Xpeng has made quite a few ambitious announcements recently, including plans to secure a total of RMB 30 billion by the end of 2019 and that it is expecting its first model, the “G3”, to hit the market by the end of the year. However, signs are pointing to a more negative outlook.
Latest local media reports suggest that Xpeng might still be at least 6 months away from actually delivering the G3 to the hands of Chinese car owners and that the startup has not placed an order for the specific spare part since March.
An auto parts supplier told 36Kr (in Chinese) that Xpeng’s last order of parts is only sufficient for manufacturing 95 G3 vehicles, hinting that it is a long shot for the new model to go into mass production anytime soon.
The source revealed that Xpeng signed an exclusive contract with the supplier for producing the specific parts. According to the usual timeline for order and delivery, G3’s mass production will start no earlier than October. The G3 is reportedly still in the inspection phase—manufacturing the vehicle in small batches solely for examining and testing purposes. The process from inspection to mass production usually takes up roughly 6 months. Xpeng recently announced at its brand day on August 15 that the G3 will announce its final configuration and price in November, and then it will “soon” take delivery.
The source also revealed that Xpeng has more production plans ahead. According to Xpeng’s bidding documents, the “next model” is scheduled to go into mass production next year.
Xpeng today responded (in Chinese) reaffirming that the G3 has completed the trial assembly phase and will go into mass production in time for launch before the end of the year. The company said it is now allocating orders among its suppliers, noting that the production of “non-core components” is usually shared by multiple suppliers for security reasons. The company said the production of Xpeng’s next model is going smoothly, adding that the quantity of delivery will be “determined by market conditions.”
Earlier this month, Xpeng announced that it secured RMB 4 billion ($587 million) in a fundraising round, valuing the four-year-old startup at close to RMB 25 billion. Xpeng’s ambition to take on Tesla in China’s lucrative electric vehicle market is obvious, however, it is also no secret that the startup disassembled Tesla vehicles to aid the development of its own vehicles. Despite impressive fundraising results, Xpeng’s relative inexperience in car manufacturing often draws public skepticism over its ability to deliver and meet its plans.