Nio Races Ahead, XPeng Speeds Up, Li Auto Lags Behind

More record-breaking for some Chinese EV companies in September, but uncertainty rolls the stocks downhill.
Oct. 01, 2021 20:23
Nio Races Ahead, XPeng Speeds Up, Li Auto Lags Behind

(CapitalWatch, Oct. 1, New York) Record deliveries in September spurred early Friday gains, but in the afternoon, Chinese EV stocks shifted lower on chip shortage woes and new regulation risks. In a traditional update, CW looks at EV stock movers in China.

Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO), which seemed a weaker player by August deliveries, has jumped to the forefront with third-quarter deliveries exceeding guidance at 24,439 vehicles. That was double the number of units delivered in the three months through September of 2020.

In September alone, Nio delivered 10,628 vehicles globally, "an all-time high monthly record representing a robust growth of 125.7% year-over-year," the report said. About half of the sales were for Nio's ES6, a five-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV.

In all, cumulative deliveries of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 have reached 142,036 units.

Nio also noted its launch in Norway, marking international expansion progress against the backdrop of mounting expenses and losses. Simply Wall St's Goran Damchevski writes that Nio has the chance to break even in two years – that is, if it does not tumble under the pressure of aggressive expansion and debt.

Shares in Nio traded at $35.55 apiece Friday afternoon, 11 cents lower, after opening at $36.63. In a month, NIO stock slid 12% on fears that Chinese regulators is looking to tighten the industry after the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology voiced concern over "too many" EV makers and called for consolidation.

In addition, fears of chip shortage, as noted by Nio previously, continue to raise concerns.

Treading closely behind Nio, XPeng Inc. (Nasdaq: XPEV; HKEX: 9868) broke its earlier records with 10,412 deliveries, triple the units of September 2020. In the third quarter overall, it has delivered 25,666 EVs, also at a 199% year-over-year growth.

Notably, XPeng has been present in Norway's attractive EV market for a year, as FutureCar reports.

XPEV stock was trading nearly flat, at $35.53 a share Friday, after early gains. In a month, XPEV stock has declined 13% despite the company's launch of the P5 affordable smart sedan in mid-September. The model is expected to begin deliveries in late October after some strong interest from consumers noted by XPeng's vice chairman and president, Brian Gu.

Earlier, Gu had commented on the consolidation call, interpreting it as a call for rationalization and optimization of production capacity and saying XPeng has no capacity constraint. Now building additional plants in Guangzhou and Wuhan, XPeng may in the future consider acquiring existing factories as "one of the tools that we can use if we need much bigger capacity given our growth trajectory," Gu said.

Year-to-date, XPeng has delivered 56,404 EVs, a fourfold increase from a year ago.

Li Auto Inc. (Nasdaq: LI; HKEX: 2015) has doubled its September deliveries from a year ago, at 7,094 units. What's more, in the third quarter, it counted 25,116 deliveries, seeing striking growth of 190%.

Li Auto's co-founder and president, Yanan Shen, called September results "moderate" due to "the prolonged chip supply shortage" in the statement. Indeed, the number of Li ONEs delivered fell 25% from August while both Nio and XPeng saw a month-to-month improvement.

"Responding to the continually rising orders since the release of the 2021 Li ONE, we are taking multiple measures to ensure the supply of the auto parts, aiming to shorten the waiting time of delivery for our users," he added.

In the nine months through September, 55,270 Li ONEs were delivered, according to the report.

Li stock was trading nearly flat in the afternoon, at $26.39 per share, settling from early gains. In a month, LI stock is down 15%, seeing a bigger decline than Nio and XPeng. A smaller EV maker, Li Auto has yet to deliver its second EV model to the market – and that may place it under more regulatory risks should Beijing act on its consolidation call.

Nio, XPEV, LI, Li Auto, China, EVs, EV Stocks