China’s Xpeng EV Manufacturer Reveals AI Investment Plan and Massive Hiring

China’s Xpeng EV Manufacturer Reveals AI Investment Plan and Massive Hiring

The Chinese manufacturer of electric vehicles, Xpeng, revealed significant development ambitions on Sunday, the first working day following the Lunar New Year.

Chief executive He Xiaopeng announced in a letter to staff that the company would invest a significant amount of money in artificial intelligence and hire 4,000 new people this year.

The actions aim to support the automaker in what it describes as a “bloody sea” of competition in the biggest auto market in the world.

The new hires would amount to a 25% increase in the Volkswagen-backed EV maker’s staff from its most recent headcount of 15,829 at the end of 2022.

As China Prepares For The “knockout round,” Many New Models Are Planned

He added that Xpeng intends to deliver about 30 new products or updated models within three years. The company would also invest 3.5 billion yuan ($486.36 million) in AI research and development for intelligent driving.

“Facing the pessimistic macroeconomic situation, many business partners are drawing back and afraid to invest. I think this is an opportunity for our development,” He said.

According to the CEO, Chinese auto manufacturers will enter a “knockout round” in 2024. “In 2024, we will buck the trend and enter a high-speed positive cycle in the fourth quarter or earlier.”

Xpeng is planning to expand, while competitors are trying to cut costs as quickly as possible. In the biggest car market in the world, demand is still weakening despite fresh discounts spearheaded by Tesla.

Chinese EV manufacturer Nio announced in November that it would reduce staff by 10% in order to increase productivity in the face of escalating competition.

Chinese manufacturers have turned to exporting as a growth engine in response to dwindling domestic demand. However, tensions outside are a result of China’s increasing influence as a car exporter.

Amid a European investigation into Chinese subsidies for the industry, China’s commerce ministry stated earlier this month that it will support the new energy vehicle sector’s response to trade restrictions and international collaboration.

VW announced in July that it will acquire a 4.99% share in Xpeng through an approximate $700 million investment.

“This year is Xpeng’s 10th year. Our performance must more than double,” He said.