Some stores saw a significant uptick in sales just this past weekend, and some trim levels are no longer available for delivery before the Chinese New Year, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) announced last week that it would launch 2,024 models in March and began to offer discounts on existing models. Now, reports in the local media are suggesting that this had an immediate effect on the short-term sales boost.

Li Auto is offering price discounts ranging from RMB 33,000 ($4,590) to RMB 36,000 for the three models currently on sale, the Li L7, Li L8, and Li L9, making it one of the carmakers offering the most discounts in China going into 2024, Jiemian said in a January 16 report.

A Li Auto store salesperson in Beijing said the promotion was effective, with more than 30 units sold just this past weekend, up from about 10 or so in previous weekends, according to the report.

A salesperson in Guangzhou said that some trim levels of Li Auto vehicles are sold out of existing cars and are no longer available for delivery before China's Lunar New Year, according to Jiemian.

China's Lunar New Year will begin on February 10, and the Spring Festival holiday runs from February 10 to February 17.

Li Auto said on January 11 that its 2024 models will be released and deliveries will begin in March. "With the Chinese New Year approaching, we are offering purchase incentives on 2023 models, and we welcome you to visit our stores for details," it added.

The company did not mention the exact amount of the discounts at the time, though a local media outlet had previously said they were in the range of RMB 35,000 to RMB 38,000.

The price adjustment is in response to stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, Li Auto told Jiemian.

BMW is now offering price reductions of around RMB 100,000 on its main-selling models, Mercedes-Benz is offering RMB 30,000 to RMB 60,000 price cuts on some of its models, and the new Audi A6L is offering discounts of up to more than RMB 100,000 after being on the market for just over a month, the report said.

The price war, which has lasted for a year, has put pressure on most car companies, with some of them in an operational crisis, but Li Auto has been profitable for four consecutive quarters, the report noted.

In addition, Li Auto's vehicles sell for an average of more than RMB 300,000, which gives it more room to cut prices than its rivals might have, the report said.

The day after Li Auto announced its price discounts, (NASDAQ: TSLA) on January 12 lowered the prices of nearly its entire Model 3 and Model Y lineup in China by as much as nearly 6 percent for the Model 3 and 3 percent for the Model Y.

Earlier today, (NYSE: NIO) announced that it will begin deliveries of its 2024 models in early March and start offering discounts on current models.

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Nio to begin deliveries of 2024 models in Mar, offers discounts on current ones