Li Auto surpasses 700,000 cumulative sales

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Li Auto has become the first new energy car startup in China to surpass cumulative sales of 700,000. During March Li Auto delivered 28,984 cars a year-on year increase of 39.2%. This took the cumulative total to 713,764 since sales began in 2019. The company however wants to sell 800,000 cars this year alone.  

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Li Auto was founded in 2015 by Li Xiang, which is also the Chinese name of the company, and until recently only sold extended range EV cars. For a long time it has been a poster child of the Chinese new energy vehicle market together with fellow startups Nio and XPeng. All three companies have listings on US stock exchanges. So far the bet on EREV cars has paid off well for Li Auto and very quickly the company began outselling Nio and XPeng.

In China sales in the first quarter usually take a dip from the end of the previous year, this is partly due to Chinese New Year falling in January or February. Back at the end of last year Li Auto managed 50,353 sales in December. Nonetheless sales in the first quarter of this year are up 52.9% with a total of 80,400 vehicles.

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Li Auto is targeting sales of 800,000 cars this year and aims to challenge 100,000 deliveries a month. Such a figure would be quite an achievement given that Li Auto sales were 376,030 last year but it should be noted that this itself was nearly three times the year before when sales were 133,246.

To achieve the 800,000 target Li Auto is going to need to not only increase sales of existing models but also introduce new ones. Key products for this year are the Li Mega, the brand’s first all-electric car, and the forthcoming five seater L6 SUV.

Deliveries of the Li Mega began last month and have so far not quite reached the level Li Auto was anticipating. While there are no full month figures available it is known that the Mega managed to sell 2,089 in fourteen days with 1,058 in the third week of the month and 1,031 in the fourth week. This has made it the best selling all electric MPV despite costing 559,800 yuan (77,400 USD).

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The Li L6 will launch later this month and is the newest addition to the very successful L series of extended range electric SUVs. Currently Li Auto’s best seller is the smallest and cheapest of the series the L7. With the L6 being smaller still and anticipated to be priced at below 300,000 yuan (41,500 USD) this should also become a big seller for the brand.

Will Li Auto achieve 800,000 sales this year and in doing so more than double its cumulative sales? Although the sales of this quarter only amount to just over a tenth of the target achieving the level should not be discounted. Car sales in China are usually skewed to the second half of the year with as mentioned the first quarter being quiet due to Chinese New Year. That the start of this year has already shown sales well up on this time last year means that we can be fairly confident that Li will surpass last year’s sales by a comfortable margin especially given the new models and 2024 versions of existing ones. More likely, though, we will see sales in the 500-700,000 region this year rather than 800,000.

Sources: Li Auto, Yiche

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