XPeng will open up the MPV market to a younger demographic with the X9, said He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of the EV maker.
XPeng (NYSE: XPEV) is starting to warm up for the company's first MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) model, after previously mentioning plans to build such a model.
In addition to the G6, XPeng has recently been building a new MPV, the X9, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker's chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng said today on Weibo.
"We will open up the MPV market for the younger demographic with this product," Mr. He said.
Mr. He's Weibo didn't mention anything more, but was accompanied by a picture showing the logo of the MPV's name.
XPeng had mentioned last year that the company would launch its first MPV in 2023, and provided more details during its earnings call on May 24.
XPeng will launch a 7-seat all-electric MPV, internally codenamed X9, in the fourth quarter of this year, the company's management said in the call.
Mr. He's Weibo today implies that the model is being finally named X9.
XPeng is defining the 7-seat MPV thinking about how young people associate with MPVs and will go into more detail about the logic of young people buying MPVs at its launch at the end of the year, the company said.
In the second half of the year, gross margin levels will steadily improve with deliveries of the G6, P7i and the MPV, the company said in the Wednesday call.
There are few good MPVs to choose from in the Chinese market before 2022, with the most well-known being the Buick GL8 and the Toyota Alphard. There are even fewer new-energy MPVs.
Dongfeng Motor's EV subsidiary Voyah launched its MPV model Voyah Dreamer in China on May 7, 2022.
BYD's premium brand Denza launched its D9 MPV on May 16, 2022, and Zeekr launched its Zeekr 009 MPV on November 2.
Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is also expected to roll out its first MPV by the end of the year, though NIO (NYSE: NIO) has stressed several times that it has no plans to build such a model in the near future.
It's worth noting that the MPV market has been a niche segment in China.
Retail sales of passenger cars in China in April were 1,623,568 units, with 779,511 sedans, 748,503 SUVs and 95,554 MPVs, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
This means that MPVs contributed only 5.9 percent of China's passenger car sales in April.
China Apr auto sales breakdown: Sedan 779,511, SUV 748,503, MPV 95,554