Li Auto Reports Record Deliveries as Rivals Falter. The Stock Is Up.

 Li Auto Reports Record Deliveries as Rivals Falter. The Stock Is Up.

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Courtesy Li Auto


Li Auto

might end up saving Chinese electric- vehicle stocks today. It may even give

Tesla

a boost.

Li (ticker: LI) delivered a record amount of cars in August. Its result is far better than those of its peers, which tripped up because of shortages of semiconductors and continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Li delivered 9,433 vehicles in August, up from 8,589 in July. It was the second consecutive month that Li has delivered more cars than both

NIO

(NIO) and

XPeng

(XPEV). What’s more, the August number is up almost 120% from Li’s May delivery figure of 4,323 vehicles.

Li stock was up about 1% in premarket trading. Futures on the

S&P 500

and

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were both down about 0.1%.

NIO and XPeng shares were both down ahead of the open. Both delivered fewer vehicles in August compared than in July. NIO cited continuing supply-chain problems in its news release. A global semiconductor shortage has constrained auto production all year, and a recent rise in Covid infections in Malaysia has resulted in more parts shortages.

Li has managed the situation well. The shortages don’t appear to have affected its July or August delivery results.

Strong deliveries in China are important for all EV producers, given that China is the world’s largest market for new cars and for EVs. Tesla’s (TSLA) August production result will come out later in the month, released by an industry association and not by Tesla directly. Investors will want to see healthy production to keep Tesla stock going in the right direction.

Tesla’s Shanghai plant produced about 33,000 vehicles in July. The company serves the European and Chinese market from that facility.

Tesla shares are up about 18% over the past three months, but the stock was down a little in premarket trading, dropping about 0.4%. NIO’s and XPeng’s delivery results might be weighing on Tesla shares, but Li’s numbers are helping keep things stable.

Li has been the best-performing U.S.-listed Chinese EV stock this year. Coming into Wednesday trading, Li shares were up about 7%. NIO and XPeng stocks have dropped about 19% and 1%, respectively.

Deliveries are a big reason. Over the past three months, Li deliveries have averaged almost 8,600 vehicles a month. That’s better than the roughly 7,300 figure for both NIO and XPeng.

Tesla stock is up about 4% year to date. Its stock has been hurt by the semiconductor shortage too. Shares have also paused after 2020’s epic 743% rise.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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