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XPeng, NIO, Li Auto Report Big December Deliveries. That’s Good for Tesla.

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XPeng Motors at the Wuhan Motor Show on Oct. 21, 2021 in China. XPeng reported strong deliveries for December.
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The three U.S.-listed Chinese electric vehicle makers started 2022 off with a bang, all reporting big delivery figures for December.

NIO (ticker: NIO), XPeng (XPEV) and Li Auto (LI) on Saturday morning each reported deliveries. Combined, the three shipped more than 40,000 units. That’s a monthly record and is one sign that Tesla (TSLA) should post its own big number when it reports fourth delivery figures in coming days.

About 25% of all Tesla deliveries are generated in China. Investors expect Tesla to report north of 280,000 deliveries worldwide for the fourth quarter.

Among the Chinese three, XPeng took the December, and 2021, crown reporting 16,000 deliveries, a new monthly record. For all of 2021, XPeng delivered 98,155 vehicles, up 263% compared with 2020.

Li delivered 14,087 units in December. That’s a monthly record for Li too. For all of 2021, Li delivered 90,491 vehicles, up 177% compared with 2020.

NIO didn’t set a new monthly record, just missing it by a few hundred units. The company shipped 10,489 vehicles in December. NIO’s monthly delivery record came in November, when it shipped 10,878 units. For the full year, NIO delivered 91,429 vehicles in 2021, up 109% compared with 2020.

Even though XPeng delivered more cars in 2021, NIO has still delivered the most of the three over the company’s life. NIO has delivered more than 167,000 vehicles life to date. XPeng and Li have delivered about 125,000 and 123,000 vehicle, respectively.

December vehicle deliveries for all EV producers might have been boosted by a subsidy cut coming for Chinese car buyers in 2022. Buyers rushed to get a slightly better deal. The Chinese purchase subsidy for an EV is about 10,000 Yuan, ($1,500), from 14,400 Yuan ($2,200). The $700 difference amounts to about a 2% price bump for typical EVs.

Falling subsidies are one factor investors will have to consider regarding Tesla and Chinese EV makers in 2022. But higher December deliveries mean that earnings estimates for NIO, XPeng, Li, and likely Tesla, will rise in coming weeks. More cars than expected means more sales and better bottom line results.

Strong delivery results might also help shares early in 2022. Shares of Tesla, XPeng and Li had a good to great 2021, gaining 50%, 18% and 11%, respectively. NIO shares struggled, dropping 35% in 2021. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27% and 19%, respectively.

Starting valuation is one reason for NIO stock’s struggles. Even after underperforming, NIO’s market capitalization is about $54 billion, more than the $43 billion market cap of XPeng and the $33 billion market cap of Li.

Tesla, of course, ended 2021 with a market capitalization north of $1 trillion. It’s expected to deliver about 900,000 vehicles for 2021.

Write to Al Root at

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