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Chinese EV Companies’ Vehicle Sales Vs Tesla

NIO ES6. Source: Flickr Image.

This article keeps track of battery electric vehicle deliveries for Nio, Xpeng, Li Auto and Tesla on a quarterly and TTM basis.

Nio is the biggest Chinese EV startup by market cap. The company is founded in November 2014 in China and is traded on the NYSE with a ticker NIO.

However, NIO’s stock is an ADS or American Depository Shares and 1 ADS is equivalent to 1 common stock but shareholders of ADS cannot vote.

Nio designs, and develops, and jointly manufactures what it calls smart electric vehicles.

It’s having the same business model as Tesla in which the company sells its vehicles on a retail basis.

The major difference between Nio and Tesla is that Nio’s vehicles are designed to have swappable batteries whereas Tesla isn’t.

Some of Nio’s flagship vehicles include the ES8, a 7-seater flagship premium smart electric SUV launched in Dec 2017, and is a direct competition to Tesla’s Model Y.

Aside from the ES8, Nio also has launched several other newer SUV models such as the ES6, a 5-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV and the EC6, a 5-seater premium smart electric coupe SUV.

Nio also has the ET7, a flagship premium smart electric sedan.

Launched in Jan 2021, the ET7 is a direct competition to Tesla’s Model 3.

Similarly, Xpeng is another battery electric vehicle startup from China and is traded on the NYSE with a ticker XPEV.

XPEV is also a form of ADS but each ADS represents 2 Class-A ordinary shares.

All told, let’s look at the delivery figures of Tesla, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (Quarterly And With Tesla)

Vehicle delivery with Tesla (quarterly)

Vehicle delivery with Tesla (quarterly)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ press releases.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

On a quarterly basis, Tesla delivered 308,000 vehicles in fiscal 4Q 2021 and total delivery for fiscal 2021 clocked at 936,000 vehicles.

On the other hand, Nio delivered only 25,000 vehicles in fiscal 4Q 2021, less than 1/10th of what Tesla achieved in the same quarter.

Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries significantly exceeded that of Nio in fiscal 4Q 2021 at 42,000 units while Li Auto’s vehicle deliveries clocked in at 35,000 units, also slightly ahead of Nio.

Nio’s quarterly vehicle delivery in 4Q 2021 was driven by strong sales of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 models.

In Nio’s case, SUVs have so far dominated its vehicle sales as the ET7, a newly launched smart electric sedan will only be delivered in March 2022.

On the flipped side, XPeng’s vehicle sales consisted primarily of the delivery of P7, its super-long range smart sedan.

Similarly, Li Auto has only 1 model to deliver as of fiscal 4Q 2021 and that was the Li ONE which contributed 100% to the entire vehicle delivery reported in the 4th quarter.

In short, Tesla is still the leading player in the electric vehicle space as of 4Q 2021 despite the emergence of strong Chinese players.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (Quarterly And Without Tesla)

Vehicle delivery without Tesla (quarterly)

Vehicle delivery without Tesla (quarterly)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ press releases.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

Without Tesla in the chart, we can see a much clearer picture of Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s vehicle deliveries.

Accordingly, both Xpeng and Li Auto’s vehicle deliveries surged dramatically in fiscal 4Q 2021 and were well ahead of Nio.

In fiscal 4Q 2021, Xpeng led the pack in terms of vehicle sales at nearly 42,000 vehicles.

In the same quarter, Li Auto delivered 35,000 vehicles, also far ahead of Nio’s vehicle sales which came in at only 25,000 units.

Nio used to beat Xpeng and Li Auto in terms of the delivery figure by a large margin.

However, Nio’s cars delivery has slipped considerably in the second half of fiscal 2021.

While Nio’s delivery figure may have lagged slightly behind its Chinese counterparts, its 2021 growth rate was still seemingly impressive, notably at nearly 50% in fiscal 4Q 2021.

Over the last 3 years, all Chinese EV companies, including Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto have experienced tremendous growth in EV sales.

In particular, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto have seen their EV sales skyrocketing since fiscal 2020 and vehicle deliveries were at record highs in fiscal 2021.

Also, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto have been racing to ramp up their productions and build new factories.

For example, Xpeng is currently building a new manufacturing base in Wuhan, China which will have an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles.

Similarly, Nio also has kicked off the planning and building of a new plant in Xinqiao Industrial Park in Hefei, China.

