BYD Leads Charge As Most Chinese EV Startups Clock Record December Deliveries: Warren Buffett-Backed Company On Track To Wrest Global EV Crown From Tesla – XPeng (NYSE:XPEV), NIO (NYSE:NIO), Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI)

U.S.-listed Chinese electric vehicle makers reported Monday with strong deliveries numbers for the month of December despite the intensifying competitive threat in the domestic market.

What Happened: Nio, Inc. NIO, XPeng, Inc. XPEV, Li Auto, Inc. LI and BYD Co Ltd. BYDDY BYDDF reported strong month-over-month and year-over-year deliveries growth.

The sales performance of the quartet are as follows:

December Sales
(in units)
M-o-M Change Y-o-Y Change Q4 Sales
(in units)
Q-o-Q Change Y-o-Y Change Annual deliveries
Nio 18,012 12.86% 13.89% 50,045 (-9..72%) 24.95% 160,038
XPeng 20,115 0.37% 78.14% 60,158 50.37% 170.93% 141,601 
Li Auto 50,353 22.72% 137.15% 131,895 25.40% 184.56% 376,030
BYD 190,754 12.11% 70.41% 526,409 21.97% 60.00% 1.58 million

Source: Company press releases.

XPeng’s monthly and quarterly deliveries were at a record, the Guangzhou-based company said in a statement. The company touted its XNGP Advanced Driver Assistance System, which was made available to customers in 27 cities through an over-the-air update on Dec. 28.

Beijing-based Li Auto also clocked record monthly and quarterly deliveries. “We successfully reached our monthly delivery target of 50,000 vehicles in December and achieved full-year vehicle deliveries of 376,030 in 2023,” CEO Xiang Li said.

“This is the first time in history for a Chinese emerging new energy automaker to surpass the annual delivery milestone of 300,000 vehicles,” he added.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, finished the year with the flourish as it reported record quarterly battery EV deliveries of 526,409, keeping it on track to wrest the global EV crown from Tesla, Inc. TSLA. The U.S. EV pioneer, which is likely to report quarterly deliveries on Tuesday, is expected to report fourth-quarter deliveries of 480,500 units, according to a company-compiled consensus estimate.

BYD’s annual BEV sales of 1.58 million units suggests it might trail Tesla’s expected annual total of around 1.8 million units. In the first three quarters of 2023, Tesla delivered 1.324 million EVs.

BYD, which also sells plug-in hybrids, reported total new-energy passenger vehicle sales of 340,178 units, up from 234,598 units a year ago.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Why It’s Important: The strong performance by the Chinese EV startups comes despite the fundamental and macroeconomic challenges they were left to contend with in 2023. China’s economic growth has remained lackluster despite post-COVID-19 reopening and the economy is also facing other structural issues such as the property market bubble and the trade war with the U.S.

To make matters worse, price wars in the domestic market intensified as Tesla began an aggressive price cutting spree in a bid to lift its sagging volume.

Nio, which was rumored to be in a cash crunch, has managed to raise finances from private investors, while XPeng stitched up a deal with German automaker Volkswagen AG VWAGY.

The shares of the Chinese automakers are trading off their highs, but XPeng, Li Auto and BYD managed to end the year in the green.

What’s Next: Nio unveiled its ET9 electric executive flagship at the Nio Day 2023 in December. The company expects to start deliveries of the EV in the first quarter of 2025.

XPeng launched its X9 multi-purpose EV, or minivan, on Monday. The vehicle, announced at the Guangzhou auto show on Oct. 17 and having a starting price of 388,000 yuan ($54,800), reportedly received more than 30,000 preorders. Deliveries of the minivan will begin immediately after the launch event, it said.

Nio ended Friday’s session down 3.82% at $9.07, according to Benzinga Pro data. XPeng rose 2.24% to $14.59 and Li Auto climbed 1.63% to $37.43. BYD ADRs that trade over-the-counter gained 0.38% to $55.27.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read Next: Tesla ‘Is The Only Investable’ EV Play, Says Analyst, As Electric Vehicle Industry Navigates A Tough 2023: Year In Review

Photo via Shutterstock.

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