By Jiahui Huang

XPeng guided for a rise in second-quarter vehicle deliveries after its first-quarter net loss narrowed on higher sales and improved margins.

The Chinese electric-vehicle maker posted a quarterly net loss of 1.37 billion yuan ($189.4 million), compared with a CNY2.34 billion loss a year earlier, it said Tuesday.

Quarterly revenue jumped 62% to CNY6.55 billion, beating an estimate of CNY6.22 billion in a FactSet poll of analysts. The company attributed the rise to higher deliveries, driven by its X9 model launch during the quarter. XPeng delivered 21,821 vehicles in the first quarter, meeting its prior guidance for 21,000-22,500 units. The EV maker cut prices for its models in March.

The top line was also helped by a near doubling in revenue from services, which it attributed to a recent tie-up with Volkswagen Group in the fields of autonomous driving and advanced in-car software systems.

XPeng forecast second-quarter deliveries to rise 25%-38% to 29,000-32,000 vehicles and revenue to increase 48%-64% to between CNY7.5 billion and CNY8.3 billion.

Gross margin was 12.9%, up sharply from 1.7% a year earlier and 6.2% in the fourth quarter. Bigger rivals Li Auto and BYD reported first-quarter gross margins of 20.6% and 21.9%, respectively.

The improved gross margin was driven by a sharp rise in its services and others margin, thanks to revenue from research and development service related to its platform and software collaboration with Volkswagen Group.

Its vehicle margin rose to 5.5% from negative 2.5% a year earlier and 4.1% in the fourth quarter. The company attributed the rise to cost reduction and a better product mix of models.

XPeng, which has yet to turn a profit since its founding nearly a decade ago, is seeking to leverage its advances in auto-driving technology as it works to boost production in the world's most crowded EV market.

The company launched its artificial intelligence-powered in-car operating system on Monday. The system can help drivers better identify road situations, assist with parking and provide interactive in-car assistance.

"Through our strategic partnership with the Volkswagen Group, XPeng is at the forefront of monetizing in-house developed smart technologies as a technology enabler," Chairman and Chief Executive Xiaopeng He said.

It is also seeking to sell more vehicles overseas, this year expanding to France, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia. Exports accounted for 2.3% of the company's sales in 2023, according to China Passenger Car Association data.

Write to Jiahui Huang at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-21-24 0727ET