Chip shortage will last another quarter

Xpeng Motors launches the P5 sedan at an event in Guangzhou, China, on April 14, 2021. The P5 is Xpeng’s third production model and features so-called Lidar technology.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

BEIJING – Chinese electric car startup Xpeng expects the global chip shortage to persist for at least another three months.

Automakers around the world have had to cut production due to shortages of semiconductors or chips. High demand for electronics, trade tensions between the United States and China, and a major factory fire have affected the highly specialized industry’s ability to make enough chips.

“What we have seen is that this difficult situation will continue into the next quarter,” Brian Gu, vice president and president of Xpeng, said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

The challenge is “the visibility of chip supplies is by the minute,” Gu said. “We are paying a lot, a lot of attention to the situation. Right now, the impact is limited and is reflected in our guide ”.

Xpeng’s U.S.-listed shares fell nearly 4.9% in Thursday’s trading session despite the startup reporting higher-than-expected revenue of 2.95 billion yuan ($ 456.7 million). for the first trimester.

The stock is down nearly 45% year-to-date but still has gains of more than 50% since its IPO in August.

Xpeng expects to deliver between 15,500 and 16,000 vehicles in the second quarter. The company said it delivered 13,340 cars in the first three months of the year, beating its forecast of 12,500 cars.

Growing software revenue

While car sales account for the majority of Xpeng’s revenue, the company noted that first-quarter results were helped by customer demand for its assisted driving software. The startup said it posted revenue from the software for the first time after rolling out an update for paying customers in the first quarter.

Gu told CNBC that more than 25% of customers have paid for assisted driving software in the last month, up from 20% in the last quarter. He expects increased use of Xpeng’s software and lower vehicle production costs to increase the company’s margin in the near future.

Later this year, Xpeng plans to launch a second electric sedan, the P5, which includes support for the latest version of the start-up assisted driving software.

Vehicle margin, a measure of profitability, rose to 10.1% in the first quarter, compared to 6.8% in the previous quarter. The company reported a year-on-year increase in net losses, of 786.6 million yuan in the first quarter, compared to 649.8 million yuan during the same period last year. Research and development expenses increased 72.2% from the previous year to 535.1 million yuan.

Moving towards Europe

Xpeng went ahead with its European expansion plans in the first quarter by delivering more than 300 units of its G3 SUV to Norway, according to the company. The startup had sent 100 of the cars to market in December. Xpeng expects to start delivering its P7 sedan to Norway in the second half of the year.

Competition in that foreign market will increase with Chinese electric carmaker Nio’s plans to open a showroom and begin deliveries in Norway later this year. Nio’s shares fell 7.3% on Thursday and are down nearly 36% so far this year.

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