Nio and Xpeng hail strong April growth while Li falters

All three Chinese automakers can boast of strong year-to-date sales growth

Nio and Xpeng hail strong April growth while Li falters
Nio posted 135pc year-on-year volume growth in April

Emerging Chinese automakers Nio and Xpeng posted solid growth in sales in April, while rival Li Auto saw stagnant volumes when compared to the same month last year.

Nio more than doubled its BEV deliveries year-on-year, registering 135pc growth, while peer Xpeng posted 33pc year-on-year growth in all-electric sales. Li Auto, however, saw deliveries stay flat year-on-year.

Nio's impressive growth rate should be contextualised against a relatively low starting point in April '23. Even with last month's sales of 15,620 units, it still delivered around 10,000 fewer than Li, which sold 25,787 vehicles in the month. Meanwhile, Xpeng sold 9,393 BEVs in April.

Nio and Xpeng's respective growth rates could be cause for concern for Li, as despite its sales being greater absolute terms, April's statistics show the firm losing share in an increasingly packed domestic market. However, the automaker's year-to-date sales in China are still up by 55pc.

Li is also at a point of product changeover as it ramps up its L6 SUV, for which the firm says it already has over 20,000 orders.

"“Li L6, our first model priced under RMB300,000 ($41,4000), has garnered widespread popularity among young families following its April debut. We will commence large-scale deliveries in May,” says Li Auto CEO Xiang Li.

Nio also released its ET7 premium sedan in the final week of April, and at the same time announced a strategic cooperation with Lotus, a historic UK marque owned by fellow Chinese automaker Geely, for charging and battery swapping.

Nio is, admittedly, positioning more for the premium market than the crowded affordable segment. The ET7 starts at RMB486,000, or around $67,000, while its cheapest EV sells for the equivalent of over $41,000.

Xpeng hailed the uptake of its NGP advanced driver assistance software, saying that the monthly active user penetration rate of XNGP in urban driving scenarios reached 82pc in April.

"During the same month, Xpeng successfully conducted tests for its NGP functions on the highways in Germany, making steady progress in the R&D phase toward the rollout of Highway NGP for overseas markets," the firm says.

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