Li Auto stock jumps after announcing record EV deliveries in December

Li Auto Inc. said Friday that it delivered more than 20,000 electric vehicles in December, which is more than 33% above the previous monthly record delivered last month.

The China-based EV maker’s announcement of preliminary delivery data comes just days after rival Nio Inc. sparked a selloff in EV maker stocks after “prudently” slashing its fourth-quarter delivery outlook, citing COVID-related production challenges and supply chain constraints.

At a media event in Guangzhou on Friday, Li Auto said “December deliveries will exceed 20,000 vehicles.” That would be up more than 42% from the 14,087 EVs delivered in December 2021, and up from November 2022’s monthly record of 15,034 EVs delivered.

The company also said it plans to hold a launch event for its Li L7 five-seat family sport-utility vehicle on Feb. 8.

Li Auto’s stock

shot up 3.2% in midday trading Friday, to put it up 7.2% on the week.

Among Li’s China-based rivals, shares of Nio

dropped 2.7%, and has tumbled 11.4% this week, and XPeng Inc.’s stock

lost 1.5% on Friday and has slipped 3.2% this week.

Shares of Texas-based Tesla Inc.

eased 0.1% midday Friday, and was down 1.1% on the week, even after running up 11.7% over the past two days. Tesla generated nearly one-quarter of its total third-quarter revenue from China.

Read what one analyst thinks CEO Elon Musk should do in 2023 to boost Tesla’s stock.

Li Auto, and Nio and XPeng, report monthly deliveries on the first of each month, so Li’s exact delivery number can be expected to be released on Sunday. Despite Nio’s lowered quarterly outlook, a new monthly record for December was still expected.

Nio had cut its fourth-quarter delivery guidance range to 38,500 to 39,500 vehicles from 43,000 to 48,000 vehicles. After delivering a monthly record of 14,178 EVs in November and 10,059 EVs in October, that still implies December deliveries of 14,263 to 15,263 EVs, which is above November’s record and is 36.0% to 45.5% above December 2021 deliveries of 10,489 vehicles.

Li’s stock has slid 37.3% year to date, while shares of Nio have plunged 69.3%, XPeng have plummeted 80.7% and Tesla have given up 65.4%. In comparison, the iShares China Large-Cap exchange-traded fund

has declined 22.6% this year and the S&P 500 index

has lost 20.0%.