China's Li Auto sees higher deliveries in Q4; third-quarter loss widens

Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai

(Reuters) - China's Li Auto Inc on Friday forecast higher delivery of vehicles and a rise in revenue in the fourth quarter, banking on a production ramp-up and better cost management.

The electric vehicle maker saw net loss widen to 1.65 billion yuan ($237.55 million) compared with a net loss of 21.5 million yuan a year ago for the third quarter ended Sept.30.

Most auto makers have been hit by rising material costs and a global chip shortage, but Li Auto said that it was expecting higher deliveries and production scale up as global supply chain issues ease.

Rivals Xpeng Inc and Nio Inc also reported wider losses owing to soaring inflation.

Li Auto said on Friday it expects to deliver between 45,000 and 48,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, an increase of up to 36.3% from a year ago, with revenues seen jumping as much as 65.8% to between 16.51 billion yuan ($2.38 billion) and 17.61 billion yuan.

"Looking ahead, we are optimistic that with rapid production ramp-up, rigorous execution, and responsible cost management, we will realize greater economies of scale and further drive down costs, putting us back on track to hit our profitability inflection point," Tie Li, automaker's chief financial officer, said.

Vehicle sales for the company jumped 22.5% from a year ago to 9.05 billion yuan in the reported quarter, while margins dropped to 12% from 21.1%.

It dispatched 26,524 cars in the September quarter, with October and November deliveries already at more than 25,000 units.

($1 = 6.9472 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)