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

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

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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

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

On Wednesday evening, Xpeng announced that its new car, the G9 SUV, will cost between 309,900 yuan ($44,270) and 469,000 yuan. Deliveries are expected to begin in China in October, the company said.

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

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

However, the prices of previous cars from Xpeng were much lower.

The company’s best-selling to date, the P7 sedan, costs between 239,900 yuan and 387,900 yuan depending on range. The company’s other sedan, the P5, can be had for as low as 179,900 yuan.

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

For comparison, in sedans, Nio sells 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, is selling at an even lower price range. The company’s popular Han sedan costs from 214,800 yuan, after subsidies, to 329,800 yuan.

In total, BYD’s Qin, Han and Dolphin cars were among the top five selling new-energy passenger cars in China in the first eight months of the year, according to the China Passenger Car Association. This list did not include SUVs.

Tesla’s Model 3 ranked sixth, while Xpeng’s P7 ranked 10th, according to association data.

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

As well as assisted driving software, the G9 offers 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 this in-car experience in August, it received more than 20,000 pre-orders for the G9 within the first 24 hours of booking.

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

“We believe 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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