Fresh momentum for NEV makers in China

November 10, 2023

China Daily, November 6, 2023


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Workers are busy on the production line of new energy vehicles (NEVs) at a factory of Chinese automaker Chery Holding Group Co., Ltd. in Wuhu City, east China's Anhui Province, Oct. 12, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]


Chinese and international new energy vehicle makers are breaking their sales records as the sector gains momentum in the world's largest vehicle market.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said retail sales of NEVs could reach 750,000 units in October, which would mark a rise of 34.6 percent year-on-year. The CPCA usually releases tallied statistics in the middle of every month.

Warren Buffet-backed BYD said on Wednesday that it delivered 301,800 vehicles in October, up 38.4 percent from the same month last year. The performance helped it make history, becoming the first Chinese brand ever to sell more than 300,000 vehicles in a month.

Its cumulative deliveries in the first 10 months totaled 2.38 million units, up more than 70 percent year-on-year.

If the momentum grows, its sales for the whole of 2023 are expected to reach 3 million units.

BYD is already the most profitable carmaker in China, generating a net profit of 10.4 billion yuan ($1.42 billion) in the third quarter, according to its filings to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Q3 was also the first quarter that BYD saw its net profit exceed 10 billion yuan, making over 100 million yuan on a daily basis.

Li Auto, which produces range-extended EVs, consolidated its lead over other startups in October.

It sold 40,422 units last month, soaring over 300 percent from the same month last year. The startup said it will finish this year's sales goal of 300,000 units ahead of schedule. By the end of October, it had delivered over 280,000 units.

Li Xiang, founder and CEO of Li Auto, said the next goal for the company is to grow its monthly sales to 50,000 units, although it has only three models available in the market.

AITO, backed by China's technology giant Huawei, saw its sales rebound to 12,700 units after it launched its new M7 SUV in September. The brand's monthly sales were at around 3,000 units in the first quarter.

Yu Chengdong, head of Huawei's smart car unit, said over 500 million yuan was spent to improve the model based on the previous edition.

Among other things, the M7, available in five variants, sports Huawei's ADS 2.0 system, which enables high-level autonomous driving in both urban areas and on expressways without reliance on high-definition maps.

Volkswagen's EVs have gained a stronger foothold as well. SAIC Volkswagen, one of the German carmaker's joint ventures in China, sold 16,000 NEVs in October, up 136 percent year-on-year.

Of them, over 15,000 units were Volkswagen's I.D. series, soaring 192 percent year-on-year, marking the fourth month in a row in which its sales exceeded 10,000 units.

The joint venture's cumulative I.D. sales have totaled 180,000 units, putting Volkswagen in a league of its own among international volume brands, as a sign of car buyers' growing recognition of the brand's EV products.

Major Chinese carmakers are also seeing a rise in NEV sales as they speed up the shift toward electrification.

Great Wall Motor, which is China's largest SUV and pickup truck manufacturer, said on Wednesday that it sold a record 30,000 NEVs last month, up 178 percent year-on-year.

In the first 10 months this year, the carmaker's NEV deliveries totaled 200,000 units, up 85.9 percent from the same period last year.

Zeekr, the premium electric marque of Geely, saw its October sales reach 13,077 units, up 29.2 percent year-on-year.

An Conghui, president of Zeekr, said the brand will grow its sales to 650,000 units a year by 2025, with the gradual rollout of models coming in two years.

An unveiled the goal when the marque launched the 001 FR, a shooting brake which among other things can accelerate from 0-100 kilometers per hour in 2.02 seconds, in late October in Beijing.