On May 18th, 2020, Xpeng Motors announced that it has secured a production license from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for its recently-built, wholly-owned manufacturing factory, the Zhaoqing Xpeng Motors Intelligent Industrial Park, located in Guangdong Province.
This is big news for the EV startup and comes just before they plan to release their second offering, the P7 long-range sports sedan. Xpeng Motors currently sells only one vehicle, a compact SUV named the G3.
Xpeng’s new facility is located in Guangdong Province, which is where Xpeng Motors is based. The new Zhaoqing plant has a total planned area of 3,000 acres, with vehicle production facilities covering 1,500 acres. Around 900 acres of the facility has already been developed during the first phase of construction.
“The Zhaoqing manufacturing plant is an essential component of our vision to build a smart mobility ecosystem, from in-house R&D to smart manufacturing to customer services. Obtaining the production approval for the plant will hasten our progress in producing and delivering best-in-class products and services for our customers,” said He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of Xpeng Motors.
Xpeng tells us the plant contains five unique workshops that cover the essential manufacturing functions, including stamping, welding, painting, assembly as well as battery pack production.
The Zhaoqing Plant is capable of manufacturing four different models and employs 264 state-of-the-art industrial robots. The facility also includes test tracks that have 18 different types of roads for onsite testing and validation of various braking and automatic safety systems.
In China, it’s common for automotive startups to partner with an existing manufacturer to use their license to make the startup’s cars. Xpeng Motors has that arrangement with Haima Automobile, and currently makes the Xpeng G3 SUV at Haima’s Zhengzhou manufacturing facility.
NIO, another startup EV manufacturer in China, partnered with state-owned automaker JAC Motors so they could begin making their cars in 2018. NIO had planned to build their own manufacturing facility in Shanghai, but abandoned those plans in 2019 after struggling in their first year of operations.
This is really a great step forward for Xpeng. Having their own state of the art manufacturing facility and private testing grounds will not only allow them to operate more efficiently and effectively, but it will also signal to the Chinese consumer that they are a strong, independent brand.