Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng plans to open its first self-operated store outside of China this week and deepen its retail network with partners as the start-up ramps up its international expansion.
The Xpeng store will be located in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and will open this week.
Xpeng has also signed a deal with Bilia, a large automotive dealer and distributor in Sweden, to sell its cars. Xpeng cars will be stocked in Bilia stores and serviced at its locations.
The Chinese electric vehicle maker also signed a distribution deal with auto retailer Emil Frey in the Netherlands. Xpeng said it plans to open its own store in the Netherlands near The Hague in March 2022.
Xpeng’s push into Sweden and the Netherlands with a retail bricks and mortar footprint marks its most significant international expansion drive yet, as it aims to sell half of its cars outside of China in the future.
In 2020, the company began delivering cars to Norway. It works with a local partner to sell cars there and does not yet have its own self-operated store. So far, Xpeng has focused on countries which have fast-growing electric vehicle take up.
But Xpeng’s rivals also have their eyes set on European expansion. Nio opened a flagship store in Oslo and began local car deliveries in September. Warren Buffett-backed electric carmaker BYD began shipping electric cars to Norway last summer.
Despite continued growth of electric vehicles in China, domestic start-ups are laying the groundwork for aggressive overseas expansion which could fuel future growth. They’re also likely to clash with Tesla and other European and American carmakers as they do so.
“Our global journey starts from Europe, propelled by our commitment to the smart EV penetration,” He Xiaopeng, CEO of Xpeng, said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Xpeng shares got a boost after its Hong Kong-listed stock was included in a trading link between mainland China and Hong Kong.