Chinese EV maker Xpeng’s operating loss widens on production ramp-up costs

(Reuters) -China’s Xpeng posted a wider-than-expected quarterly operating loss on Wednesday due to costs stemming from a production ramp-up, sending the U.S.-listed shares of the electric-vehicle maker down more than 3%.

Smaller Chinese EV makers such as Xpeng and Nio are trying to compete with Tesla on their home turf, but their ride so far has been bumpy given the massive costs involved in bolstering production and launching new cars.

Operating loss for the third quarter stood at 3.16 billion yuan($436.33 million), compared with the estimates of 3.79 billion yuan, according to five analysts polled by Visible Alpha. Its year-earlier operating loss was 2.18 billion yuan.

Revenue for the quarter came in at 8.53 billion yuan, missing analysts’ estimates of 8.55 billion yuan.

The company expects deliveries in the fourth quarter to grow at least two-fold to between 59,500 and 63,500, as it places huge bets on the G6 sport utility vehicle, which looks to compete with Tesla’s Model Y.

Xpeng expects revenue for the current quarter to be between 12.7 billion yuan and 13.6 billion yuan, above estimates of 12.10 billion yuan.

Chinese EV makers have been exporting vehicles to Europe where they get higher prices on their cars than in the domestic market. But they face the threat of higher tariffs as well, with the European Commission seeking to probe EV exporters that receive Chinese state subsidies.

Xpeng also reported wider net loss of 4.49 yuan per American depositary share (ADS) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from 2.77 yuan per share a year earlier.

($1 = 7.2423 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)