An obscure Chinese company called Xpeng Motors, which doesn't yet have its own car factory, has grand dreams of becoming a "Tesla killer" and might turn to an IPO to realize this ambition.
Xpeng Motors was founded in 2014 by He Xiaopeng (now its CEO). He is a well-known e-entrepreneur in China, having co-founded a number of companies, including, UCWeb Inc., the Chinese mobile Internet software and service provider.
Xpeng Motors is one of many electric vehicle (EV) companies that sprouted in China over the last few years to take up the government's challenge to build "new energy vehicles."
He said Xpeng Motors began deliveries in December 2018 of its first EV -- the sporty G3 SUV - which has a base price of $33,916 or RMB227,800.
Xpeng Motors, however, is expanding and funding this move is inevitable. He has admitted he wants his Xpeng Motors to become an internationally recognized brand, much like Tesla.
"We are actively looking at (the) next round of funds," said He, who said they were looking at $500 million or more in both equity and debt. Xpeng Motors previously raised $1.3 billion in funding.
He said the new funding will be used to boost production and to complete the construction of the company's own factory. He expects construction to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. He said his factory will be producing EVs on a "big scale."
He said an IPO is a distinct possibility.
"Yes, we do have IPO plans," said He. "We are open to a listing either overseas or at home in China. We want to focus on building our business first before considering the IPO."
"The auto industry is capital intensive, and at the same time, has a strict requirement for operation and efficiency. We want to focus on getting more orders and delivering the cars this year and next before we start considering going public," said He to CNBC.
He said a Wall Street listing will likely come before a listing in Shanghai.
"We are on the fence for the U.S. and tech board listing. For Xpeng, we hope to do both. Tech board is a good option. We will keep monitoring it. It is possible that our U.S. listing will happen sooner," Xiaopeng said.