Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto reported strong sales in April, but the growth rate is significantly slower than in March. Nio executives point to a chip shortage that will hold back sales growth in the second quarter.
Shares in Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio (NIO), Xpeng (XPEV) and Li Auto (LI) tumbled Monday as investors received confirmation that their sales were slowing amid increased competition in China and semiconductor shortages.
Strong growth during the second half of 2020 was replaced by a fall in these shares in December last year. Xpeng is orange, Li Auto is blue and Nio is candlesticks.
The fall in shares of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers from early 2021 and Monday was:
for Nio: -18.9% and 0.75%, respectively;
Xpeng shares fell 32.2% and nearly 3%, respectively;
Li Auto shares were down 32.6% and 1.5%, respectively.
Although automaker sales rose strongly in April compared to last year, they increased quite modestly compared to March.
Nio, which was forced to shut down its plant for five days starting March 29 due to a semiconductor shortage, said its April sales jumped 125% year-over-year to 5,147 electric vehicles. This included:
– 1523 seven-seater ES8 SUVs,
– 3163 five-seater ES6 SUVs;
– 2,416 EC6 electric crossovers.
However, this is below Nio’s rate of 373% in March, when Nio delivered 7,257 of its SUVs.
Nio executives warned last week that second-quarter shipments would be about the same as in the first quarter due to chip shortages.
Xpeng Motors delivered 285% more EVs in April 2021 than last year, with 5,147 units, of which 2,995 P7 sedans and 2,152 G3 compact SUVs. However, this growth is also lower compared to Xpeng’s March growth rate of 384% to 5,102 units shipped.
Li Auto’s April sales increased 111% to 5,539 hybrid-electric SUVs, down from 239% in March but up 13% on March shipments themselves.
Li Auto said the company reached the 500,000 unit milestone faster than any of its peers.
Analysts point to increasing competition in the Chinese electric vehicle market, making it difficult for domestic manufacturers to grow supplies. American Tesla (TSLA) is stepping up shipments of the Model Y SUV from its Shanghai plant, and the rise in prices suggests that the company is “happy” with the sales.
German Volkswagen began deliveries of its Chinese crossover ID.4 at the end of March, and Ford (F) is taking pre-orders for the Mach-E crossover, which is starting production at a plant in China.
Under these conditions, Chinese manufacturers are planning to produce new electric vehicles with more attractive prices. Xpeng showed off the new P5 electric sedan with lidar sensors last month.
According to Wedbush analysts, “China remains an emerging market for electric vehicles as we believe that sales of electric vehicles in the region could potentially double over the next few years.”