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NIO, XPeng, and Li Auto Deliveries Cool Off in July. The Stocks Jump Anyway.

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NIO delivered more cars year over year in July. But deliveries fell from June.

Odin Jaeger/Bloomberg

Demand for Chinese electric vehicles cooled off in July. Falling EV sales in the world’s largest car market could be scary for investors, including


Tesla

investors. But investors looked pleased with early numbers. They seem to have been ready for typical summer selling patterns.

Chinese EV makers on Monday reported July delivery figures.


XPeng

(ticker: XPEV) delivered 11,524 vehicles in July, up 43% from a year earlier. That’s down from 15,295 vehicles delivered in June. For the second quarter,


XPeng

delivered 34,422.

July deliveries for


Li Auto

(LI) were 10,422 units, up 21.3% from a year earlier.


Li Auto

delivered 13,024 vehicles in June and 28,687 vehicles in the second quarter.

NIO (


NIO

) reported 10,052 July deliveries on Monday, rising 26.7% from the same month last year. But like the other two, deliveries dropped month to month. NIO delivered 12,961 vehicles in June and 25,059 vehicles in the second quarter.

Combined, the three EV makers delivered 31,998 vehicles in July, down more than 9,000 unites, or about 22%, from June’s combined record of 41,280 vehicles.

It’s a significant drop. Still, shares of the EV makers were rising. NIO stock gained almost 4% in premarket trading. XPeng shares have gained about 3.9%. Li stock was up about 4.1%.


Tesla

shares fell 0.4%. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were off 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Seasonality can impact selling results for cars. Citigroup analyst Jeff Chung warned in a recent research report that typical seasonal patterns have been impacted by Covid-related problems.

Retail passenger vehicle sales in China registered about 2.2 million units, a record for the month. But sales were boosted by Covid-19 lockdowns that pushed production and sales out of April and May. July sales in China typically dip from June. What happens to the traditional seasonal dip in July 2022, however, is anyone’s guess.

Sales for the first couple of weeks of July were tracking up about 3% year over year, according to Chung. That trend would put July sales in the 1.6 million range.

If that’s the case, sales would be down about 27%. That could pressure EV sales too even though EV demand has been strong in 2022. For June, Chinese new energy vehicle, or NEV, sales hit 571,000 vehicles, or about 26% of total sales.

NEV includes both plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. It’s how China reports its EV data.

Coming into Monday trading, XPeng and NIO shares have fallen about 51% and 38% this year. respectively. Li shares have eked out a 2% gain, while the S&P and Dow have dropped about 13% and 10%, respectively.

Most automotive shares have fallen amid higher inflation and rising interest rates. Automotive shares in the

Russell 3000 Index
have declined about 20% this year, date on average.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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