(Bloomberg) --

The founder of Chinese electric-vehicle maker XPeng Inc. bought $30 million worth of its American depositary shares on the open market after they plunged this year.

A company controlled by Xpeng Chairman Xiaopeng He bought 2.2 million shares at an average price of $13.58 per share on Friday, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. After the purchase, He controls about 20.5% of Xpeng, the statement said.

The company’s New York-traded shares have slumped 73% in 2022, making it the worst of the three Chinese EV makers listed in the US, and trading below its initial public offering price. Nio Inc. is down 44% and Li Auto Inc. has fallen 22%, with the trio caught up in a broader selloff of EV startups and concern Chinese firms will be delisted from US exchanges. 

XPeng reported a wider-than-expected loss in the three months to June after Shanghai’s lockdown and supply chain snarls troubled automakers. The automaker sold almost 9,600 EVs in August, well short of Shenzhen-based market leader BYD Co., which sold almost 175,000 electric cars.  

XPeng is looking to its new G9 sports utility vehicle to spur growth, President Brian Gu said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday.

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