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Amid fierce competition in China’s EV market, Xpeng to launch cheaper brand

Beijing — Chinese electric-vehicle maker Xpeng has announced plans to launch a cheaper brand, entering a highly competitive segment amid intense price competition in the industry. Models of the brand, to be launched within the next month, will be priced between 100,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan ($14,000 to $21,000), Xpeng Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng told an industry event in Beijing on Saturday, the company posted on its official WeChat account. That compares with a 200,000 to 300,000-yuan range where premium electric-vehicle (EV) makers generally price their cars. Competition in China’s EV market has intensified as companies race to cut prices, with market leader BYD spearheading a deeper round of price reductions. Xpeng said it will successively introduce models under the brand, which it did not name, each with different levels of intelligent driving capabilities. The new brand is dedicated to creating “the first AI-assisted driving car for young people,” it said. Sales of battery-powered EVs in China slowed to 18.2% in the first two months of the year from 20.8% for all of 2023, according to the China Passenger Car Association.