li auto

Li Auto (NYSE: LI), NIO, and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) released their December delivery update. Here are the key takeaways from their December delivery reports.

Li Auto delivered 21,233 vehicles in December which was 50.7% higher than the corresponding quarter last year and a new monthly record. In the fourth quarter of the year, it delivered 46,319 cars, a YoY rise of 31.5%.

Li Auto delivered a record 15,034 in November which was also a record. In December, the company’s deliveries hit yet another record. Overall, in 2022, the company delivered 133,246 cars which were 47.2% higher than the previous year. Li Auto’s cumulative deliveries reached 257,334 at the end of 2022. Li Auto’s cumulative deliveries are now approaching that of NIO and Xpeng Motors.

Commenting on the delivery report, Yanan Shen, Li Auto’s co-founder said, “We set another monthly record in December with 21,233 deliveries and became the fastest emerging new energy automaker in China to surpass the 20,000 monthly delivery mark.”

Shen added, “With December deliveries for Li L9 and Li L8 both exceeding 10,000, the two models have solidified our market position in the RMB300,000 to RMB500,000 price segment.”

Li Auto’s December Deliveries Were Within its Guidance

Li Auto guided for Q4 deliveries between 43,000-48,000. Its actual deliveries were above the midpoint of the guidance and came amid tough market conditions. Notably, late last month, NIO lowered its fourth-quarter delivery guidance to 38,500-39,500 which was way below the original guidance of 43,000-48,000.

NIO delivered 15,815 cars in December, a YoY rise of 50.8%. In the fourth quarter, its deliveries were 40,052. Overall, in 2022, the company delivered 122,486 cars which were below that of Li Auto. NIO’s cumulative deliveries at the end of 2022 were 289,556.

Like Li Auto, NIO’s December deliveries were also a record. Commenting on the delivery update, NIO said, “The deliveries consisted of 6,842 premium smart electric SUVs including 4,154 ES7s, and 8,973 premium smart electric sedans including 1,379 ET7s and 7,594 ET5s.”

Xpeng Motors December Deliveries were Lower Than Li Auto

Xpeng Motors’ December delivery update was also better than feared. XPEV delivered 11,292 cars in December which was almost double its November deliveries. Its deliveries were however lower than the corresponding month last year. Xpeng Motor’s deliveries have trailed Li Auto and NIO for the last few months.

Xpeng Motors’ cumulative deliveries reached 258,710 at the end of 2022 which is only marginally ahead of Li Auto. At one point, Xpeng Motors looked set to surpass NIO in terms of cumulative deliveries but now risks falling behind Li Auto also.

Xpeng Motors delivered 22,204 cars in the fourth quarter and 120,757 in 2022 which trailed both Li Auto and NIO.

EV Stocks Crashed in 2022

2022 was a tough year for EV stocks including Chinese names. Li Auto and NIO tumbled in the year and Xpeng Motors hit its all-time lows. It was a year of reckoning for startup EV companies.

Legacy automakers are ramping up their EV production and giving a tough fight to pure-play EV companies. With competition rising, companies have had to lower car prices and things would get even tougher as multiple new electric car models hit the road over the next two years.

The valuations of startup EV companies were mostly benchmarked to Tesla and many aspired to be the “next Tesla.” With Tesla’s market cap down from $1.2 trillion to under $400 billion, the shocks are felt in other EV stocks also.

Tesla was among the bottom five S&P 500 stocks in 2022. The Index also had its worst year since 2008 and the fourth worst ever. Warren Buffett advises retail investors to consider S&P 500 ETFs. There is a guide on investing in index funds with a regulated broker.

Beginning next year, Tesla cars would be eligible for the federal EV tax credit as the law does away with the upper limit. After the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Wolfe Research upgraded Tesla stock to a buy and raised its earnings estimates.

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