Li Mega MPV launch postponed to March, signaling strategic adjustments

Li Auto, the renowned player in the electric vehicle (EV) market, has decided to postpone the launch of its much-anticipated Li Mega MPV to March 1, 2024. This strategic move comes after initial plans to unveil the seven-seater in December and commence deliveries by late February faced hurdles. The delay not only highlights Li Auto’s meticulous approach but also signals the obstacles it encounters in entering the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market.

Revised Launch Date and Delivery Schedule

In a recent statement, Li Auto officially confirmed the launch of the Li Mega MPV on March 1, 2024, with deliveries slated to begin in early March. This shift from the initial December launch plan reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring a seamless introduction to the market, overcoming potential challenges.

Pricing Strategy and Market Positioning

Li Auto, known for its extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs), refrained from disclosing the pre-sale price range for the Li Mega. However, the company confidently asserts that the model’s official price will be under RMB 600,000 yuan ($84,510). Emphasizing its appeal to families, Li Auto believes the Li Mega will dominate the market above RMB 500,000 yuan, irrespective of energy form or body style.

Li Mega MPV
Li Auto

Market Response and Social Media Presence

Despite the initial marketing strategy, the Li Mega faced limited social media traction following its debut at the Guangzhou auto show. This is in stark contrast to the buzz surrounding Xpeng’s X9, which garnered attention and began accepting pre-orders at a lower starting price of RMB 388,000.

Comparison with Xpeng X9

Pricing and Pre-orders

Xpeng’s X9, which debuted on November 17, initiated pre-orders with a competitive starting price, resulting in over 30,000 pre-orders. The model is set to go on sale on January 1, with deliveries commencing later in January. Li Auto appears deliberate in avoiding a direct clash with Xpeng’s release schedule, possibly indicating a strategic move to mitigate direct competition.

Technological Advancements

Xpeng’s utilization of large integrated die-casting machines in manufacturing, notably a 7,000-ton and a 12,000-ton die-casting machine at its Guangzhou plant, has set it apart. The die-casting process consolidates multiple parts into one, enhancing safety, manufacturing efficiency, and cost reduction. Additionally, Xpeng’s X9 boasts active rear-wheel steering with a remarkable turning diameter of 10.8 meters, surpassing Li Auto’s Li Mega.

Li Mega MPV
Li Auto

Critical Insights into Li Mega’s Features

While Li Auto’s Li Mega stands as its pioneering foray into the BEV market, it faces scrutiny for its notable omissions. Unlike the Xpeng X9, the Li Mega lacks one-piece die-cast technology and rear-wheel steering. These missing features have been underscored on social media as potential shortcomings, influencing the model’s perceived competitiveness.

Safety Concerns and Public Perception

Recent fatalities involving Li Auto models have raised questions about the safety of the company’s vehicles. This adds an additional layer of uncertainty surrounding the impending launch of the Li Mega. The company needs to address these concerns promptly to secure its position in the increasingly competitive electric vehicle market.

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