Shares of Nio, Xpeng Motors, and Li Auto rose sharply on Friday after the three Chinese electric vehicle makers announced a solid set of delivery numbers for March.

Why it matters: The March deliveries reflect a strong recovery from the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday season on EV production and sales, which resulted in falling deliveries in February.

Details: Xpeng has remained the fastest-growing EV maker ahead of its two peers,  beating its first-quarter delivery expectation, with shares closing up 5.8% on Friday, followed by Li Auto’s 5.5% and Nio’s 4.2%.

  • Xpeng delivered 15,414 vehicles in March, marking a 202% rise from the same period last year and a 148% increase from February. Its first-quarter deliveries hit 34,561 vehicles, slightly above the upper end of the original estimate of 34,000 vehicles released by the company in its fourth-quarter financial results on Monday.
  • Li Auto delivered 11,034 new cars last month, up 125% from last year, while Nio came in last again among the trio of US-listed Chinese EV makers with deliveries of 9,985 vehicles in February, reporting a 37.6% increase year-on-year.

Context: During their fourth-quarter earnings calls in March, all three EV makers voiced concerns about the impact of supply chain issues on sales and production in the coming months.

  • Nio and Li Auto forecast that their deliveries for the first three months of the year would reach 26,000 and 32,000, respectively, adding that parts shortages have impacted production.
  • Second-tier Chinese EV companies are catching up quickly. Hozon and Leapmotor handed over 12,000 and 10,059 vehicles last month, respectively. Leapmotor filed an application on March 17 to sell its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and Hozon is also weighing a Hong Kong initial public offering this year, Bloomberg reported in November.

Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen