Xpeng says new G9 SUV could become the EV-maker’s best-selling car

Xpeng showed off its upcoming G9 SUV at the Chengdu auto show in August 2022.

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BEIJING – China’s electric car start-up XpengAccording to Brian Gu, the company’s president and emeritus vice president, the newest model will likely outsell the company’s most popular car to date.

The company officially launched the G9 SUV on Wednesday. The car was expected Delivery starts in October.

“We think the number of G9s next year will exceed what we have achieved with the P7, which makes it one of our best-selling vehicles,” Gu said in an interview. Interview with CNBC by Eunice Yoon this week.

The P7 is Xpeng’s first sedan, launched in May 2020, quickly outselling the company’s existing G3 SUV that debuted in December 2018. The P7 ranks 10th among all sedans. New energy customers – excluding SUVs – were sold in China in the first eight months of the year. year, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

More than 123,000 P7 vehicles have been delivered as of the end of August – nearly double the cumulative deliveries of about 67,000 G3, according to CNBC calculations of Xpeng data.

Last year, Xpeng began delivering another sedan, the P5, with cumulative deliveries of more than 37,000 vehicles as of the end of August, data analysis shows.

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G9 comes with Xpeng’s Latest assisted driving systemwhich Gu said will perform better than the previous model because the new SUV includes high power Nvidia Chip Orin.

With just 5 minutes of charging at the Xpeng station, he said the new car can increase the driving range by 200 km.

However, the competition of Chinese electric car startups Nio and Li Auto There are also new SUVs coming to customers this fall.

The market is “very competitive,” Gu said. “We need to come up with better and cooler products to continue that momentum.”

The pedestrian traffic is less than half of what we saw before the summer.

Store traffic drops

But Gu said since the summer, sales of electric vehicles in general have not been as strong as they were at the beginning of the year. He pointed to a number of factors, including anticipation of new products, store closures caused by Covid, and consumer hesitation.

“Walk traffic is less than half what we saw before the summer,” he said.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

As others at his company and in the industry have said, Gu said Xpeng is not affected by the latest US restrictions on the sale of Nvidia to Chinese companies.

“It doesn’t apply to us because we don’t use that chip,” Gu repeated.

“I think clearly, the cloud or data center partners we work with, they need to think about how to continue to secure such capabilities,” he said. “It’s not something that we’re worried about, but we obviously need to make sure we have these capabilities provided to us.”

– Arjun Kharpal of CNBC contributed to this report.

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