Nio (NYSE:NIO) just reported deliveries up 30% year-over-year (YOY) for April. The electric vehicle (EV) company’s delivery growth was fueled by the ET5 and ES7 as well as its new EC7 SUV, which went into production during the month.
Nio is one of three major China-based luxury EV makers traded on New York exchanges. For April, the company’s deliveries totaled 6,658 vehicles, down from 10,378 vehicles delivered in March.
As of this writing, NIO stock is down about 1%, changing hands just under the $8 mark.
NIO Stock: Li Auto Leads
Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) had a much better month than Nio, delivering 25,861 vehicles. In total Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) delivered almost 40,000 cars during April. That’s still less than one-tenth the production of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the first quarter of 2023, which delivered 422,875 vehicles over that period.
The largest EV maker in China is BYD (OTCMKTS:BYDDF), which delivered 102,670 battery electric vehicles in March. The company delivered 264,647 all-electric vehicles overall in Q1 as well as 283,270 plug-in hybrids. According to Barron’s, “BYD now has about twice as much market share in China as Tesla for battery-electric vehicles.”
Meanwhile, Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng all have ambitious export plans and growth targets. Nio’s are based on its battery swap technology and a business model built around leasing. The company hopes to produce 200,000 cars this year.
Tesla bulls are downplaying the threat of competition in China. But Li Auto is now on pace to deliver 250,000 cars this year. Xpeng is rolling out a new platform it calls SEPA2.0, supporting a variety of vehicle models. Polestar (NASDAQ:PSNY) will begin assembling its Polestar 3 in South Carolina next year, hoping to make the EV eligible for Inflation Reduction Act tax credits.
Despite all their growth and ambitions, though, Li Auto has proven to be the winner for investors so far. Shares are up 2% for the past 12 months. Meanwhile, Tesla is down more than 45% and both NIO stock and XPEV stock are down more than 50% and 60%, respectively.
What Happens Next?
Investor attention should be turning toward Li Auto, which is growing rapidly and now more valuable compared to Xpeng and Nio, with a market capitalization of $23 billion. The company’s roadmap for 2023 includes charging technology, new batteries from Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) and new autonomous driving features.
On the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.