Xpeng car owners in multiple Chinese cities descended on company’s offices to defend their consumer rights. The cause of the owners’ distress is a new G3 model, that came just six months after the release of the previous version. The new vehicle is equipped with advanced features and prolonged battery life, but, paradoxically, is priced cheaper than its predecessor.
Videos circulating online show a line of Xpeng cars flooding the parking spaces near the headquarters of Xpeng Motors in Guangzhou. Many vehicles bear posters saying “Returning the car”, “Those who buy, will regret” and “The car paint is as thin as paper”. Owners claim that the company failed to inform them about the approaching release of the new model and instead persisted in persuading them to purchase the inferior one. Some angered customers have stated that Xpeng staff even went as far as to mislead them by lying that the price for the car will rise in the future.
He Xiaopeng, founder of the company, released an apology Friday through his Weibo account, blaming the situation on the rapid development of technology and offering compensations to owners of the old G3 model in the form of a 10, 000 yuan subsidy for the purchase of new Xpeng models within the next three years. The proposal and the apology did not satisfy owner’ demands and the protests continued throughout the weekend in various cities across China.