software — which covers urban situations in addition to highways — to some users in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

In addition to the driver assistance software, the G9 features fast battery charging and what Xpeng calls an “immersive 5D experience” in the car 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 of bookings.

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

“We think the volume of the G9 next year will exceed what we achieved for the P7, making it one of our best-selling vehicles,” he said.

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