Tesla Rivals BYD, Li Auto Report Record Deliveries; XPeng, Nio Also Strong

Tesla rivals in China reported strong August deliveries on Friday. Li Auto (LI) and EV giant BYD (BYDDF) reported record sales, with XPeng (XPEV) having its best month in more than a year. Nio (NIO) deliveries were close to a record.


All of these EV players, which are trying to challenge Tesla (TSLA), have launched several new models in recent months. An upgraded Tesla Model 3 went on sale Friday morning.

China’s economy continues to weaken. Still, overall China EV sales are expected to rise in August.

Here are August sales results.

Tesla Rivals In China: Li Auto

Li Auto delivered 34,914 vehicles, up 2.3% from July’s prior record of 34,134 and 664% vs. a year earlier. All three of its hybrid SUVs sold more than 10,000.

For Q3, Li Auto has guided deliveries of 100,000-103,000 vehicles. That means it’s now tracking toward the high end of its delivery guidance.

The maker of hybrid-electric SUVs targets the premium market. Li has begun offering $1,370 insurance subsidies to maintain sales momentum, CnEVPost.com reported Aug. 30.

That’s notable because Li had stayed out of the price war until now, and because the company has said it’s production constrained. Capacity should increase with a new Beijing plant in October.

In August, Li began delivering the “Pro” trim of the L9, which has autonomous driving as a standard feature.

Shares of Li Auto edged up 0.3% on the stock market today, trading above its 21-day moving average. Li Auto stock is on the IBD 50 list of top growth stocks.


Nio deliveries came in at 19,329, down 5.5% from July’s record 20,462 but up 81% vs. a year earlier. A brief plant shutdown for upgrades in late July to early August may have affected production. Nio said orders topped 20,000.

It has guided 55,000-57,000 EV deliveries in Q3. That means Nio is now tracking above the high end of its delivery guidance for 55,000-57,000. Nio’s Q3 delivery guidance on Tuesday disappointed some analysts.

In June, Nio joined an EV price war started by Tesla (TSLA).

Analysts expect new models like the ES6, a totally overhauled version of Nio’s top-selling electric SUV, to boost deliveries in the second half of 2023.

Shares of Nio climbed 3.6% early Friday. Nio stock has fallen its 50-day line but is holding its 200-day.


XPeng deliveries hit 13,690, the highest since June 2022 and up 43% vs. a year earlier. Sales jumped 24.4% vs. July’s 11,008 EVs, the seventh straight month of sequential gains.

The startup has guided Q3 deliveries of 39,000-41,000 electric vehicles. That means it’s now tracking to the xx end of its delivery guidance.

Deliveries of its new G6 crossover, a Model Y rival, jumped to 7,068. G6 deliveries began in July.

Shares of XPeng rose 2.5% early Friday.


BYD sold a record 274,386 vehicles in August, up nearly 5% vs. July’s 262,161. and 57% vs. a year earlier. Out of the 173,977 passenger vehicles, the China EV and battery giant sold 145,627 all-electric BEVs and 128,459 PHEVs.

The balance has shifted toward BEVs in the past few months, helped by super-cheap Seagull.

BYD’s sales are mostly in China, but exports are picking up, surging to 25,023 in August from 18,169 in July and 10,536 in June.

BYD has sold 1,792,184 NEVs so far this year, up 83% from January-August 2022r.

The Tesla archrival seeks to sell at least 3 million vehicles in 2023. That means it has to average nearly 302,000 deliveries per month for the rest of the year.

BYD stock climbed 2.3%, closing in on its 50-day line. Shares have surged this week, fueled by strong a first-half earnings report.

China EV Sales

In August through Aug. 27, retail sales of passenger new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China stood at 538,000 units, up 2% from the same period last month. That data comes from the China Passenger Car Association.

So far this year, retail NEV sales, which include hybrids, have reached 4.265 million units. That is up 35% year over year, according to CnEVPost.com.

For Nio and XPeng, new models have boosted hopes for a stronger second half of 2023.

But the latest data showed China’s factory activity fell for a fifth straight month in August.

And Tesla reignited the China EV price war last month with a new round of cuts.

Growth is slowing in the world’s largest EV market.

China EV sales more than doubled in 2021 and 2022. They are expected to grow around 30% this year.


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