Tesla Lags as Electric car Sales More Than Double in World’s Biggest EV Market

Electric cars again outpaced traditional vehicles as China auto sales continued their pandemic rebound in October. But Tesla (TSLA) trailed both Chinese car giant BYD (BYDFF) and a General Motors (GM) joint venture in the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles.

Tesla stock and GM rose early Monday, while white-hot China EV stocks took a breather.

Electric Cars Lead China Auto Sales
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) more than doubled to 144,000 units last month. The NEV segment includes all-electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. NEV sales increased for a fourth straight month, accelerating from a 68% gain in September and 26% in August.

China electric car sales hit 121,000 in October, up 137% vs. a year earlier.

Meanwhile, overall retail sales rose 8% in October to 2.02 million vehicles, the China Passenger Car Association said Monday.

China auto sales crumbled at the start of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Year to date, sales are still expected to be down 7%, though that’s an improvement from earlier forecasts of an 11% decline, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla sold 12,143 electric cars in China in October, as a new price cut helped buoy demand. But Tesla sales ranked fourth in China NEV sales behind the GM-SAIC Wuling joint venture, Warren Buffett-backed BYD and another SAIC unit. Tesla exported about 10,000 made-in-China Model 3 cars to other countries, after saying it would start exports to European markets on Oct. 20.

Ford (F) joint ventures also reported strong October sales gains.

Early Monday, China’s Kandi (KNDI) fell 4% after reporting quarterly results. Kandi swung to a net loss of 3 cents a share from EPS of 23 cents a year ago. Revenue dropped 41% to $18.7 million, as EV parts sales fell 67.4%, offset by a 51.6% gain in off-road vehicle sales. Analysts expected a net loss of 11 cents per share on sales of $21.6 million.

In a heavy week for electric car stock earnings, Xpeng Motors and Li Auto are also teeing up to report.

Tesla Stock, Electric Car Stocks
Shares of Tesla gained 2.8% near 442 in early trade on the stock market today. Tesla stock continues to work on a 466 handle buy point. GM and Ford gained 3% and 5%, respectively, in Monday’s premarket on the coronavirus vaccine news from Pfizer (PFE).

Among key China electric car stocks, Nio fell 1%, reversing lower after the coronavirus vaccine news sent investors into “real economy” stocks. Nio stock is far extended from a 15.55 entry, meaning shares are not in buy range. IPO stock Xpeng Motors stock edged higher after surging past a 23.20 early entry and a 25.10 official buy point last week. Fellow Chinese IPO Li Auto fell slightly after blasting past topping a 21.96 cup-with-handle buy point a week ago.

BYD stock, which trades over the counter in the U.S., was not yet active.

In China, local automakers including BYD, Nio (NIO), Xpeng (XPEV) and Li Auto (LI) are turning into formidable electric vehicles rivals to Tesla. In October, Nio’s monthly sales exceeded 5,000 for the first time.

Last week, Xpeng Motors reported a 229% year-over-year sales jump in October. That compared to a doubling for Nio and 85% gain for BYD. Li Auto, which kicked off mass production in November 2019, said October deliveries rose 5% month over month.