(Yicai) Nov. 20 -- Li Auto has unveiled a luxury car, the Chinese new energy vehicle startup’s fourth pure-electric auto, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.
The Mega, a 5.3-meter multi-purpose vehicle, aims to become the best-seller in the segment for all cars priced at over CNY500,000 (USD69,500), said Vice President Liu Jie, who added that mass production and deliveries will begin in February.
Beijing-based Li Auto would need to sell about 8,000 units a month and 100,000 a year to outpace the BMW X5, the segment’s current best-selling auto.
About 60,000 vehicles priced at more than CNY500,000 each are sold in China every month and the segment presents a huge opportunity, Liu noted.
The NEV penetration rate in China’s market for cars priced above CNY200,000 is over 35 percent, but the figure for those over CNY500,000 is only 11 percent, revealing a lack of premium EVs in the segment to compete with fuel-powered cars, Liu said.
The eight-year-old carmaker aims to outsell BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in the Chinese market next year, founder and Chief Executive Officer Li Xiang said in August.
Multi-purpose vehicles are not mainstream in China, Liu said. “Initially, the Chinese market did not have MPVs priced at around CNY1 million (USD139,000), but the launch of the Toyota Alphard created brand-new demand,” he said.
Li Auto aims for a gross profit margin of 20 percent, according to Liu. “For a company to become a high-end or luxury brand recognized by consumers, it must rely on solid, long-term research and development investment,” he said. “Only by achieving a gross profit margin of 20 percent can we support and guarantee long-term and continuous R&D funding.”
Editors: Tang Shihua, Futura Costaglione