Chinese new energy vehicle brand Li Auto has always positioned its car models as suitable for families. In the firm’s 2022 Q1 financial report conference call, executives said that by 2025, Li Auto‘s core customers will remain families with children. In some second-tier cities in China, however, small business owners are also becoming important consumers of Li Auto, and its cars are increasingly being used as company vehicles in this sector.
Domestic media outlet Lu Jiu Business Review learned through observation of many Li Auto consumers that a group of small business owners in small towns and rural markets are gradually becoming part of the main user portraits of Li Auto. These consumers use the Li L9 SUV as a company vehicle to pick up customers. They used to prefer Benz, BMW and Audi cars and have now become Li Auto‘s loyal customers. In second-tier cities like Zhengzhou, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan and others, Li Auto cars are getting more and more common.
The reasons might be that the technologies carried by Li Auto cars hit the user psychology of these consumers. Since Li Auto‘s SUVs are medium to large-sized, the interior space is sufficient. The leather, sound system with first-class quality, super-large screens, man-machine interaction system, and even the seats that feature ventilation and lumbar massage functions are features that can be showed off to others. Most importantly, therange extenders added to the electric vehicles of Li Auto help to greatly reduce charging worries.
In the above-mentioned report, when contacting two of Li Auto‘s sales stores in Beijing, staff said that they often receive corporate customers who buy cars for firm use. A salesperson estimated that this part of the sales volume could account for 20% of the total.
“Chinese people like big cars, big screens, and they have a higher acceptance of new things,” Mr. Zhou, an automobile industry insider, told Lu Jiu Business Review, adding, “car owners in smaller cities also have a certain influence on their friends. Therefore, people around them are more likely to buy Li Auto cars.”
In a report by the Yiche Research Institute released in June of this year, male car owners aged 35-54 in first-tier and second-tier cities in China are likely to weigh specific brands less when buying cars. Quality and configuration have become more important. Soochow Securities previously contacted a report on cars of a similar level with a length of 5m and a wheelbase of 3m. Prices of Li Auto‘s vehicles are in the middle and lower range, but their configuration and intelligent system is far richer than that of other brands.
This is most obvious with the Li Auto L9. The body size and configuration of this car have reached the standard of flagship SUVs released by Benz, BMW and Audi. The price of the latter is usually 1 million yuan, but the Li L9 is priced at 459,800 yuan ($68,657).
On December 1, data released by Li Auto showed that the delivery volume in November this year was 15,000 vehicles, an increase of 11.5% year-on-year, setting a single-month delivery record. As of November 30 this year, the cumulative delivery volume of the firm was 236,100 vehicles.