April 2, 2019/ EqualOcean/- NIO, a China-based premium EV maker, published its quarterly delivery result today. As of March 31, 2019, aggregate deliveries of the Company's ES8, its 7-seater reached 15,337 vehicles, 3,989 of which were delivered in the first quarter of 2019.
1,373 ES8s were delivered in March, a 69.3% increase over February deliveries of 811, which were negatively impacted by the slow down surrounding the Chinese New Year holiday and the related closures of automobile license plate registration offices.
The Company delivered 1,805 ES8s in January, 811 in February and 1,373 in March, bringing the total deliveries of ES8s to 3,989 in the first quarter 2019. First quarter ES8 deliveries exceeded the Company’s prior guidance range of 3,500 to 3,800, and were above the midpoint of the guidance range, 3,650, by 339 vehicles, or 9.3%.
The company has faced a bevy of criticism in recent months pertaining to delivery volume, abandoned factory building plan, financials, and layoffs.
In addition, NIO's shares saw analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock from Neutral to Underperform. Shares of NIO are down by about 50% since the beginning of March.
Even worse, NIO saw its competitors catching up in 2019. Xpeng Motors (小鹏汽车) and WM Motor (威马汽车) have started mass production deliveries in December 2018 and September 2018, respectively. Xpeng has delivered 962 units of G3 in Jan and Feb 2019, and WM has 2,472 delivered at the same period (see more in this article).
Three companies both saw the seasonal slowdowns surrounding Feb. However, WM's delivery volume in Jan has surpassed that of NIO (2005 vs 1805).
WM missed its previous 1,0000 delivery target in 2018 and postponed that to this year (see more in this article). WM has closed its latest CNY 3 billion (USD 446.37 million) funding led by China's tech giant Baidu.
Now NIO has its strong competitors. No wonder why the company has put forward new three missions this year to address delivery, operation efficiency, and autonomous driving. The company plans to reduce its workforce by 3% this year, according to NIO's CEO and founder William Li (see more in this article).
Despite NIO's own woes, overall China's electric vehicle market is under threat or exposed to a competitive market now. Authorities have issued central subsidy policy 2019 last week.
The recent changes in China’s standards for new energy vehicles have put EV players into an awkward situation, even authorities have left a three month Grace Period until June 25. Before that, firms can still apply for subsidies according to last year's policies, only with a different ratio.
Several hours later, NIO issued a four-hour plan to guarantee its customers can enjoy generous subsidies compared to 2019 new criteria only if customers ordered within the final four hours of that day. China Media reckoned that the company has to pay CNY 27,000 (USD 4016.48) for that.
NIO, however, would compensate its users by burning its own cash, rather than raise the price of ES8. Its CEO has addressed that after Tesla announced price cuts in China.
Without hurting its customers and with no fear of then upcoming subsidy policy, the company's president QIN Lihong (秦力洪) affirmed that price stability is a long run strategy in an interview with us (see more in this article).