China’s Xpeng Saw EV Sales Soar in Q4, But Then Came Tesla’s Model Y Price Cut

Xpeng Motors and other China-based electric automakers are keeping up with Tesla and seeing impressive sales numbers, as the electric vehicle (EV) market just begins taking off.

As reported by South China Morning Post, sales of Xpeng’s G7 SUV, a direct competitor to the Tesla Model Y, soared by 345% between October and December of last year, before Tesla cut the price of its Model Y by 30% in January 2021. Xpeng is one of a handful of EV startups in mainland China, and with its better-than-expected earnings, is considered a formidable EV automaker in the country.

Despite its sales success, Xpeng still reported a net loss of 787.4 million yuan ($120,641,491 USD) in 2020, though it’s still an improvement from the 997.1 million yuan ($152,770,676 USD) it reported a loss on in 2019.

“Autonomous or even unmanned driving will be the core reason for consumers to buy a smart car,” said He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of Xpeng on an earnings call on Monday.

Xpeng said it would launch its third EV to support Xpilot 3.0 in the latter half of 2021, with delivery coming in Q4. A fourth EV is coming in 2022 that will also support Xpilot 3.0, said the company.

“We will strive to diversify our product portfolio to address additional consumer needs and expand our market share,” said He.

It’s worth noting Xpeng has been accused of stealing code from Tesla, an older version of the latter’s Autopilot, a move acknowledged by Elon Musk. Xpeng’s Navigation Guided Pilot beta was released in January and many have said it looks eerily similar to Tesla’s Autopilot.

Earlier this month, Xpeng released a cheaper LFP battery option for its P7 sedan.