(Yicai Global) April 17 -- Over half of Leapmotor Technology's December sales are fabricated as the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer that got listed in Hong Kong last September has allegedly been pushing dealers to register stock and dump it in the second-hand market due to the changing subsidy policy, according to distributors.
More than half of Leapmotor’s over 8,400 licensed vehicles last December were purchased by distributors to complete their sales goals before the government ended its new energy vehicle subsidy policy in 2022, according to data Yicai Global received from a car distributor. The Hangzhou-based startup recorded over 8,000 new registered cars, but distributors claim they were behind 4,916 of them, per internal data.
The story started unfolding on April 11 when a Leapmotor store manager in Jinan, Shandong province, said on social media that Leapmotor inflated its sales data, but the company publicly denied it and said the distributor provided "false information."
Leapmotor issued documents to distributors in central China on Dec. 6 and Dec. 19 to tell them to complete registering all November and December inventory of mini NEV T03 and crossover sport utility-vehicle C11 models. Otherwise, the loss of the remaining cars, which are not eligible for government subsidies, will be borne by the dealers, based on documents seen by Yicai Global.
Most distributors used the names of employees and family members to register these vehicles and eventually sold them at a discount as second-hand items, the distributor told Yicai Global.
Several other distributors confirmed the illicit practice to Yicai Global and it also noticed that some dealers were selling Leapmotor vehicles with license plates in late 2022.
The firm reported rising sales before its initial public offering in September as sales exceeded 10,000 units for several straight months, according to public data. However, sales slumped in October when compared to September. In January, sales fell to nearly 1,140 units, or about 10 percent of the peak of last year.
The company has slashed the prices of new models this year and the biggest cut is nearly CNY60,000 (USD8,726). However, last month, the firm reversed the early 2023 downturn and delivered over 6,170 units, up 93 percent from a year ago.
Editors: Shi Yi, Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi