has passed the 0-1 stage and is now entering the 1-10 stage, with a high growth period starting in 2021, China's top investment bank CICC said in a report released February 26.

"We are bullish on Li Auto's new phase strategy and expect it to achieve advantage building and rapid growth with high investment and efficiency," CICC said.

Li Auto recently said that 2021-2025 is its high growth phase, with the goal of becoming the leading smart electric vehicle brand in China in terms of sales.

CICC sees Li Auto in the 0-1 stage in the past five years, focusing on efficiency and savings. In the face of the future smart EV era, smart driving and user scale become core indicators, all requiring significant investment ahead of time, CICC noted.

Li Auto's fourth-quarter sales were 14,464 units, up 67.0% year-on-year. The significant sales growth delivered scale effects and earnings resilience, enabling fourth-quarter results to exceed market expectations, CICC said.

Li Auto had strong cash flow in the fourth quarter, with operating cash flow up 95.9 percent sequentially, mainly contributed by accounts payable, reflecting the company's stronger bargaining power among suppliers, the CICC said.

Li Auto said in its earnings report that it expected first-quarter sales of 10,500-11,000 units. With 5,379 deliveries already completed in January, February-March sales pivoted at 5,500, below previous sales performance.

CICC believes full-year sales are likely to be low in the front and high in the back, forecasting full-year sales of 75,000-80,000 units, up more than 100% year-on-year.

Li Auto Q4 revenue beats expectations, net profit turns positive for first time

(Source: Li Auto)