Li Auto, a Chinese electric vehicle company, delivered 21,233 new cars in December of last year, an increase of 50.7% year-on-year and setting a new monthly delivery record for the firm. Liu Jie, the automaker’s vice president, said at the Guangzhou Auto Show recently that monthly delivery volumes in 2023 may hit 40,000 units.
The L8 and L9 models of Li Auto are positioned for families with two children or need for six seats. The purchasing budget of L9 buyers is over 400,000 yuan ($58,209), while that of the L8 is 300,000 to 400,000 yuan. Most buyers of the L7, meanwhile, are families with only one child. Liu Jie said the firm believes that China’s five-seat vehicle market is currently larger than its six-seat vehicle market, and that it faces more intense competition. Liu predicts that the average monthly sales of the L9 will be 8,000 to 10,000 units, while the monthly sales of L7 and L8 will be 10,000 to 15,000 units.
Looking back on 2022, disruption to supply chains was an obstacle that many car companies couldn’t get around. In April of last year, Li Auto delivered only 4,147 new cars due to supply chain problems, down over 60% from March. Liu believes that the automotive supply chain was fragile in 2022 because of many unusual incidents both in China and abroad, and that supply will tend to be stable in 2023.
Li Auto is actively investing in supply chains. According to Liu, in addition to cooperating with top suppliers, the company has maintained self-research on core components such as range extenders and drive motors in the past three years, building factories and setting up joint ventures.
Li Xiang, CEO of Li Auto, recently said that in order to enhance product strength, the company will conduct self-research on HUD, air suspension, chips, electric controllers, and range extenders. In the field of batteries, traditional auto parts and smart sensors, it will cooperate with suppliers.
For 2023, Liu Jie revealed that the company will focus on three aspects. First of all, they will stick to vehicles worth over 300,000 yuan and create more valuable products for family members. The L7 will be launched on February 8, and the L7 exhibition car and test car will arrive at the company’s retail centers all over the country on February 9.
The second aspect is to further invest in self-research, while the third one is in its sales services system. Liu said that the company’s sales system covers about 120 cities at present, and another 50 cities are expected to be added in 2023. The firm currently has about 290 retail outlets and expects to add 150 next year.
In order to achieve a larger scale, Li Auto rival NIO is planning a second brand and preparing to produce products worth about 200,000 yuan. Regarding the matter, Liu said that Li Auto will not adopt a multi-brand strategy, nor will it seek to develop a presence in the top-class car market.