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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 and Tesla on a quarterly and TTM basis.

Nio is a Chinese automaker startup 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.

Let’s look at the delivery figures of Tesla, Nio and Xpeng.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (Quarterly And With Tesla)

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng's vehicle deliveries (Quarterly)

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries (Quarterly)

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

On a quarterly basis, Tesla delivered 200,000 vehicles as of 2Q 2021, driven primarily by Model 3 and Model Y.

On the other hand, Nio delivered only 22,000 vehicles as of 2Q 2021, about 1/10th of what Tesla has delivered in the same quarter.

Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries were the smallest at only 13,000 units in 1Q 2021 while its vehicle deliveries for 2Q 2021 have yet to be announced.

Nio’s quarterly vehicle delivery in 2Q 2021 was driven predominantly by strong sales of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 models.

In Nio’s case, SUVs have so far dominated its vehicle deliveries as its ET7, a newly launched sedan, has only been launched in Jan 2021.

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

In short, Tesla is still the dominant player in the electric vehicle space as of 2Q 2021 despite the emergence of multiple Chinese players.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (Quarterly And Without Tesla)

Nio and Xpeng's vehicle deliveries (Quarterly)

Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries (Quarterly)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ quarterly and annual reports.
* 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 and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries.

Accordingly, both Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries were 22,000 and 13,000, respectively, in 2Q and 1Q 2021.

On a quarterly basis, Nio and Xpenang’s electric vehicle deliveries have been growing tremendously over the last few years.

Their vehicle sales growth was the most significant in fiscal 2020 and 2021 when both companies were ramping production and building 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 will become mainstream not only in China but also globally.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (TTM And With Tesla)

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng's vehicle deliveries (TTM)

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries (TTM)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ quarterly and annual reports.
* 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 growth rates of Nio, Xpeng 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 delivering battery electric vehicles.

As of 2Q 2021, Tesla’s TTM car sales have already totaled 700,000 units, a far higher figure compared to Nio and Xpeng.

On the other hand, both Nio and Xpeng’s TTM car deliveries have yet to reach the 100,000 units milestone.

Electric Vehicle Deliveries (TTM And Without Tesla)

Nio and Xpeng's vehicle deliveries (TTM)

Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries (TTM)

* Vehicle delivery numbers are obtained from the respective companies’ quarterly and annual reports.
* 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 and Xpeng’s TTM car deliveries.

As of 2Q 2021, Nio’s TTM car sales have only reached slightly above 70,000 units whereas Xpeng’s TTM figures were shy of the 40,000 units in fiscal 1Q 2021.

However, the TTM plot of both Nio and Xpeng has shown that their vehicle deliveries have been on a tear.

Both companies’ TTM vehicle sales growth rates were the most significant in fiscal 2020 and 2021.

Judging from the growth of Nio and Xpeng’s vehicle deliveries, it’s not a surprise to know that their combined market cap is closing in on that of Ford and GM’s market cap combined.

Sales Price Per Vehicle

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng's sales price per vehicle

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng’s 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 leasing, energy sector and carbon credits while Nio and Xpeng may include leasing revenue.
* 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.

The automaker with the lowest sales price will most likely dominate the electric vehicle space going forward.

Keep in mind that the comparison 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 sales price per vehicle was at the highest at more than $50,000 USD per vehicle reported in fiscal 1Q 2021.

Tesla ranks 2nd at slightly below $50,000 USD per vehicle as of fiscal 1Q 2021.

Xpeng has the lowest sales price per vehicle at slightly above $30,000 USD per vehicle.

While Nio’s sales price per vehicle has been on a decline since 2019, it went up again starting in fiscal 2020 and was the highest in the latest quarter of 1Q 2021.

In contrast, Tesla’s sales price per vehicle has continued to drop over the last 3 years and was the lowest as of 2021 Q1.

Xpeng’s sales price per vehicle has remained flat in the last several quarters but has slightly ticked higher in 1Q 2021.

Of all electric vehicle makers, Xpeng seems to be the one selling its vehicle at the lowest price point.

Market Valuation Per Vehicle

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng's market cap per vehicle

Tesla, Nio and Xpeng’s market cap per vehicle

* Market valuation per vehicle is calculated by the author and is based on the ratio of market capitalization to TTM vehicle deliveries and cumulative 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.

I am often baffled by the high market valuation of electric vehicle makers such as Tesla, Nio and Xpeng compared to conventional vehicle makers such as Ford, GM, etc.

For example, Nio is closing in on the market cap of GM at $76 billion despite having its IPO completed only in Sept 2018.

Similarly, Xpeng is closing in on the market cap of Ford at $35 billion despite having its IPO completed only in August 2020.

On a TTM basis, Nio commands the highest valuation at more than $1 million of market cap per vehicle sold and Tesla seems to be at the lowest at only $0.89 million of market cap per vehicle sold as shown in the table above.

On a cumulative basis, Nio and Xpeng command the highest valuation at $0.65 and $0.66 million of market cap per vehicle sold, respectively.

Tesla has only $0.36 million of market cap per vehicle sold on a cumulative basis, the lowest among all electric-vehicle makers.

The reason for the sky-high valuation, in the case of Tesla, Nio and Xpeng, is most likely due to the fact that these companies are not treated as automotive makers.

Instead, they are viewed as more of a tech company, such as a software maker.

In this case, the vehicles that they sold are more like hardware and they are banking on the fact that these customers may someday become their subscribers for downstream products, including swappable batteries, self-driving software, charging services, etc.

For this reason, investors are betting big on these automakers.

Conclusion

Tesla is still dominating the electric vehicle space and has the highest delivery number when compared to Nio and Xpeng.

On a TTM basis, Nio’s total vehicle deliveries were only about 1/10th of Tesla’s delivery figure in fiscal 2Q 2021.

Xpeng was even less at only 13,000 vehicles on a quarterly basis and 38,000 vehicles on a TTM basis.

Despite the relatively low car sales figure, Nio and Xpeng’s growth rates have been on a tear, with TTM delivery figures growing at more than 150% year over year in fiscal 2Q 2021 compared to Tesla’s 80% growth rate.

In terms of the sales price per vehicle, Xpeng has the lowest number at only $30,000 USD per vehicle compared to $50,000 USD per vehicle for Tesla and Nio.

All electric-vehicle makers such as Tesla, Nio and Xpeng are commanding sky-high valuation due to the potential of a subscription-based business model that investors are seeking from these companies.

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

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

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Disclosure

The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation or any financial advice to purchase a stock.

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