Li Auto Plans Overseas Expansion to the Middle East

Multiple informed sources have revealed that Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Li Auto plans to launch overseas operations next year, per Chinese media LatePost. The initial markets targeted include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries, and possibly some North African countries. The first model to be introduced in these markets will be the Li Auto L9. Depending on the reception from international consumers, the Li Auto L8 and Li Auto L7 may also be added to the list.

In July, 2023, Li Xiang, CEO of Li Auto, said that the company will not enter the overseas market before 2025, and that the company will concentrate all resources to achieve its goals by 2025. However, according to the sources cited by LatePost, prior to the Li Auto autumn strategic conference this year, a few capitals from the Middle East and Europe had already been in contact with Li Auto. After assessment, Li Auto believes that compared to Europe, the political and consumer environment in the Middle East is more suitable as its first overseas market.

Middle Eastern countries generally welcome Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers to invest and establish businesses locally. In contrast, the European Union has previously announced an anti-subsidy investigation into pure electric vehicles produced in China. At the same time, most countries in the Middle East encourage the concept of “having more children for more blessings,” which is a positive factor for Li Auto‘s feature models of being spacious family cars. Li Auto electric vehicles also have a relatively high price, which matches the economic development level of Middle Eastern countries.

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