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Li Auto’s L9 SUV is displayed during the 19th China (Changchun) International Automobile Expo in this file photo from July 2022. Photo: Xinhua

Li Auto expects L9 SUV to drive massive jump in fourth-quarter deliveries, reports 1.65 billion yuan net loss for July to September period

  • Li Auto posts net loss of 1.65 billion yuan (US$235.9 million), which was worse than a median forecast made by analysts polled by Bloomberg
  • Its revenue, however, beat analysts’ expectations
Chinese smart electric vehicle (EV) start-up Li Auto said it had resolved some supply-chain issues and expected a big jump in deliveries in the October to December quarter.

The Beijing-based carmaker made the forecast as it released its third-quarter earnings on Friday. Li Auto posted a net loss of 1.65 billion yuan (US$235.9 million), which was worse than a median forecast of 480 million yuan made by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Its revenue, however, stood at 9.34 billion yuan, beating the analysts’ expectations of 8.7 billion yuan.

Li Auto said it could deliver 45,000 to 48,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, an increase of between 69.7 and 81 per cent from the 26,524 deliveries it made in the previous three-month period.

“Our R&D [research and development] efforts will be directed more comprehensively across products, platforms and systems, with the long-term goal of growing into a world-class technology company,” Li Xiang, Li Auto’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue product and commercial success and foster a healthy long-term development model.”

Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng see EV sales bounce back in November after Covid troubles

The carmaker blamed its poor performance in the previous quarter on supply-chain issues that had disrupted production even as orders for its cars remained strong.

Li Auto’s 26,524 deliveries in the July to September quarter represented a decline of 7.5 per cent from the second quarter. This tally was its lowest quarterly figure since the fourth quarter of last year and also missed a company forecast of 27,000 to 29,000 deliveries.


Chinese smart-battery swap stations can change EV batteries automatically

Chinese smart-battery swap stations can change EV batteries automatically

The carmaker’s bullish estimate on Friday came amid an increased preference for its premium sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) among wealthy Chinese customers.

It started delivering its L9 full-size electric SUV in August and said monthly deliveries of the SUV had already exceeded 10,000 units. The L9 can go as far as 1,315 kilometres on a single charge, and is priced at 459,800 yuan. Li Auto aims to take on conventional luxury SUVs such as BMW’s X5 and Audi’s Q5 with the L9.

“The overall premium car segment in China is weak, with the economic downturn keeping consumers from buying vehicles priced above 300,000 yuan,” said Chen Jinzhu, CEO of Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service. “The bullish forecast for the fourth-quarter shows that Li Auto’s supply issues have been sorted out and it is now ramping up production to execute a backlog of orders.”


Chinese XPeng electric car can drive and park by itself

Chinese XPeng electric car can drive and park by itself
Li Auto, along with Shanghai-based Nio and Guangzhou-headquartered Xpeng, are viewed as China’s best response to US ­electric-car maker Tesla in the Chinese mainland, the world’s largest market for such vehicles.

All three Chinese smart EV builders suffered setbacks in the third quarter, as strained supply chains disrupted production amid the mainland’s stringent Covid-19 pandemic curbs. China’s cabinet published a 10-point guideline on Wednesday, pledging to relax pandemic curbs such as mass testing, health codes and centralised quarantine requirements for most cases.

Nio and Xpeng also reported net losses for the third quarter and their performances too fell short of market expectations.