is hiring talent in China as well as abroad, and some of its core executives recently visited Silicon Valley, according to local media.  |  [eod_live target="LI.US" title="Li Auto US"] | [eod_live target="2015.HK" title="Li Auto HK"]

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is ramping up its R&D investment at a time when its major local peers are struggling with weak sales.

Li Auto's smart driving and chip teams are expanding rapidly, and the extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) maker is hiring talent in China and abroad, according to a report today in local media outlet 36kr.

Some of Li Auto's core executives, including senior vice president Fan Haoyu, smart driving vice president Lang Xianpeng, and product strategy chief Zhang Xiao, recently visited Silicon Valley and launched recruiting presentations at universities, the report said, citing industry sources.

As part of its efforts to ramp up recruitment of talent for its smart driving R&D team, Li Auto even asked employees to recommend resumes, according to the report.

In addition to its smart driving team, Li Auto's chip development team is also expanding, with a new chip lead, Luo Min, already on board to fill the position, which was vacant, the report said.

Li Auto's chip team had fewer than 100 people last year, and the company plans to expand it to about 200 this year, according to the report.

Li Auto invited some of Zeku's employees to talk about onboarding after cell phone maker OPPO shut down the chip design unit, the report said.

As China's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry enters 2023 with weak sales, (NYSE: NIO) and (NYSE: XPEV) were seeing sales decline due to product switches.

In contrast, Li Auto maintained strong sales, delivering 25,681 vehicles in April, another monthly high and the second consecutive month over the 20,000-delivery mark.

Li Auto's 5-seat SUV, the Li L7, delivered more than 10,000 units in April, its first full month of deliveries.

On April 18, Li Auto unveiled its all-electric solution on the first day of the Shanghai auto show, along with its latest generation of assisted driving system, AD Max 3.0, and said the software will be free for life.

AD Max 3.0's all-scenario Navigation on ADAS (NOA) will kick off internal testing this quarter and will cover more than 100 cities by the end of the year, Li Auto said at the time.

Li Auto CEO predicts China NEV penetration to exceed 80% by Dec 2025