The quarterly scorecards for the electric vehicle manufacturers are in and despite industry-wide constraints and macroeconomic handicaps, performances for the month of March, as well as the first quarter, have been strong.
Here's a comparative take on first-quarter deliveries of Tesla, Inc. TSLA and the Chinese EV players Li Auto Inc. LI, XPeng Inc. XPEV and NIO Limited NIO:
Q1 EV Scorecard: Tesla delivered 184,800 vehicles in the first quarter, with 99% of these being Model 3/Y vehicles. This represented a 2.3% quarterly increase and a 109% year-over-year jump.
In comparison, Nio's first-quarter deliveries jumped 423% year-over-year to 20,060 vehicles. This represented a 15.6% quarter-over-quarter increase. The company currently sells three SUV models, namely ES6, ES8 and EC6.
XPeng, which has a SUV named G3 and a sedan named P7, said its first-quarter deliveries totaled 13,340. This represents 487% year-over-year growth and a 2.9% quarter-over-quarter rise.
Li Auto, which sells Li ONE SUV, reported deliveries of 12,579 for the first quarter, a climb of 334.4% from last year. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, deliveries fell 13%.
For Nio and Xpeng, quarterly performances represented the biggest ever on record.
Takeaways: Going by absolute numbers, Tesla by far is the largest player in the EV arena. Nio's first-quarter deliveries were roughly 11% of what Tesla sold in the quarter. The EV market is turning out to be a crowded field with legacy automakers, pure-play EV companies, as well as tech companies, all flexing their muscles.
See also: How to Buy XPeng Motors (XPEV) Stock
Against this backdrop, the market is likely to get more fragmented than ever before, and incumbents will have a true challenge in maintaining or growing their share. The first-mover advantage has placed Tesla in a dominant position in the market, which others might find too difficult to challenge.
However, Nio stands out in terms of growth. The company managed to grow decently both on a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis.
Looking Forward: Sell-side is largely bullish on the EV industry as a whole. The Biden Administration's EV commitment and brisk demand in China and Europe are likely to propel the EV sector into a "Golden Age," with a new auto supply of OEMs, battery, recycling, commercial vehicles, trucks and fleet conversions being built over the next decade, Wedbush's Daniel Ives said in a recent note.
The analyst sees EV stocks moving 30-40% higher the rest of the year as the Street further digests this transformational growth on the horizon.
Those firms which pursue innovation in technology and services, are customer-centric and provide value for buyers will leave the others behind in this "hot-and-happening" market.
EV Price Action: Reacting to the quarterly numbers, Tesla shares were up 4.43% to $691.05. Nio and XPeng and Li Auto shares are lower following Thursday's upside in reaction to their numbers.
Nio was down 0.88% to $39.31, XPeng was down 2.54% to $36.01 and Li Auto was down 1.23% to $24.94.
(Photo: Clockwise from top left: Tesla, XPeng, Nio and Li, courtesy of manufacturers)
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