Neta cars are cheap but there is a huge difference between its declared deliveries and the number of vehicles insured.
Photo by Kuang Da
By CHEN Xiaotong
Neta Auto broke through last year as the new car maker to watch. Neta delivered 152,000 units last year, doubling 2021 sales and far surpassing peers Li Auto, Nio and Xiaopeng.
Dominant in terms of output, the quality of Neta's products is not optimal. Neta cars are cheap mid-range models that sell for 180,000 yuan (US$25,000), a price much lower than any of its competitors. At the same time, Neta's figures have been questioned by outsiders due to a huge difference between its declared deliveries and the number of Neta’s insured.
A report on outbound investment shows Neta’s latest valuation stands at approximately US$10.8 billion (73 billion yuan). Neta Auto posted net losses of US$1.3 billion in 2020 and US$2.9 billion in 2021. Even with the headline achievement of 2022 deliveries, Neta may not be all it is claimed to be.
Vehicle insurance is considered more reflective of actual sales in the consumer market, but Neta has a huge gap. In October 2022, Neta announced deliveries of 18,000 units, while the number of units insured that month was only 9,800. A large difference means that the vehicles are mainly sold to the business market, or backlogged in dealerships.
Neta's monthly sales are on a downward slope. After October, deliveries declined for two months, dropping slightly to 15,000 in November, and then to 8,000 in December, the only company among new brands to see a significant decline.
Neta CEO ZHANG Yong recently said that 2023 will be not good for Neta as it faces many challenges mainly due to the "lack of chips" and "expensive electronics,"
A lack of consumer confidence and increasingly fierce competition will lead to a slump in sales.