China has tightened its regulations on NEV production qualifications since 2017, and the production qualifications has received are among the very few.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

XPeng's (NYSE: XPEV) plant in Guangzhou, where it is headquartered, was qualified to produce vehicles in January and currently only produces the flagship SUV G9, local media outlet Jiemian said in a report today, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The plant is expected to be ready to open for customers and partners in early March, according to the report.

XPeng currently sells the G3, P5, P7 and G9. The G3 was originally produced at Haima Motor's plant in Zhengzhou, but the production was transferred to XPeng's plant in Zhaoqing after the agreement between the two expired, and production of the P5 and P7 is also in Zhaoqing.

The G9, based on a new platform and launched in September 2022, is instead produced in Guangzhou, a plant with an initial design capacity of 100,000 units per year.

In China, eligibility for car production is strictly regulated. Beginning in 2017, authorities tightened the application and review of new energy vehicle (NEV) production qualifications, the report noted.

The production qualification, which XPeng has received, has been one of the few in the past five years, Jiemian said, citing a source.

XPeng was founded in 2014 and released its first model, the G3 SUV, in September 2016.

The model was then produced by Haima Motor, though XPeng's OEM agreement with it expired at the end of 2021, after which XPeng's models are all produced in its own plant.

XPeng's first plant is located in Zhaoqing city, Guangdong province, where construction began in late 2017 and production began in May 2020.

The company began construction of a second plant in Guangzhou in September 2020, which was originally planned to be in production by the end of 2022.

On April 8, 2021, XPeng signed an agreement with Wuhan Economic Development Zone to build its automotive manufacturing base and R&D center there.

XPeng will build a vehicle and powertrain plant and R&D center at the Wuhan plant, which will cover an area of approximately 73.3 hectares with an estimated total investment of RMB 10 billion, and is expected to start production in 2023, according to information released at that time.

On July 31, 2021, XPeng Wuhan plant project was officially launched in Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone with a planned capacity of 100,000 vehicles.

On August 18, 2021, XPeng Zhaoqing plant phase II project officially started, which increased the annual production capacity from 100,000 units to 200,000 units.

In late July 2021, local media reported that XPeng chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng was in Chengdu, Sichuan province to discuss with local officials the location of the company's R&D center and new factory.

No new updates on the rumor have been made since then, however.