Biz / Auto

Li Auto shares surge during first day on Nasdaq

Hu Yumo
Li Auto is the second new-energy vehicle startup to go public in the US market, after NIO's IPO two years ago. It's also one of the biggest US listings by a Chinese firm this year.
Hu Yumo

Li Auto Inc's stock jumped 43.13 percent to close at US$16.46 on its first day on the Nasdaq Exchange.

The Beijing-based automaker raised US$1.1 billion by offering 95 million American depositary shares priced at US$11.50. The stock opened at US$15.50 and hit an intraday high of US$17.46.

Li Auto is the second new-energy vehicle startup to go public in the US stock market, after NIO's US$1 billion IPO in New York two years ago. It's also one of the biggest US listings by a Chinese company this year as investors value the company at around US$10 billion.

Li Auto, established in 2015, develops and manufactures smart electric sport-utility vehicles. The carmaker began mass production of its first model, the Li One, a six-seat sport-utility vehicle, in November 2019. It racked up more than 10,000 deliveries as of June 16.

The vehicle startup said it will further accelerate expansion of its sales and service network. In the third quarter of this year, the company expects to have retail centers in more than 30 cities. It plans to further expand its after-sales service network to 100 cities by the end of this year.

Unlike models from NIO and other startups, the Li One allows drivers to power their cars with electricity or gasoline.

China began issuing permits allowing non-traditional automakers to manufacture electric cars in 2015, as part of a national policy to encourage non-polluting cars and help reduce smog in major cities.

Bolstered by strong official backing, more startups are appearing. With government subsidies and a rising consumer acceptance of electric vehicles in large cities, it’s considered a promising corner of the auto industry.

Based on figures from the first six months of 2020, NIO remained the market leader, delivering a total of 14,048 vehicles. Li Auto ranked second with 9,667 units delivered, according to auto insurance data from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

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