The model, codenamed EP41, will be the third shooting-brake style model launched by a Chinese EV maker after the 001 and the ET5 Touring.

(An image of the Neta model codenamed EP41 shared by Hozon CEO Yong Zhang.)

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Hozon Auto's brand Neta Auto will launch its first shooting-brake style model in the middle of this year, and is set to become the third new Chinese car maker to do so after Zeekr and Nio (NYSE: NIO).

Hozon CEO Zhang Yong shared a rendering of the Neta model wrapped in camouflage on Weibo today, saying it has the internal code name EP41.

"The car will be unveiled near the Beijing auto show, go on sale and start deliveries in the middle of the year," Zhang said.

The model, which features significant upgrades in both software and hardware, is the first car to be built on Neta's Shanhai 2.0 architecture, Zhang added.

The 17th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2024) will take place from April 25 to May 4, 2024, and will mark the event's return after a four-year hiatus.

Zhang didn't mention any more information, but the image he shared hint that the model appears to be a shooting-brake version of Neta's flagship sedan, the Neta S, and comes with a LiDAR on the roof.

Originally launched on July 31, 2022, the Neta S is Neta's first effort in the mid-to-high-end market and is offered in extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) versions.

The 2024 Neta S, currently on sale, was launched on July 31, 2023, with a starting price of RMB 159,800 ($22,310).

Some top-trim models of the Neta S come with two LiDARs, but they are placed in the front bumper.

Sedan derivatives are a niche market in China, and the number of previously available shooting brake or wagon versions is minimal.

The Zeekr 001, the first model from Geely's Zeekr brand, is the first attempt by a local automaker in this segment, and it has been an unexpected success. The model currently has a starting price of RMB 269,000 in China.

Zeekr delivered 118,685 vehicles in 2023, of which the Zeekr 001 contributed 76,246, or 64 percent, according to data compiled by CnEVPost.

Nio launched the ET5 Touring in China on June 15, 2023, at the same price as the regular ET5 sedan, starting at RMB 298,000 including the battery, the second local model targeting the segment.

The ET5 Touring delivered 3,331 units in December, contributing 18.49 percent of the Nio's monthly deliveries of 18,012 units, making it the second best-selling Nio model after the ES6.

Neta delivered 5,135 vehicles in December, down 34.12 percent year-on-year and down 58.94 percent from November, according to figures it announced earlier this month.

Neat delivered 127,496 vehicles in all of 2023, down 16.16 percent from 152,073 in 2022.

($1 = RMB 7.1632)

Nio Dec deliveries breakdown: ES6 at 6,943, ET5 Touring at 3,331