In short, electric vehicles are slowly becoming mainstream not only in China but also globally with the emergence of Chinese EV automakers.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (TTM And With Tesla)

Vehicle delivery with Tesla (TTM)

Vehicle delivery with Tesla (TTM)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ press releases and are presented on a TTM basis in the chart above.
* TTM figures are calculated based on the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

The quarterly plot may not clearly show the trends of Nio, Xpeng, Li Auto and Tesla’s vehicle deliveries.

Therefore, a TTM or trailing 12-month plot is created above to smooth out the quarterly plot and provide readers with a much clearer picture of Nio, Xpeng and Tesla’s car sales.

As shown in the chart, Tesla is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the sales of battery electric vehicles.

As of 4Q 2021, Tesla’s TTM car sales have slightly exceeded 900,000 units and were nearly doubled the number from a year ago.

Additionally, Tesla’s vehicle sales figures have been way ahead of that of Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto as seen in the chart above.

On the other hand, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s TTM car deliveries were closing in on the 100,000 units milestone as of fiscal 2021 4Q.

From a comparison perspective, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s EV deliveries were only about 1/10th of what Tesla has sold as of fiscal Q4 2021.

In short, Tesla is leading the EV race and is significantly far ahead of all Chinese EV companies in terms of vehicle sales volume.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (TTM And Without Tesla)

Vehicle delivery without Tesla (TTM)

Vehicle delivery without Tesla (TTM)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ press releases and are presented on a TTM basis in the chart above.
* TTM figures are calculated based on the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

Without Tesla in the chart, we can see a much clearer picture of Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s TTM electric car sales figures.

As of 4Q 2021, Nio’s EV sales have reached around 91,000 units on a TTM basis whereas Xpeng’s figure was slightly ahead at 98,000 units.

In the same fiscal period, Li Auto delivered 90,000 EVs on a TTM basis, about the same as that of Nio.

According to the chart, you can see that Nio used to be the leader in terms of EV sales.

However, Xpeng and Li Auto have managed to pull ahead in the 2nd half of fiscal 2021 and have outsold Nio by the end of 2021.

In fiscal Q4 2021, Nio’s TTM vehicle delivery grew 109% but Xpeng’s vehicle delivery grew much higher at 264% year-on-year.

Similarly, Li Auto’s TTM EV sales in fiscal 4Q 2021 grew 178%, also a much higher growth rate than that of Nio.

Nevertheless, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto have seen their EV deliveries reaching record highs despite the COVID-19 headwind and the microchip crisis which have been negatively impacting all sorts of things.

In short, Chinese EV automakers are formidable companies and their competitive advantages should not be underestimated.

Average Sales Price Per Vehicle

Average sales price per vehicle

Average sales price per vehicle

* Sales price per vehicle is calculated by the author and is based on the ratio of TTM automotive revenue to TTM vehicle deliveries.
* Tesla’s sales price per vehicle is excluding those that come from energy sector and carbon credits while Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto may include leasing revenue if there is any.
* TTM figures are calculated based on the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

The sales price per vehicle chart above is a quick way to figure out which electric vehicle maker has the lowest sales price per vehicle.

Keep in mind that the EV companies who can afford to sell at the cheapest price points may lead the EV race by capturing a larger share of the electric vehicle market.

The comparison of the sales price per vehicle among Tesla and Chinese companies is valid to some extends given the same business model and the same accounting standard that these companies are adopting.

According to the chart, Nio’s average sales price per vehicle was at the highest at $55,000 USD per vehicle reported in fiscal 3Q 2021.

Tesla ranks 2nd at $48,000 USD per vehicle as of fiscal 3Q 2021.

Xpeng has the lowest average sales price per vehicle at only $32,000 USD per vehicle.

Li Auto’s average sales price per vehicle hovers around $44,000 USD as of 3Q 2021, which is considerably lower than that of Nio and Tesla.

While Nio’s sales price per vehicle has been on a decline since 2019, it went up again in fiscal 2020 and was the highest as of 3Q 2021 at $55,000 USD per vehicle delivered.

In contrast, Tesla’s sales price per vehicle has been on a decline and continued to drop over the last 3 years and was the lowest as of 2021 Q3 at $48,000 per car sold.

Despite the persistent decline of the average vehicle sales price, Tesla’s figures are still considerably higher than that of Li Auto and Xpeng.

Nevertheless, Li Auto’s average sales price per vehicle has remained the same after the debut of its Li ONE flagship vehicle.

Similarly, Xpeng’s sales price per vehicle has slightly gone up since fiscal 2020 and was the highest at $32,000 as of 3Q 2021.

Of all EV makers, Xpeng seems to have the lowest average sales price per vehicle compared to other EV makers, including those from China.

