Chinese electric vehicle makers Aion, Hozon, and Leapmotor, reported record deliveries in July, overshadowing the numbers reported by leading players Nio, Xpeng Motors, and Li Auto as the landscape in the world’s biggest EV market continues to evolve.

Why it matters: Nio, Xpeng Motors, and Li Auto are facing increased competition. Traditional brands and new challengers have recently introduced an avalanche of lower-priced models to the market thanks to improving battery technologies, vastly expanding consumer options.

Details: Aion, the EV arm of Chinese state-owned automaker GAC Group, saw monthly deliveries surge about 138% year-on-year to 25,033 vehicles in July, meaning the firm has put roughly 125,000 cars into customers’ hands through the first seven months of the year. GAC, Toyota’s manufacturing partner in China, has a broad EV portfolio under the Aion marque with a price range between RMB 163,800 and RMB 469,600 ($24,218 to $69,430).  

  • EV startups Hozon and Leapmotor followed suit, reporting triple-digit yearly growth with July deliveries of 14,037 and 12,044 vehicles, respectively. Zhejiang-based Hozon attributed its growth to increased production capacity.
  • Meanwhile, Xpeng, Li Auto, and Nio lost their lead in the Chinese EV market, delivering 11,524, 10,422, and 10,052 vehicles to customers in July, respectively, with all three brands seeing a decrease of more than 20% month-on-month. Nio’s chief executive William Li said on July 31 that the company reduced production of “several thousand units” last month due to parts shortages.
  • Seres, Huawei’s manufacturing partner and formerly known as Sokon, posted sales figures of 7,807, while Geely’s premium EV brand Zeekr claimed it sold 5,022 vehicles last month.
  • Chinese auto majors such as BYD and Great Wall Motor have yet to release their July sales numbers.

READ MORE: BYD records over 162,000 deliveries in July

Context: Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto are also expanding their product range in a fight to keep their lead positions.

  • Nio plans to diversify its offerings by mulling a separate sub-brand targeting cheaper price points. The company is also on track to roll out a separate mainstream brand codenamed the Alps in 2024.
  • Li Auto has already launched a full-size crossover, the L9, with delivery scheduled for this August, and plans to release its first medium-sized, lower-priced vehicle model in 2023. 
  • Xpeng said it will soon begin taking pre-orders for its first premium sports utility vehicle, the G9, this month and launch three new models by 2025.

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: or Twitter: @yushan_shen