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China EV Sales To Rebound Further In March; BYD Q1 Sales To Jump 80%

Electric-vehicle sales in China are likely to show further sequential improvement when startups Nio (NIO), XPeng (XPEV) and Li Auto (LI) report China EV sales for the month of March and the first quarter, likely on Saturday.

Further, EV and battery giant BYD (BYDDF) also plans to report March and first-quarter sales.

BYD, a major rival to Tesla (TSLA) in China, said Wednesday that first-quarter sales are still expected to grow more than 80%. That comes despite an escalating EV price war since January.

Warren Buffett-backed BYD outsells Tesla in China and is expanding in several overseas markets. Tesla is likely to report global first-quarter sales this weekend as well.

BYD EV Sales

BYD sold 151,341 electric vehicles, including hybrids, in January and 193,655 EVs in February. Also, the combined two-month total of 344,996 vehicles jumped 90% year over year, according to data tracked by CnEVPost.

An 80% increase for the first quarter suggests BYD sold roughly 515,400 vehicles during the period, or about 170,000 vehicles in March. The automaker sold 286,329 vehicles in the year-ago quarter.

On Tuesday, BYD posted skyrocketing earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year 2022. But amid a fierce EV price war set off by Tesla, BYD reportedly has reduced both production and prices.

On Wednesday, BYD management reportedly tied the EV price war to supply outpacing demand.

BYD stock, which trades over the counter, rose 2.1% to 28.12 in Wednesday’s stock market action.

BYD stock is moving above the 21-day line but is below the 50-day and 200-day moving averages after a rally to kick off 2023 faltered.

As of Tuesday, BYD stock was up nearly 11% in 2023. It slumped 27.7% in 2022.


Nio sold 8,506 EVs in January and 12,157 EVs in February.

On March 1, the EV startup predicted 31,000-33,000 first-quarter deliveries in a seasonally weak period, which includes the Chinese New Year holiday.

The outlook implies China EV sales of 10,337-12,337 during March.

Analysts are looking for Nio EV sales to improve significantly in the second quarter, as new models roll out and production ramps up.

Nio stock popped 4.8% to 9.65 Wednesday. Nio shares climbed 3% Tuesday, still below the 50-day moving average.

Li Auto

Li sold 15,141 vehicles in January and 16,620 EVs in February.

On Feb. 27, Li predicted 52,000-55,000 first-quarter deliveries. That suggests China EV sales of 20,239-23,239 during March.

March sales should include the new L7, a five-seat electric SUV. Li Auto launched the L7 on Feb. 8.

LI stock gained 0.6% to 24.89 Wednesday. Li Auto shares jumped 6.6% Tuesday, moving above the 50-day line and nearing the 200-day line within a bottoming base.


XPeng sold 5,218 EVs in January and 6,010 EVs in February.

On March 17, the embattled EV startup guided 18,000-19,000 first-quarter deliveries. That implies China EV sales of 6,772-7,772 in March.

Recent commentary from XPeng management suggests a strong second-half 2023 sales rebound. Meanwhile, the company has brought out new and upgraded models like the G9 SUV and P7i sedan.

XPEV stock soared 9.4% to 11.21 Wednesday. Xpeng shares jumped 5.6% Tuesday, bouncing from near the 50-day.

China EV Sales

The China Passenger Car Association, or CPCA, expects China’s new energy vehicle, or NEV, sales to continue to recover in March from February.

Retail sales of NEVs, which include hybrid-electric vehicles, are expected to reach 560,000 units, up 25.8% from a year ago and up 27.5% from February, with EV penetration hitting 35.2%.

The Chinese car market performed poorly in January and February, but February showed improvement vs. January. Further, demand began to rebound in March, the CPCA said.

China EV sales more than doubled in 2021 and 2022. But they are expected to slow to around 31% growth this year.

The slowdown comes amid macro headwinds and the end of EV subsidies.


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