Chinese automaker Nio reports May EV sales constrained by Covid as rivals XPeng and Li Auto gain ground

Key Points
  • Nio's sales were up just 4% year over year as the company struggled to build and deliver vehicles amid the latest Covid outbreaks.
  • Rivals XPeng and Li Auto, in less hard-hit regions of China, fared better.
  • Nio said orders remain strong and it expects improvements in June.

In this article

Nio began deliveries of its new ET7, an upscale electric sedan, on Monday, March 28, 2022.

Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio delivered more than 7,000 vehicles in May, up 4.7% from a year ago but well below its current production capacity, as Covid-related disruptions continued to limit the company's manufacturing and its ability to deliver vehicles to customers.

Nio said in a statement that its manufacturing had been "gradually recovering" in May from pandemic-related disruptions, but that its ability to deliver vehicles was "still constrained to a certain extent" by lockdowns and other measures imposed to limit the spread of new Covid variants in some regions of China.

Nio is working with its suppliers to boost production in June, it said. It expects deliveries to rise as well, as those Covid-related restrictions have begun to ease.

New orders remain strong, the company said, although it didn't provide specific numbers.

Not all of China's emerging electric vehicle makers were hit as hard as Nio in May. Rival Xpeng said it was able to deliver 10,125 vehicles for the month, up 78% from a year ago, as it resumed two-shift production at its factory in mid-May.

XPeng is based in southern China, near the city of Guangzhou — an area that has fared better amid the recent Covid outbreaks than the region around Hefei, where Nio is based, several hundred miles north.

Another rival, Li Auto, said it was able to deliver about 11,500 vehicles in May, up over 160% from a year ago, despite pandemic-related disruptions at its suppliers in the Yangtze River region to its west. Li Auto is based in Changzhou, near Shanghai, on China's coast.