Tesla Inc TSLA dropped to a new two-year intraday low of $135.89 on Wednesday and is now down over 65% year-to-date.
Tesla shareholders have been scrambling to understand why the leading electric vehicle maker has lost nearly two-thirds of its value in 2022. Some experts are blaming CEO Elon Musk's controversial $44 billion acquisition of Twitter as the primary catalyst, while others have argued Tesla's struggles are not unique, given the difficult global auto market.
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U.S. And Chinese EV Startups: While Musk's Twitter distraction and $22.9 billion in Tesla stock sales certainly haven't helped the EV maker's situation, a closer look at Tesla's competitors reveals that it's been a rough year for the entire sector.
In fact, investors in U.S. EV startups Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: RIVN), Nikola Corp NKLA and Lucid Group Inc LCID would be happy with Tesla's 65% drop in 2022. Lucid shares are down 82.1% year-to-date, Rivian shares have dropped 79% this year and Nikola's stock price has fallen 76.5% in 2022.
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Some of the selling pressure in Tesla shares this week has been triggered by weaker-than-expected China sales. China is a major growth market for Tesla, and it is facing steep competition from domestic Chinese EV stocks. But have Chinese EV competitors fared better than Tesla in 2022? It turns out some have and some haven't. Shares of Chinese EV maker Xpeng Inc XPEV have significantly underperformed Tesla in 2022, dropping 77.6% year-to-date. Chinese EV stock Nio Inc NIO has traded neck-and-neck with Tesla throughout the year, dropping 65% year-to-date. However, Chinese automaker Li Auto Inc LI has fared much better than Tesla this year. In a brutal EV market, Li's year-to-date loss of 35.5% is among the best 2022 performances in the EV space.
EV Charging Stocks And Legacy Automakers: Outside of the automaker group, a handful of EV charging station stocks have also fared better than Tesla in 2022. Blink Charging Co BLNK shares are down just 54.1% year-to-date, while shares of ChargePoint Holdings Inc CHPT are down 51.2% in 2022.
Another group of leading EV automakers that have fared better than Tesla in 2022 is the legacy Detroit automakers, General Motors Company GM and Ford Motor Company F. These legacy automakers are investing aggressively in developing next-generation EV technology, but their legacy internal combustion engine businesses help provide stable cash flow and profits along the way. Ford shares are down just 45.8% year-to-date, while GM shares are down 41.1% in 2022.
Benzinga's Take: Tesla's horrible 2022 performance is among the worst in the EV space, but Tesla is definitely not the only auto stock deep in the red in 2022. In fact, all 11 EV stocks mentioned above other than Li Auto have more than doubled the 18.9% year-to-date decline of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY.
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