(ATF) Xpeng Motors has unveiled its first self-built plant from which it hopes to bite into Tesla’s share of the global electric vehicle (EV) market.
The in Zhaoqing, Guangdong province, factory was completed and put into trial production at the end of September after a 15-month construction, China Daily reported.
The plant was granted a production qualification in May and has begun making the company’s P7 sedan ready for delivery from the end of this month. The model was originally to be built by contract manufacturer Haima Automobile.
Xpeng also plans to build its next-generation EVs at the Zhaoqing plant, according to He Xiaopeng, founder and CEO of Xpeng Motors.
With an overall planned area of two square kilometers, the plant has five workshops, 264 intelligent industrial robots and a flexible production capacity. According to Xpeng, it employs more than 600 staff.
Xpeng is pitching its second-generation P7 intelligent car as a rival to Tesla’s sedans. It hopes to take advantage of production problems and governance issue facing the American manufacturer to win a larger share of the burgeoning EV market, He said
In the automobile manufacturing industry, any weak link limits an automaker's overall strength, according to He.
"Safety, quality, sales and branding are equally important," he said.
Self-production allows automakers not only to have more direct quality control over their products, but also to allocate capacity and resources more effectively, He added.
meanwhile, Xpeng rival Byton is struggling with both production and financing of its EVs.
Founded in 2016, the Nanjing-based company launched a series C round of fundraising 20 months ago, but has not yet completed it.
In September, it said the financing was on the verge of completion, with an estimated $500 million raised.
Byton’s M-Byte, its first SUV model, was announced last year to be delivered mid-2020.
But the latest response from Byton cited that the launch is still under preparation.
Its Nanjing plant has been put into trial production, with more than 200 prototypes of the vehicle produced for worldwide testing, Byton said.