The ‘Tesla Of China’ Shows Surprising Resilience Despite Outbreak

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Nio’s (NIO) premium electric SUVs saw sales decline far less than the overall Chinese market in a coronavirus-hit February, while Tesla (TSLA) sales increased. Nio stock and Tesla stock both rose.

Nio, the so-called Tesla of China, delivered 707 vehicles in February. That was down 56% month over month and down 12.8% year over year.

But Nio significantly outperformed the overall China market, which saw February auto sales crater almost 80% year over year. That means automakers sold roughly 1.6 million fewer cars than a year ago in the world’s largest auto market.

Nio’s total February deliveries include 671 five-seater ES6s and 36 seven-seater ES8s. Year to date, Nio has delivered 2,305 electric SUVs.

China’s leading electric car startup began ES8 deliveries in June 2018 and ES6 deliveries in June 2019.

Supply chains remain challenged amid the coronavirus, or Covid-19, outbreak, the Shanghai-based company said. “We expect that it will take time for the industry and Nio to resume normal productions,” CFO Steven Feng said.

Nio will release earnings for the fourth quarter March 18 before the open.

Bucking the trend, Tesla delivered 3,958 electric cars in February, according to the China Passenger Car Association. Tesla deliveries increased by 400 month over month and made up 30% of all “new energy” vehicles sold in China last month, the group added.

China sales in February plunged by 92% for General Motors (GM), 85% for Honda Motors(HMC), 79% for China EV maker BYD (BYDDF) and 70% for Toyota Motors (TM), according to consultancy ZoZo Go.

Nio Stock 

Shares of Nio gave up most gains to trade up 0.2% at 3.30 on the stock market today. Tesla stock added 1%, while GM stock was flat.

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