Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio, Xpeng Motors, and Zeekr on July 1 reported significant volume gains in June after months-long dips amid intensifying competition. Nio’s aggressive price cuts and Xpeng launching new models have spurred each to improved numbers.

Although BYD remains the dominant player in China, Aion, Li Auto, and Great Wall Motor are emerging as rivals with enhanced technologies and competitive prices, with the sector’s intense competition showing no signs of easing anytime soon.

Why it matters: Jefferies analysts forecast an 8% monthly growth in the wholesale volume of new energy vehicles to around 774,000 units in June and a 20% sequential increase in foot traffic in the industry. 

  • Still, the ongoing price war could intensify across the industry during the upcoming summer slow season, as global automakers such as BMW and Mercedes widen their retail discounts and compete on price, Jefferies analysts wrote in a July 1 note.

Major improvements: Li Auto crossed another monthly delivery threshold, reporting delivery of 32,575 plug-in hybrid crossovers to customers in June, up from the 28,277 units a month earlier. The automaker’s year-to-date deliveries of 139,117 units have already surpassed its total unit sales from 2022. Chief executive Li Xiang previously stated he expects that number to get to more than 40,000 units later this year.

  • Great Wall Motor also saw strong growth last month, as sales of its new energy passenger vehicles, including pure electrics and PHEVs, surged 110% year-on-year to 26,643 units following the recent launches of its new Haval-branded SUV and six-seater Blue Mountain. Jefferies analysts said sales of the Blue Mountain reached a similar level to Li Auto’s L8 in some areas last month, citing information from dealerships.
  • Nio’s delivery figures bounced back to 10,707 units in June, following two consecutive months of lackluster sales of less than 7,000 units. The firm’s June figures were buoyed by its recent price cut across all lineups. 
  • Zeekr reported slightly fewer deliveries of 10,620 units last month when it began shipping its third model Zeekr X, a compact crossover with a starting price of RMB 189,800 ($27,590). This figure was up 22.4% from May.
  • Xpeng Motors also saw a solid recovery in June with deliveries of 8,620 units, which marked a 14.8% growth from a month earlier. That figure was still 44% lower than a year ago, however, yet the company’s newest model G6 SUV might give it a chance to get further back on track. Jefferies analysts expected the G6, with delivery scheduled for this month, to “surprise on the upside” with monthly sales likely to reach more than 10,000 units.
New energy vehicles electric vehicles EVs china mobility great wall motor wey blue mountain li auto L8 PHEV EREV
Great Wall Motor launched its Wey-branded Blue Mountain plug-in hybrid vehicle with a starting price of RMB 273,800 ($34,699), competing against Li Auto’s popular L8, on April 13, 2023. Credit: Great Wall Motor

Other results: BYD sold 253,046 EVs in June (of which 11,058 were Denza-branded multi-purpose vehicles), a new record compared to the 240,220 it achieved in May. The company had projected monthly sales of its D9 premium vans to reach 15,000 units and is set to begin sales of its second model, the N7 crossover, on Monday.

  • Aion maintained its growth momentum and delivered 45,013 vehicles last month, slightly more than the 45,003 units it reached a month earlier. The EV arm of state-owned GAC Group is also moving upscale with the launch on Monday of its Hyper GT, a coupe with a price tag of RMB 219,900.
  • EV startups Leapmotor and Hozon are still catching up in the sector, with June deliveries of 13,209 and 12,132 representing a mild growth of 9.5% and a 6.9% reduction from a month earlier, respectively. They’re followed by Changan’s EV brand Deepal with deliveries of 8,041 units.
  • Huawei-backed EV brand Aito continues to face growth challenges in an increasingly competitive market, reporting deliveries of 5,668 units last month. That figure brings its total delivery numbers for this year to just 27,541 units.

Context: UBS analysts expect Chinese carmakers to continue market share gains as foreign rivals see a shrinking demand for internal combustion engine vehicles. Chinese EV makers “are acting fast in terms of new model launches, with a better understanding of consumer’s needs,” wrote UBS analysts led by Paul Gong on June 19.

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