Chinese EV players Xpeng, Nio and Li Auto see car deliveries surge in March

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Chinese electric carmakers Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto are facing several headwinds including higher raw material costs and a resurgence of Covid in China. However, they all posted a surge in March delivery volumes.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chinese electric vehicle start-ups Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto delivered more cars in March than February even as they faced a number of challenges in the last few weeks.

Chinese electric carmakers are grappling with a rise in Covid cases in China, which threatens to disrupt production and deliveries, while raw material costs continue to increase. That’s forced several auto companies in China, from Tesla to Xpeng and Li Auto, to hike the prices of their cars.

The share prices of all three companies, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto, were sharply higher in U.S. pre-market trade.

Xpeng

Of the three, Xpeng delivered the most electric cars in March. The Guangzhou-headquartered automaker said it delivered 15,414 vehicles in March, up 148% from February. For the first quarter, Xpeng delivered 34,561 cars, an increase of 159% year on year.

Xpeng’s P7 flagship sedan exceeded 9,000 deliveries, a monthly record.

“The company attributes its robust Q1 delivery results to growing brand awareness and higher demand for its Smart EV products as well as accelerated delivery of its large order backlog from 2021 and new orders received in 2022 after it completed technology upgrades for its Zhaoqing plant in February,” an Xpeng spokesperson told CNBC.

Zhaoqing in south China is one of Xpeng’s main production facilities.

Li Auto

Chinese electric vehicle start-up Li Auto reported a rebound in deliveries of its cars in February but said production has been affected because of a resurgence of Covid cases in China.

U.S.- and Hong Kong-listed Li Auto delivered 11,034 of its Li ONE sports utility vehicle (SUV) in March, up 31% from February. For the first quarter, Li Auto said it had delivered 31,716 vehicles, an increase of 152.1% year on year.

However, the company said that production has been affected “by the shortage of certain auto parts resulting from the resurging COVID-19 cases recently in the Yangtze Delta region,” which includes the area where Li Auto’s factory is.

Last month, Li Auto said it would increase the price of its Li ONE car from 338,000 Chinese yuan ($53,147) to 349,800 yuan, effective from April 1.

Li Auto is gearing up to release its next car, the L9 SUV, on April 16, as competition in China’s electric vehicle market continues to heat up.

Nio

Nio said it delivered 9,985 vehicles in March, up 62.8% from February. The company has delivered 25,768 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 28.5% year over year. That was a quarterly delivery record for the electric vehicle maker.

Nio is the only company out of the three that is yet to raise the prices of its cars.

Next month, Nio will debut its new SUV called the ES7.

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