Wang, who joined in September 2020, will be the highest-ranking executive to leave Li Auto since its inception.

(Image credit: Li Auto)

Li Auto CTO Wang Kai will be leaving in the near future, less than two years after he joined the company, local tech media 36kr reported today.

Wang will be the highest-ranking executive to leave Li Auto since its inception, and the businesses he managed, including autonomous driving, computing platform and operating system LiOS, have been handed over to Li Auto co-founder and chief engineer Ma Donghui, according to the report.

Following this restructuring, Ma will be fully responsible for Li Auto's vehicle, electric power, cockpit, smart driving, arithmetic platform, electrical and electronic architecture, and LiOS development.

Wang joined Li Auto in September 2020 as CTO and is responsible for the development and mass production of smart car-related technologies, including electrical and electronic architecture, smart cockpit, autonomous driving, platform development and LiOS.

Prior to joining Li Auto, Wang spent 8 years at Visteon, a German automotive supplier, where he served as Global Chief Architect and Director of Autonomous Driving.

Wang's position level at the time was the same as Li Auto's founder, Li Xiang, and was responsible for all of the car company's intelligence-related R&D work at the time, according to 36kr.

But at the beginning of 2021, Li Auto transferred the cockpit software and electrical and electronics business, which had been under Wang's responsibility, to Ma's authority, a result that did not seem to satisfy Wang, the report said, adding that people familiar with the matter said Wang had returned to Germany for a vacation in the first half of last year.

Li Auto delivered 12,268 vehicles in January, the third consecutive month with more than 10,000 units, according to figures released by the company on February 1.

Li Auto, which has previously said it aims to sell 1.6 million vehicles by 2025, recently bought a large plot of land in what appears to be preparations for an aggressive capacity expansion.

Li Auto buys huge plot of land in Chongqing to prepare for aggressive capacity expansion