China’s Li Auto Sinks After Cutting Prices Off Back of Tesla Move
Wu Ziye
DATE:  Apr 22 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China’s Li Auto Sinks After Cutting Prices Off Back of Tesla Move China’s Li Auto Sinks After Cutting Prices Off Back of Tesla Move

(Yicai) April 22 -- Li Auto’s shares tumbled after the electric vehicle maker lowered the prices of all its main models in the wake of cuts announced by Tesla in the Chinese market.

Li Auto [HKG: 2015] fell 8.3 percent to HKD97.45 (USD12.44) a share in Hong Kong today. The stock has lost 33 percent of its value since the end of last year.

The Beijing-based company said today that it was reducing the prices of the L9 sport utility vehicle by CNY20,000 (USD2,760), the L7 and L8 mid-size crossover SUVs by between CNY18,000 and CNY20,000, and the Mega minivan by at least CNY30,000.

Tesla, which has a production plant in Shanghai, cut the starting price of the revamped Model 3 in China by CNY14,000 (USD1,930) to CNY231,900 (USD32,000), it announced yesterday. The US carmaker triggered a cut-throat price war in China’s auto market by slashing prices at the start of last year.

Price competition dented profits at carmakers in the first quarter of this year and had a significant impact on the industrial chain, Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said on April 9.

Li Auto’s new subscribers and those who have placed orders but have not yet taken delivery of their vehicle will be able to get the lower prices. Buyers who have already bought this year’s versions will receive cash compensation.

The 2024 versions went on sale on March 1. Compared with previous models, the starting prices of the latest L7 and L8 were lowered by CNY18,000.

Li Auto delivered 376,000 units last year, ranking first among Chinese new energy vehicle startups.

With the Mega’s launch, it had expected to ship between 100,000 and 103,000 units in the first quarter, but there have been mixed views over the styling of the new model, and sales have failed to meet expectations. It was also the firm’s most expensive product, having been launched at a starting price of CNY559,800 (USD77,280).

Li Auto has lowered its expectations for first-quarter sales to between 76,000 and 78,000 units, down 24,000 to 25,000 on its previous forecast, due to fewer-than-expected orders, the company said on March 21.

Huawei Technologies-backed Aito has surpassed Li Auto in sales for several months straight this year. Li Auto’s sales climbed 53 percent to 80,400 in the first quarter from a year earlier, but that was lower than Aito’s sales of 85,800.

Li Auto also launched its fourth L series product, the L6, at a starting price of CNY249,800, making it the firm’s cheapest so far. The vehicle is also the first of Li Auto’s models to be priced below CNY250,000. L6 sales exceeded 10,000 within 72 hours of its launch, the carmaker said.

Editor: Tom Litting

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Keywords:   Li Auto