Currently reading: Li Auto: the first Tesla chaser to turn a profit
Nascent but highly profitable Beijing firm is moving from range-extenders to EVs, starting with a striking super-MPV

The most eye-catching launch at the Guangzhou motor show last week was a slippery, 5.3-metre-long electric MPV called the Mega.

The car sharply divided opinion with its truncated nose and aero-optimised ‘wind blade’ that fused the body with the C-pillars to wrap around the back end.

It was the brainchild of Li Auto, a Chinese ‘new energy vehicle’ start-up that has steadily become the most successful of the fast-followers of Tesla, beating the likes of Nio, Xpeng, Lucid, Rivian, Fisker and Zeekr to post profits in the past two quarters.

In fact, so successful has Li Auto become that in October it outsold Tesla in China with 40,423 wholesales (sales to dealers) against 28,626, according to figures from sales aggregator Bestsellingcarsblog.

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