As a result, that probably explains Xpeng’s lower gross margin compared to other companies according to this article: Xpeng’s gross margin compared to Nio, Li Auto And Tesla.

Latest Market Valuation Per Vehicle Delivered

NIO Xpeng Li Auto Tesla
Market Cap As Of Jan 2021 ($ Millions) $53,000 $43,000 $33,000 $1,200,000
TTM Vehicles Delivered As Of 4Q 2021 91,429 98,155 90,491 935,950
Market Cap Per TTM Vehicle Delivered ($ Millions) $0.58 $0.62 $0.36 $1.28

* Market valuation per vehicle is calculated by the author and is based on the ratio of market capitalization to TTM vehicle deliveries.
* TTM figures are calculated based on the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

The chart above shows the comparison of the market capitalization of Tesla and Chinese EV companies per TTM vehicles delivered.

According to the chart, Tesla’s market valuation was the highest at $1.28 million of market cap per vehicle sold.

On the other hand, Li Auto was the lowest-valued EV company at only $0.36 million market cap per vehicle sold as shown in the table above.

Both Nio and Xpeng’s market valuations per TTM vehicle delivered are about the same and clocked at $0.58 million and $0.62 million per vehicle delivered as of Jan 2022.

In short, Tesla was the highest-valued EV company at nearly $1.3 million of market cap per car delivered in Jan 2022 and was way ahead of Chinese companies.

While Li Auto was valued considerably lower compared to its peers, it may catch up pretty soon given its higher margins and growing profitability as depicted in this article – margin and profit comparison among Chinese EV companies.

Historical Market Valuation Per Vehicle Delivered

Historical market valuation per TTM vehicle delivered

Historical market valuation per TTM vehicle delivered

* Market valuation per vehicle is calculated by the author and is based on the ratio of market capitalization to TTM vehicle deliveries.
* TTM figures are calculated based on the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* Market valuation data is snapped at the middle of the month and is obtained from several sources including Yahoo Finance and YChart.
* All companies’s fiscal year begins on Jan 1 and ends on Dec 31.

On a historical basis, Tesla’s market valuation per vehicle delivery has been trending up while that of its Chinese counterparts has been heading lower, according to the chart above.

As of Jan 2022, Tesla’s market valuation per TTM vehicle sold came in at a whopping $1.28 million, the highest figure among all EV companies.

In contrast, Li Auto’s market valuation per TTM vehicle sold has been on a decline and reached only $0.36 million, a new low for the company.

Moreover, Li Auto also has been the lowest valued EV company among Tesla and Chinese automakers since August 2020.

Similarly, Nio and Xpeng’s market valuation also has been on a decline since Aug 2020 and reached record lows as of Jan 2020 at only $0.58 million and $0.44 million per TTM vehicle delivered, respectively.

In view of the low market valuation of Chinese EV companies compared to Tesla, are the stocks a buy?

I bet it is since most of the Chinese EV companies have been seeing their vehicle sales reaching record highs while the respective market valuation has been on a decline.

Conclusion

To recap, Tesla has been leading the EV space in terms of vehicle deliveries while its Chinese counterparts are still way behind.

As of fiscal Q4 2021, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s EV deliveries were only about 1/10th of what Tesla has sold on a TTM basis.

Despite the relatively low car sales figure compared to Tesla, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto’s vehicle delivery growth rates have been on a tear, with year-on-year growth rates clocking in at more than 100% in the last several quarters since fiscal 2020.

In terms of the average sales price per vehicle, both Xpeng and Li Auto have the lowest number at only $32,000 USD and $44,000 USD per vehicle, respectively, compared to $48,000 USD and $55,000 per vehicle for Tesla and Nio.

Tesla has been the most valuable EV company per TTM vehicle delivered while its Chinese peers have been seeing their market valuation declining since Aug 2020.

At the same time, Li Auto was the lowest-valued EV company as of Jan 2022, notably at only $0.36 million of market cap per car sold compared to Tesla’s $1.28 million per vehicle delivered.

References and Credits

1. Financial figures for all companies discussed above were obtained and referenced from their respective financial statements which can be obtained from the following links:

a) TeslaInvestor Relations
b) NIO Investor Relations
c) Xpeng Investor Relations
d) Li Auto Investors Overview

2. Featured images are used under Creative Common Licenses and obtained from NIO ES6 and NIO ES8 interior.

Other Statistics That May Help

Disclosure

The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is neither a recommendation nor a piece of financial advice to purchase a stock.

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