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NIO Just Broke Another Sales Record Despite the Chip Shortage

By John Rosevear - Updated Apr 1, 2021 at 12:15PM

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An idled factory didn't stop the Chinese EV maker from delivering a record-breaking month.

Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO (NIO -3.84%) said that its deliveries set a new record in March, helping the company deliver its best quarterly sales total to date despite production downtime related to an ongoing shortage of semiconductors. 

NIO delivered 7,257 vehicles to customers in March, breaking its earlier record of 7,225 set in January after a production increase. For the full first quarter, NIO delivered just over 20,000 vehicles, up 16% from the fourth quarter of 2020. 

A bar chart showing NIO's monthly delivery totals, which have risen more-or-less steadily over the past year.

NIO's deliveries for every month from its first deliveries in late June of 2018 through March 2021. Data source: NIO. Chart by the author.


The news was a positive surprise after NIO said last Friday that it would halt production at its manufacturing partner's factory in Hefei, Anhui Province, for five days due to an ongoing global shortage of automotive-grade semiconductors. At the time, NIO said the production halt would reduce its first-quarter deliveries to about 19,500, versus the 20,000 to 20,500 it had previously forecast. 

A red NIO ES6, an upscale five-passenger electric SUV.

NIO's midsize ES6 was its best-seller in March, with 3,152 delivered. Image source: NIO.

Several other automakers, including Honda Motor (HMC -1.10%) and Ford Motor Company (F -4.55%), have been forced to suspend or reduce vehicle production amid the chip shortage. 

Separately, NIO said that it expects to produce its 100,000th vehicle on April 7, after production resumes next week. Through March, NIO delivered 95,701 vehicles. 

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