Nio and Xpeng Slide After Deliveries Disappoint. The Chip Shortage Strikes Again.

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Updated Sept. 1, 2021 8:53 am ET / Original Sept. 1, 2021 7:44 am ET

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A Nio eS8 car

Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Covid-19 and the semiconductor shortage are hitting electric vehicle stocks again as Chinese August electric vehicle deliveries came up short.

NIO (ticker: NIO) stock is down 5% in premarket trading, while XPeng (XPEV) shares are off about 2.5%. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are both up 0.3%.

Tesla (TSLA) shares are also taking a small hit off the Chinese delivery results, with shares down about 0.2%. Li Auto (LI) stock is the one Chinese EV maker bucking the trend. Its August deliveries look OK and shares are up about 0.9% in premarket trading.

NIO delivered 5,880 vehicles in August. Far short of its monthly production capacity of about 8,000 vehicles and short of the 7,931 vehicles delivered in July. What’s more, the company cut guidance. Deliveries for the third quarter are now expected to come in at about 23,000, short of the 24,000 expected when the company reported second-quarter earnings in early August. If there is a silver lining for investors it’s that NIO’s guidance implies about 9,000 vehicles delivered in September. That means it expects production and deliveries to bounce back.

XPeng delivered 7,214 vehicles in August, better than NIO’s number but short of the 8,040 delivered in July. XPeng didn’t update its guidance perhaps because it reported second-quarter numbers on August 26. The company expects to deliver 22,000 vehicles in the third quarter. That implies about 7,000 deliveries in September.

The other positive data point for investors to hold on to is Li deliveries. Li delivered 9,433 vehicles in August. That’s a new monthly record and up from the 8,589 delivered in July. But Li’s quarterly guidance implies about 7,000 units delivered in September, so its deliveries are expected to slip in the coming month.

Taken together, the three U.S. listed Chinese EV makers delivered about 22,500 vehicles in August, down from about 22,700 delivered in July.

The Chinese EV sector is still facing supply chain constraints, one that’s been a headache for investors all year by generating weak returns and volatility. Coming into Wednesday trading, NIO and XPeng are down about 19% and 1%, respectively, while Li shares are up about 7%. The three stocks are off about 40%, on average, from their 52-week highs set either in late 2020 or early 2021.

Write to allen.root@dowjones.com

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