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China EV makers BYD (BYDDF), Li Auto (LI), Nio (NIO) and XPeng (XPEV) on Friday reported sharp sequential declines in EV deliveries for a second straight month. But most Chinese EV stocks rose.

On Friday, Li Auto, a fast-growing startup rival to BYD and Tesla (TSLA) in China, also launched the Mega minivan, its first purely battery-electric vehicle.

The start of the year tends to be a weak period for sales in the country, due to seasonal factors. But EV makers face an intensifying price war in China, the world’s largest car market, due to lower demand and concerns about severe overcapacity.


Li Auto Mega Launches, Eyes EV Sales Rebound

BYD sold 122,311 electric vehicles in February, down 37% vs. a year ago and down 39% from January.

Li Auto delivered 20,251 EVs, up 22% from a year ago, but down 35% from January.

Besides the Mega EV, Li on Friday rolled out a refresh of three current models, all hybrid electric SUVs.

“With the release and deliveries of these new models, we target to have our monthly deliveries rebound to 50,000 vehicles in March,” said Li Auto CEO Xiang Li.

Nio delivered 8,132 EVs, down 33% from a year earlier and down 19% from January.

XPeng delivered 4,545 EVs, down 24% vs. a year ago and down 45% from January. The company said it will ramp up deliveries of the new X9 minivan, its most expensive model, as production capacity increases and supply issues abate.

Industry data earlier pointed to a sharp monthly sales drop amid the long Chinese New Year holiday.

Tesla does not report monthly sales. On Thursday, Tesla resinstated an insurance subsidy on the most popular Model 3 and Y variants in China as BYD drives a major price war.

EV Stocks Rally Off Lows

U.S.-listed shares of BYD, which trade over the counter, edged up a fraction on the stock market today.

Nio stock and Xpeng also gained Friday, near 52-week lows. BYD stock has come off a new low, set on Jan. 31, but is meeting resistance at the 50-day moving average.

The 50-day averages of all three EV stocks continue to decline below their 200-day lines, a negative sign.

Li Auto fell back in range Friday after topping a 42.35 buy point from a 44%-deep double-bottom base Monday. Li Auto stock broke out powerfully after Monday’s solid fourth-quarter earnings report. Its 50-day average remains below the 200-day line, but is starting to turn up.

Nio will report earnings for the fourth quarter on Tuesday. Xpeng will follow on March 19.

Li Auto Stock’s Expanding EV Lineup

On Friday, Li Auto said the Mega tries to address the needs of multi-generational households, and “the long-standing challenges of range anxiety of BEVs (battery electric vehicles).”

Its existing Li L7, L8 and L9 SUVs are extended-range electric vehicles, basically a type of plug-in hybrid. Li debuted refreshed 2024 versions on Friday of those as well.

The EV maker focuses on the premium market and continues to outsell startup peers Nio and Xpeng. It’s also sharpening the threat to BYD and Tesla, with rapidly rising deliveries.

The Li L7 is seen a rival to the Model Y in China. In a recent video, Li Auto compared the ranges of the upcoming Mega EV and the Model X.

Tesla produces the models 3 and Y, but not the S and X, in China.

BYD Escalates EV Price War

On Wednesday, BYD slashed prices on the refreshed versions of its Han and Tang EV models, following similar cuts across several other models. Most of those refreshed versions come with significant tech upgrades, including driver-assist features.

China’s EV makers have now taken the price war into both ends of the EV market: budget and mid-to-high end.

Archrival Tesla discounted the Model Y further on Feb. 1. It cut Model Y and Model 3 prices in January.

Cheaper batteries helped offset some of the price cuts, but BYD and other automakers likely face further margin pressure. BYD’s continued export boom will help, boosting sales as well as margins.


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