Chinese Tesla Fighter Coming To America

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Xpeng Motors has filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chinese automakers have been trying to enter the US automotive market for years and so far have found little success. This could change with Xpeng Motors. According to CNBC, the Chinese electric vehicle start-up company has filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The Securities and Exchange Commission's filing, published last Friday, shows the automaker intends to sell 429,846,136 class B ordinary shares but did not disclose how many Class A ordinary shares will be up for grabs.

Xpeng currently has two vehicles for sale in its native China, the G3 SUV and the P7 sedan, which are direct rivals to the Tesla Model S and Model 3. This past June, we learned Xpeng had nearly copied Tesla's website design though it doesn't seem Tesla cares.

Xpeng
Xpeng
Xpeng

What does anger Tesla is that one of its former Autopilot engineers, Guangzhi Cao, left the company last year to go work for Xpeng. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but Tesla is accusing him of secretly downloading the Autopilot source code and selling it to Xpeng. The court case is still ongoing. Meanwhile, Xpeng has since developed XPilot, a semi-autonomous driving system supposedly developed in-house.

Founded in 2015, Xpeng has been quite successful so far, at least when it comes to raising money. One of its biggest shareholders is Alibaba who injected $400 million into the company. The Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala also each invested $100 million.

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Tesla
Tesla

Now that Xpeng intends to issue an IPO on the NYSE, does this mean vehicles like the P7 will soon be sold in the US? That's probably the eventual goal. Xpeng's factory is located in Shanghai and given the troubled trade relations these days between the US and China, it's unlikely the P7 or any future models will be on American roads in the immediate future.

Instead, Xpeng is laying the necessary groundwork for a future American market presence. Whether or not it ends up selling cars here, it could also potentially market the XPilot system to automakers lacking the resources to develop their own.

Xpeng
Tesla
Source Credits: CNBC

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