Former FAW-Volkswagen CPO LI Pengcheng Joins Tesla Challenger Xpeng Motors
COVID-19 and China
Xpeng Motors supercharger station in Guangzhou. PHOTO: Credit to Xpeng Motors

Feb 14, 2019/EqualOcean/- LI Pengcheng (李鹏程), the former FAW-Volkswagen CPO (chief public-relation officer) joins Xpeng motors (小鹏汽车) as the general manager of brand public relation. LI will in charge of brand strategy, public relation, social marketing and creative branding and report directly to HE Xiaopeng (何小鹏), the chairman and CEO of Xpeng. LI was also the co-founder of youcheyihou(有车以后), a car media platform backed by Tencent.

The China-based startups Xpeng keeps pouring into investments and resources into R&D and team expansion. Xpeng recruited 2,100 employees in 2018, and 70% of them works on R&D. The company plans to recruit 5,000 employees in 2019, according to HE in an internal email.

As the third EV startups to start delivery its mass production electric vehicles in China( the first is Nio and the second is WM Motors), Xpeng released its first intelligent electric SUV Xpeng G3 last year, which is positioned as an A-SUV for young people. G3 is expected to be priced between CNY 227.8k and CNY 257.8k. Thanks to China’s generous subsidy policy, the price after subsidy ranges from CNY 135.6k (USD 20.34k) to 165.8k (USD 24.87k), putting it in the same price bracket as Audi’s Q3, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA and BMW’s X1.

HE has the ambition that he can be better than Elon Musk sometime. When Elon Musk shocked the whole automobile industry by making more than 200 Tesla patents publicly available, HE sold his company, the UC web browser to Alibaba, and began looking for opportunities in the automobile industry (see more in this article). Tesla's Model X starts from about USD 118k in China.

Tesla's most affordable car, the Model 3, which is aimed at bringing the luxury vehicle within reach for the average consumer, is priced at CNY 588k (USD 88.2k) in China, according to Sohu. Tesla has also cut the price of Model S and Model X to offset the threat of tariffs and levies making the exported vehicles more expensive.

The first big shipment of Tesla Model 3s “Glovis Symphony” has landed in Tianjin Port, China, today, which means the first batch of Tesla Model 3 vehicles is soon to be delivered to Chinese customers, reported by Chinese Gov media CCTV. Tesla indicated that it aimed to bring portions of Model 3 production to China during 2019 and to progressively increase the level of localization through local sourcing and manufacturing in its third-quarter report. To fulfill the mission, the company is working closely with government officials in Shanghai to build a vehicle and battery factory (see more in this article).

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