Li Xiang Steps Down as the Legal Representative of Multiple Companies under Li Auto

Li Auto‘s subsidiaries, Beijing CHJ Automotive Co., Ltd., Beijing Co Wheels Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing CHJ Automotive Technology Co., Ltd., and Beijing Chezhibei Technology Co., Ltd. recently underwent changes in their business registration. Li Xiang has stepped down as the legal representative and manager, and both positions have been taken over by Feng Weili. Currently, Li Xiang still serves as an executive director of these aforementioned companies.

Regarding the reason for the change, Li Auto stated: “This is a common change in company’s business registration information and does not represent any changes in the management team.”

According to public information, Li Auto, formerly known as CHJ Automotive, was established in 2015. At the time of its establishment, there were two institutional shareholders: Beijing Chehe Nuo Technology Partnership Enterprise (Limited Partnership) and Beijing Chehe Xin Technology Partnership Enterprise (Limited Partnership). In both companies, Li Xiang held a 0.03% stake, while the remaining 99.97% equity was held by Feng Weili and Jia Weiwei respectively.

In 2018, Beijing Chehe Xin Technology Partnership Enterprise changed its name to Ningbo Meishan Bonded Port Area Chetongnuo Investment Management Partnership Enterprise (Limited Partnership). In May 2020, it withdrew from external investments and by the end of 2020, the company’s operational status changed from existing to deregistered. Additionally, it has been reported that Feng Weili served in the legal department of Li Auto and was the second employee of the company. However, some media outlets have also reported that Feng Weili had previously worked as a technical research and development personnel.

Although Li Auto has stated that this change in business information does not represent a change in the company’s management, Li Auto has previously made adjustments to its organizational structure and other aspects.

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As early as the end of last year, Li Xiang stated in an internal letter that the company would undergo a comprehensive organizational adjustment, transitioning from a “vertical functional organization” to a matrix-type organization. Li Auto will add five new horizontal entity departments – Business Department, Supply Department, Process Department, Organizational Department, and Finance Department – on the basis of the existing two horizontal entity departments: Strategic Department and Product Department. These additions will support the overall upgrade and operational flow of the company’s matrix-type organization.

In April of this year, Li Auto announced an upgraded new organizational structure, adding two departments. One is the “CFO Office,” which is responsible for process, organization, and financial transformation work under the leadership of CFO Li Tie. The other is the “Sales and Service Group,” led by former Huawei executive Zou Liangjun. He mainly manages sales, delivery, after-sales service, charging network, and reports to Li Xiang.

On September 24th this year, Li Xiang posted on Weibo, analyzing the three major issues that exist in Li Auto and pointing out corrective measures for strategic problems. Firstly, the lack of strategic focus led to the discontinuation of ride-hailing services in 2019, with a shift towards high-end family vehicles. Secondly, there was insufficient understanding of the complexity of automotive organization. In 2022, a matrix organizational structure will be implemented and top consulting firms have played a significant role. Lastly, there were too few vehicle models initially planned because it was believed that having 300,000 vehicles by 2025 would suffice. However, it has been realized that there must be 1.6 million vehicles instead which has resulted in an enriched vehicle model plan.

Official data shows that Li Auto‘s cumulative deliveries in the third quarter of this year reached 106,000 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 296.3%. The total cumulative deliveries for the year have already reached 244,000 vehicles.