China's Li Auto aims to outsell BMW, Mercedes, Audi in its home market in 2024

China's Li Auto aims to outsell BMW, Mercedes, Audi in its home market in 2024

Reuters — 2023-08-09

Automotive Industry

Li Auto said it aimed to outsell BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in China in 2024 as the up and coming Chinese automaker accelerates rollouts of new models and ramps up production.

"We would strive to become the no.1 premium car brand in China in 2024 in terms of sales," Li Auto's CEO Li Xiang told investors on the night of August 8th, 2023, adding that the company could achieve a monthly delivery of 40,000 units in the fourth quarter after a production ramp-up.

Founded in 2015, Li Auto will launch its first pure battery-electric model MEGA at the end of this year and expects it to be the top-selling model among all cars priced above 500,000 yuan ($69,315) with all types of fuels in China, Li said.

The company will launch four new models next year including three EVs, he said.

A price war started by Tesla in 2023 January had pressured Chinese EV startups like Nio and Xpeng to face sales slumps and expanding losses in the first half.

But Li Auto managed to gain market share in the segment of cars priced above 300,000 yuan and grow profits this year with four extended-range hybrid vehicles targeting family users.

The company posted a positive net income for the third consecutive time in the second quarter, which saw an increase of 147% from the net income in the first quarter.

It delivered 173,251 cars in the first seven months of 2023, increasing 145% from the same period in 2022. The company targeted to deliver more than 100,000 vehicles in the third quarter.

Monthly sales of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, which are selling at deep discounts via dealers this year, ranged between 31,500 and 70,000 units, respectively, in the first half, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

($1 = 7.2134 Chinese yuan renminbi)