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Xpeng Sees Sales Turnaround in Second Half with new EV Model

SHANGHAI, July 5 (Reuters) - Chinese electric-vehicle maker Xpeng forecast sharp growth in deliveries in the second half of the year thanks to its new model that is taking on Tesla with competitive prices and smart-driving technologies.

Xpeng has received a "significant" amount of orders for its newly launched G6 pure electric crossover, president Brain Gu told reporters on Wednesday. That would help the company increase monthly sales to 15,000 units in the third quarter -- nearly double of June and May -- and to more than 20,000 units in the final quarter of the year, he added.

The upbeat outlook follows months of sales slumps and expanded losses for EV startups like Xpeng and Nio, even as bigger rivals Tesla and BYD posted record second-quarter deliveries amid an intensifying price war.

Xpeng, which saw first-half sales drop by 40%, will start the delivery of its G6 compact crossover this month with a starting price 20% lower than Tesla's best-selling model of Model Y.

The Chinese firm launched the G6 at the Shanghai auto show in April as the first model built on its next-generation technology architecture that helps lower manufacturing costs.

Xpeng also touted its advanced driver assistance system XNGP, which will enable drivers of its models including G6 to use assisted-driving technologies similar to Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) on urban roads in major cities. Tesla rolled out FSD four years ago but has yet to make it available in China despite customers urging the company to do so.

With G6, Xpeng also introduced its most advanced autonomous driving capabilities into the category of EVs priced at 250,000 yuan ($34,500.37) or below, Gu said.

"We always believe that smart-driving technology will become a very true differentiator for mobility going forward. The G6 debut is actually pointing to that and giving us confidence," he added.

Shares of Xpeng in Hong Kong had gained more than 20% after it announced prices for the G6 last Thursday.

($1 = 7.2463 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Writing by Meg Shen; Editing by Toby Chopra and Devika Syamnath

Source: Reuters

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