Xpeng Motors is aiming for profitability on an operating level by 2025, according to an internal speech from chief executive He Xiaopeng to employees. The electric vehicle maker will also focus on redeveloping business strategies, dealing with corporate restructuring issues, and bolstering corporate value in 2023. 

Why it matters: He’s comments come on the heels of a turbulent year for Xpeng during which the company faced major setbacks, including a 23% sales drop in the second half of 2022 and an 80% plunge in market capitalization from a year ago.

Details: Xpeng expects to break even in 2025 with its earnings margin before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization reaching 17%, according to a report from 36Kr that cites comments made by He at an internal meeting on Wednesday.

  • The management is more optimistic than some analysts’ predictions. Bernstein estimates that Xpeng will turn its adjusted operating margin from -5.1% in 2024 to 0.3% in 2025. That number was estimated to be -33.1% last year, according to Bernstein.
  • He also pointed out that employee morale at the electric car company is low due to falling sales and share prices and that Xpeng’s productivity as a company is not where it should be, vowing greater restructuring efforts to simplify operations this year.
  • Meanwhile, He highlighted the company’s push to forge ahead with vehicle development from the perspective of customers, adding that all future Xpeng vehicles will be equipped with safety-based driver assistance technologies.
  • Xpeng will also accelerate its overseas expansion in the next few years, with plans to launch two new vehicle models for the global market in 2023, followed by a third in 2024, according to He.

Context: Xpeng reported an annual growth rate of 23% in vehicle sales in 2022, significantly lower than the industry average of around 90% and falling behind US-listed peers Li Auto and Nio, who posted year-on-year growth of 47% and 34%, respectively.

  • The Alibaba-backed EV maker has been undergoing a major restructuring since late last year with the establishment of several committees and financial teams to enhance efficiency and control costs. It also announced price cuts of up to 15% for its vehicle lineups earlier this week amid rising competition with Tesla.
  • Xpeng is not the only Chinese EV maker taking steps to streamline operations. On Jan. 1, Nio chief executive William Li told employees that low-productivity teams and insignificant projects would be “streamlined and optimized” this year in light of a slight increase in budget, according to an email seen by 36Kr.

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