Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Xpeng has introduced its G6 SUV at a 20% discount compared to Tesla's Model Y, aiming to revive sales in the highly competitive mainland market. The G6, priced at 209,900 yuan (US$29,000), received 25,000 orders within its 72-hour presale period earlier this month. Xpeng plans to start delivering the SUV to buyers in July.
In the first five months of the year, Xpeng experienced a 38.9% year-on-year decline, delivering 32,815 units. In contrast, Tesla's shipments increased by 83.8% year on year, selling 219,893 units in China from January to May. Out of these, 152,461 were Model Y vehicles, which sold more than any other SUV model in the mainland during that period.
The G6 is designed to compete directly with Tesla's Model Y. It can travel as far as 755 kilometers on a single charge, while Tesla's SUV has a driving range of 545 kilometers. Both vehicles offer limited self-driving capabilities, with Xpeng's X NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot) software and Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) system. However, Tesla's FSD has not been approved by Chinese authorities and is not operational on vehicles sold in the mainland.
Despite Xpeng's optimistic outlook on its G6 model, the company will face competition from other local carmakers in China's rapidly growing EV market. For instance, in April, Shanghai-based IM Motors announced plans to launch a vehicle similar to the Model Y to cater to the increasing preference for battery-powered vehicles among mainland drivers.
The G6 is the first model developed under Xpeng's new technology platform, SEPA 2.0 Fuyao Global Intelligent Evolution Architecture, which aims to shorten the carmaker's development cycle by a fifth. Brian Gu, vice-chairman and president of Xpeng, stated last week that the company plans to launch a right-hand drive model in Hong Kong as part of its globalization strategy.
EV sales in mainland China are expected to rise by 35% this year to 8.8 million units, according to UBS analyst Paul Gong's forecast in April. However, this projected growth is significantly lower than the 96% surge recorded in 2022.