The electric vehicle maker’s vice president Zhao Gang (赵刚) denied in an interview that the company was under massive losses and layoffs, which was reported recently.
Zhao Gang admitted Leapmotor was indeed under capital pressure to some extent, but this was within the company’s expectation as it did well in the cost management. In contrast with Chinese leading EV maker NIO that has constantly reduced its headcounts since January this year, Leapmotor is still luring talents to join this company. In the middle of this year, it even raised salaries for some outstanding employees.
Amid the so-called “capital winter” for Chinese EV industry, the company still completed a Series A+ round of funding in last month, boosting its valuation to USD 1.03 billion. Notably, distinguished from other EV makers like NIO and Xpeng whose investors are mainly private capital, Leapmotor is heavily invested by state-owned enterprises such as Shanghai Electric and CRRC who have an enormous capital reserve.
Unlike most other EV startups that rent factories, the company threw around billions of CNY to build its own factory. Production of the factory has been gradually rising since January when only 10 EVs were delivered, whereas around 500 EVs were assembled in August.
Zhao Gang attributes low costs to more focuses on technology research and development rather than marketing, compared with other EV makers.