In early June, a media report said Li Auto's Beijing plant is expected to be completed and start production in August.
(Li L9. Image from the MIIT website.)
In addition to its Changzhou plant in Jiangsu province, Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is also expected to build all three existing models at a new plant in Beijing, where it is headquartered, as capacity shortages become a major constraint on further sales growth.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released its latest catalog of models that will be allowed to be sold on July 14 for public comment, and Li Auto's three existing models -- the Li L7, Li L8 and Li L9 -- are included. The public can submit feedback between July 14 and July 20.
These three models are unchanged in terms of core specifications from previously declared versions, with the only change being that its production address has been changed to the Shunyi district of Beijing, where its new plant is located.
Li Auto's current vehicles are all extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs), which are produced at its plant in Changzhou, which Li Xiang, the company's founder, chairman, and CEO, has previously mentioned has six days of production and one day of maintenance each week.
A weekly capacity of 7,500 units is the limit of Li Auto's current production, which will be increased to 8,000 units per week starting from the 2nd week of July, he previously said.
The Beijing plant was originally Beijing Hyundai's first factory, and Li Auto began building its own facility based on the plant in October 2021.
The project, with a total investment of more than 6 billion yuan ($840 million), is scheduled to go into production by the end of 2023, according to a government announcement at the time.
When it reaches production, the plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000 pure-play electric vehicles a year, said the announcement.
On June 7, local media outlet Meiren Auto reported that Li Auto's Beijing plant was expected to be completed and put into production in August, where the company's first pure-play EV model, internally codenamed W01, will be built.
On June 17, Li Auto announced at its inaugural Family Technology Day that its first all-electric vehicle would be named the Li MEGA.
On June 15, a document from the MIIT showed that Li Auto's Beijing plant was qualified to produce pure electric vehicles as well as EREVs.
Li Auto has seen strong sales growth this year, selling a record 32,575 units in June, surpassing the 30,000-unit mark for the first time.
On July 5, local media outlet 36kr reported that Li Auto has told its supply chain to raise its sales forecast for the second half of the year to around 240,300 units.
Li Auto is on track to see sales of over 380,000 units for the full year, well ahead of the 300,000 sales target set at the start of the year, considering it delivered 139,000 units in the first half of the year, according to the report.
The company said when it announced its June delivery figures on July 1 that it would challenge itself in the fourth quarter to achieve the 40,000-unit monthly delivery mark.
In addition, according to Jiemian's report today, Li Auto is planning to boost production capacity at its Changzhou plant, while plans to start production at that Chongqing base, previously thought to be its third factory, have been halted.
Li Auto will continue to push forward with its production layout plan, depending on national industrial policies and its own development pace, the company said in response to the report.
Li Auto is currently working to improve the operational efficiency of its Changzhou plant to ensure timely delivery of orders, it said.
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