China’s Xpeng unveils ambitious global expansion plans with right-hand drive model launch

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Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xpeng is gearing up for its global expansion with the announcement of its first right-hand drive model, set to launch in the second half of this year. The move is part of the company’s strategy to accelerate its international presence, targeting markets such as Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

He Xiaopeng, co-founder and CEO of Xpeng, highlighted the company’s commitment to its global strategy, emphasizing partnerships with capable dealers abroad to make their smart electric cars accessible worldwide. He stated, “In tandem with Xpeng’s go-global 2.0 strategy, we have formed partnerships with an increasing number of capable dealers abroad, with an ultimate goal of making best-in-class smart electric cars accessible to customers around the world.”

The decision to introduce a right-hand drive model comes at a strategic time for Xpeng, as it seeks to offset potential sales challenges in mainland China due to a price war impacting the profitability of many players in the market. By expanding into markets like Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, Xpeng aims to diversify its revenue streams and strengthen its international image.

Brian Gu, Xpeng’s president, previously revealed that the company’s first right-hand drive model would be an updated version of its popular G6 sport-utility vehicle (SUV). The G6, equipped with Xpeng’s Navigation Guided Pilot (X NGP) autonomous driving technology, has been well-received in mainland China, where the company delivered 141,601 vehicles to customers in 2023, marking a 17% increase from the previous year.

Looking ahead, Xpeng is also eyeing key European markets like Germany and France for expansion with its left-hand drive models. This move aligns with the company’s vision to compete globally and establish itself as a leading builder of intelligent EVs.

Xpeng’s global ambitions are further bolstered by its partnership with Volkswagen Group, which acquired a 5% stake in the company last year. The two companies are set to co-develop two mid-sized battery-powered vehicles, expected to debut in mainland China in 2026. This collaboration aims to leverage joint purchasing activities and technology sharing to accelerate the development of electric cars.

As Xpeng continues to navigate the evolving EV landscape, its foray into new markets and innovative partnerships position it as a formidable player in the global electric vehicle market. With the launch of its first right-hand drive model, Xpeng is poised to make significant strides towards achieving its goal of becoming a leading player in the global EV market.

(Source: SCMP)

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