The G9, while receiving praise in social media discussions, has had a lukewarm sales performance, and its facelift is expected to make up for some of its regrets.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Xpeng's (NYSE: XPEV) flagship SUV, the G9, has had a lukewarm sales performance despite receiving a lot of praise in social media discussions, especially for its low power consumption. However, its facelift may not be far off and could hopefully make up for some of its regrets.

Xpeng will launch a facelifted version of the G9 in the fourth quarter, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker's senior director of powertrain, Gu Jie, hinted on Weibo yesterday.

An auto blogger share his expectations for the new G9 on Weibo on Saturday, saying that if the SUV gets a facelift, he'd like to see the model retain its air suspension, remove the music cockpit and tweak the interior.

Commenting on the Weibo post, Gu left a message saying that the G9's facelift will focus on premium and value for money, and that its strengths in terms of quietness, good driving experience, energy consumption, and supercharging will be retained.

"As for the rest, wait for Q4," he said.

Xpeng launched the G9 on September 21, 2022, with a starting price of RMB 309,900 ($42,560) for the SUV based on the 800 V platform.

The pricing was seen as competitive, but the G9's confusing configuration at launch sparked dissatisfaction and overshadowed its appeal.

Two days after the G9's launch, Xpeng overhauled the G9's options to make it less complicated for customers to choose from.

The G9 delivered a record 4,020 units in December 2022, contributing 35.6 percent of the 11,292 deliveries by Xpeng that month, data monitored by CnEVPost show.

However, the G9 has seen a significant decline in volume this year, with deliveries of around 1,000 units in every month except January, when 2,249 units were delivered, and 872 in July.

In an analyst call last week after reporting second-quarter earnings, Xpeng management hinted that the company could launch a facelift of its current model in the fourth quarter.

"With the G6 ramping up and the introduction of enriched configurations for existing models, we will strive for a peak monthly deliveries of 20,000 in the fourth quarter," He Xiaopeng, Xpeng's chairman and CEO, said during the August 18 call.

On July 26, Volkswagen announced it would invest about $700 million in Xpeng, acquiring about 4.99 percent of the latter.

In the initial phase of the partnership, the two companies plan to jointly develop two Volkswagen-branded EV models based on the Xpeng G9 for China's mid-size car market.

($1 = RMB 7.2817)

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