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Nio, Xpeng EV Sales Surge But Pace Slows Amid Chip Woes, Tesla Ramping Up

Nio (NIO), Xpeng Motors (XPEV) and Li Auto (LI) all grew April sales triple digits on home turf despite a chip shortage that idled a Nio factory for a few days. Sales slowed for the trio of Chinese EV startups vs. March’s pace, as Tesla (TSLA) ramps up competition.

Nio stock rose slightly Monday, while Xpeng and Li Auto fell.

Year over year, Nio’s April sales jumped 125% to 5,147 electric vehicles. That included 1,523 seven-seater ES8 SUVs, 3,163 five-seater ES6 SUVs, and 2,416 EC6 electric crossovers.

Sales growth slowed from the 373% pace that Nio saw in March.

But Nio’s April EV sales defied the chip shortage that forced the emerging Tesla of China to temporarily suspend factory production for five days starting March 29.

Year over year, Xpeng Motors saw April sales surge 285% to 5,147 electric vehicles. That included 2,995 P7 sedans and 2,152 G3 compact SUVs.

However, growth slowed from March’s 384% pace.

Year over year, Li Auto’s April sales increased 111% to 5,539 hybrid-electric SUVs. Sales growth slowed from March’s 239% pace.

Li Auto reached a milestone 500,000th delivery faster than any of its peers, the Chinese EV startup said in a statement.

Month to month, Nio sales fell 2.1%. Nio last week indicated that Q2 deliveries would roughly flat vs. Q1 amid chip shortages. Xpeng sales rose 1% vs. March. Li Auto sales climbed 13% vs. the prior month.

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Nio Stock, Xpeng Stock

Shares of Nio rose 0.5% to 40.04 on the stock market today. Nio stock has been meeting resistance at the 50-day line after bouncing off the 200-day line in mid-April. Xpeng stock fell 1% and hasn’t traded above the 50-day line since February. Li Auto lost 0.8%.

All three EV stocks remain in a severe bear market on a multitude of factors, including rising competition in China. Tesla, which dominates the Chinese market for luxury EVs, began selling a locally made Model Y SUV this year.

Tesla stock eased 2% amid a report that the key Berlin plant won’t start production until 2022. The IBD Leaderboard stock is back above the 50-day line, rebounding Friday after initially selling off following earnings last week.

China EV Competition Heats Up

After booming sales in 2020, Nio and Xpeng face tougher competition ahead. Tesla officially launched the new made-in-Shanghai Model Y crossover Jan. 1, a rival to Nio’s EC6 and Xpeng’s G7, and is ramping up sales. It already sold a locally made Model 3 sedan in China.

Traditional auto giants are ramping up EV plans in China. Volkswagen (VWAGY) began deliveries of its made-in-China ID.4 crossover in late March. Ford (F) is taking preorders for Mach-E crossover, which is beginning local production.

Last month, Tesla hiked prices of made-in-China Model Y SUVs. The price increase signaled that Tesla is “comfortable” with sales of its newest EV for the Chinese market, local reports said.

As Tesla rises, Nio and its China EV stock peers all plan to introduce new, more attractively priced EVs. Last month, Xpeng showed off a smaller electric sedan that it touts as the world’s first mass-produced EV with lidar sensors.

According to Wedbush analysts, “China remains a greenfield EV market opportunity as we believe EV sales can potentially double in the region over the next few years.”

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.


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