China’s Nio expects jump in first-quarter electric-vehicle deliveries as demand rises

Logo of the electric vehicle maker NIO is seen at its store in Beijin
(Reuters) – China’s electric-car maker Nio Inc on Monday forecast an up to 18% jump in current-quarter deliveries from the fourth quarter, after its quarterly revenue more than doubled helped by rising demand for battery-operated vehicles.

Nio has emerged as a strong challenger to Tesla in China after it received government funding worth $1 billion last year that saved its from the brink of bankruptcy and helped soothe its cash woes as it struggled with recalls and falling sales.

While Tesla continues to dominate the electric vehicle market in China, Nio also faces competition from homegrown rivals such as Xpeng Inc, which in January secured a credit line of 12.8 billion yuan from Chinese banks.

Nio, which makes ES8 and ES6 electric sport-utility vehicles, saw its U.S.-listed shares soar over 10 times last year, as China led the global automobile industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s stock has, however, changed little this year due to concerns of slowing economic growth from fresh lockdowns as a result of rising coronavirus cases.

Nio forecast deliveries of 20,000 and 20,500 vehicles in the first quarter, compared with 17,353 vehicles in the fourth quarter, but said its deliveries slowed to 5,578 vehicles in February, from 7,225 vehicles in January.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenue jumped 133% to 6.64 billion Chinese yuan ($1.03 billion) from a year earlier.

($1 = 6.4648 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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