Friday, June 3, 2022

Electric cars: Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI)

Li Auto Inc., also known as Li Xiang, is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Beijing, with manufacturing facilities in Changzhou. 
  • Founder and CEO: Xiang Li (2015–)
  • Founded: 2015
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Full Time Employees: 6,596
  • IPO: July 2020 (Nasdaq)
Li Auto competes directly with Tesla (TSLA) and Nio (NIO) in the high-end EV market. The company debuted its first and only model, an electric hybrid SUV called the Li ONE, in December 2019. That vehicle carries a price tag ranging from $29,000 to $76,000 and was one of China's top-10 sellers across all fuel types in 2020.
Li Auto's October 2021 deliveries totaled 7,649 vehicles. That number is up from 7,096 in September and a 107% year-over-year increase. Global chip shortages have weighed on production outputs for automakers like Li. But that supply-chain kink seems to be easing. LI stock edged lower on the news.

June 21, 2022:  Li Auto unveils Li L9, its flagship smart SUV
Li L9 is a six-seat, full-size flagship SUV, offering superior space and comfort for family users. Its self-developed flagship range extension and chassis systems provide excellent drivability with a CLTC range of 1,315 kilometers and a WLTC range of 1,100 kilometers. Li L9 also features the Company's self-developed autonomous driving system, Li AD Max. Li L9 is open for reservation starting today and will arrive at all Li Auto retail stores nation-wide by July 1, with test drives available from July 16. Delivery will commence by the end of August 2022.
  • Company's second model since Li Auto's inception seven years ago, to take on the likes of BMW and Audi.
  • Range: with an extended battery range, will be able to go as far as 1,315km on a single charge.
  • Size:  nearly identical to the BMW X7, and larger than the automaker’s other model – the Li Xiang One which debuted back in 2019.
  • Price: sold at 459,800 yuan (US$68,654). (BMW’s X5 starts at 605,000 yuan in China, while prices for Audi’s Q5 range from 400,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan.)

Beijing-based Li Auto, Shanghai-headquartered Nio, Guangzhou-based Xpeng are all regarded as Chinese rivals to Tesla, the runaway leader in China’s premium EV segment.

Li Unveils 2021 SUV Model
Li Auto rolled out the 2021 version of the Li ONE on May 25. The latest model includes upgrades to its advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) and powertrain systems.

These improvements will extend the range capacity of the Li ONE to 1,080 kilometers, or 671 miles. Deliveries of the vehicle began in June.

Li Auto's focus on cost-effective SUVs is the heart of its business strategy. The company was one of the first to successfully commercialize Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs), which require a smaller battery pack. A smaller battery means lower production costs. And multiple power sources provide consumers with a practical solution to China's notorious lack of battery charging infrastructure.

Unlike most other electric vehicles, Li Xiang One is a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), which can be powered by either petrol or electricity

IPO: July 2020 (Nasdaq)

Founder and CEO Xiang Li 

Before Li Auto, Xiang Li established Autohome, a site for consumers to shop online for cars. By 2008, Autohome became China’s leading online platform for car dealers and consumers with its AI-generated content, comprehensive automobile library and extensive car listings. The company had an impressive 90 per cent market share.

In 2013, Autohome was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a market value of US$3 billion.

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