The Strategist

Chinese e-car industry falls victim to a global problem

09/03/2021 - 08:56

Shipments of electric cars from Chinese companies Nio and Xpeng fell in August. According to CNBC, the industry fell victim to a global chip shortage and supply chain disruptions caused by local lockdowns due to the coronavirus.

Nio delivered 5,880 electric cars in August, down from 7,931 in July. The company also lowered its delivery forecast for the third quarter of 2021 to 22,500-23,500 cars from 23,000- 25,000. Nio attributed the decrease in production to "uncertainty and volatility in semiconductor supply." Meanwhile, the company said new orders peaked in August, showing a gap between supply and demand in the auto market.

Xpeng said it delivered 7,214 electric cars in August, down from 8,040 in July. The drop in volume is partly due to the refresh of one of the models that will begin delivery in September. During a meeting in July, Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng said that the shortage of semiconductors remains the company's biggest problem. He expects shipments of 15,000 electric cars in the fourth quarter.

Li Auto is the only company among China's top three electric car makers that recorded an increase in shipments in August compared with the previous month. Li Auto delivered a total of 9,443 of its only Li ONE model, a 9.8 percent increase over July's figures.

Despite the drop in shipments, Chinese electric car makers are doing better than industry peers in dealing with the microchip shortage. Volvo and Audi have halted production at their plants, and Toyota has cut plans for new cars by 40 percent. Electric car companies' main competitor also suffered: Tesla stopped producing electric cars at its plants in China.