Xpeng Targets Hong Kong Market with Right-Hand Drive EV Model to Challenge Tesla
Chinese EV start-up Xpeng plans to introduce a unique right-hand drive electric vehicle (EV) model in Hong Kong, aiming to compete with established rivals like Tesla.
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Xpeng is preparing to enter the Hong Kong market, unveiling plans to launch a right-hand drive EV model in the city next year. With the objective of challenging well-established competitors such as Tesla, Xpeng aims to captivate local customers through its advanced technologies and distinctive design. Brian Gu, the vice-chairman and president of Xpeng, emphasized the company's commitment to making their cutting-edge Chinese-developed technologies available in Hong Kong.
During the China Conference: Hong Kong 2023, Gu acknowledged the presence of significant competition in the market but expressed confidence in Xpeng's unique appeal. He anticipates the arrival of the right-hand drive model in late 2024. This move by Xpeng represents the first foray into the Hong Kong market with a right-hand drive EV model among major Chinese EV manufacturers. Rivals Nio and Li Auto have yet to announce plans for selling battery-powered vehicles in Hong Kong.
Xpeng, Nio, and Li Auto are widely regarded as China's leading contenders against American carmaker Tesla. These companies assemble electric cars equipped with preliminary autonomous driving technology, sophisticated in-car entertainment systems, and high-performance batteries. Currently, they predominantly produce left-hand drive models, primarily sold within mainland China. Gu emphasised the significance of the right-hand drive market segment, expressing Xpeng's determination to establish itself as a global EV powerhouse.
In late 2020, Xpeng initiated its European expansion by exporting electric cars to the region, aiming to compete with Tesla and other foreign rivals in developed economies. While exact sales figures are not publicly disclosed, the company continues to expand its presence overseas. Xpeng plans to deliver units of its G9 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and P7 sports sedan to European customers within two weeks.
David Zhang, a visiting professor at Huanghe Science and Technology College, highlighted Chinese EV makers' strong competitiveness in the international market, attributing it to their high-quality products and reasonable prices. He emphasised the need for Chinese companies to develop new models based on local drivers' demands within the premium segment.
According to market research firm Canalys, Chinese carmakers' EV exports are projected to reach 1.3 million units this year, nearly doubling the previous year's figure of 679,000 cars reported by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Xpeng, renowned for its advancements in self-driving technology utilising lidar sensors, seeks to reduce production costs and enhance accessibility by reducing the number of lidars employed in its vehicles while maintaining autonomous driving capabilities.
Xpeng plans to launch a right-hand drive EV model in Hong Kong, targeting Tesla's market dominance.
The model will feature advanced technologies and unique design to attract local customers.
Xpeng aims to ensure the availability of Chinese-developed technologies in Hong Kong.