About a month before XPeng announced that it had reached 200,000 cumulative EV deliveries in its entire lifetime, NIO reached the same milestone. This is a significant milestone that many expected the company would never reach – after all, how many EV startups can survive and thrive? Just as many very serious industry analysts have for years said that Tesla would go down and burn, go bankrupt under the weight of its dreams, car industry experts also predicted that the NIO would die a young death after failing to scale up production. Not so fast.
In May, NIO delivered 7,024 smart electric cars, an increase year-on-year. ET7 deliveries reached 1,707, cumulative deliveries, 204,936. Read more: https://t.co/ho4wdJ4vkX pic.twitter.com/cH3AM7PcBc
– NIO (@NIOGlobal) June 1, 2022
NIO launched its first vehicle years before XPeng launched its first, but the story is actually a bit more complicated than commonly understood. NIO launched the EP9 in 2016, but the EP9 is clearly not a mass market vehicle (it is an advanced sports car). NIO launched its first something-mass market vehicle, ES8 SUV, in mid-2018. XPeng launched its G3 crossover in December 2018, just six months later.
So NIO’s ramp-up to 200,000 cumulative sales is actually very similar to XPeng’s ramp-up. But as one person who reacted to the news pointed out, NIO has not seen near the recent growth in sales that some of its Chinese competitors have seen, including XPeng.
Wider picture: pic.twitter.com/PktwIuQFjf
– Captain Macheath (@MacheathK) June 1, 2022
A month, however, does not tell the whole story. NIO is based in Shanghai, which was recently hit pretty hard by Covid-19 lockdowns. We will take a closer look at the growth of companies over time in future pieces, but keep in mind that not everything is always as it seems on the surface – context is the key. More context: The NIO ET5 is about to arrive, and as has always been the case in the automotive industry, a hot new vehicle or even just an update to a vehicle model could dampen sales of other options from the company. Let’s look back at NIO’s sales in the coming months.
Second, the big point is that Chinese electric car startups (or “smart electric vehicle” startups, as some of them prefer to call themselves) shine brightly and grow strong. They have actually survived, and they are even expanding into the western car markets at this point – starting with Europe. How much will NIO and XPeng grow in the coming years? Who will find more buyers in Europe and the US? We’ll see.
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