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Tesla Keeps Winning Even as Chinese EV Foes Watch Sales Soar

By Dan Caplinger – Aug 2, 2021 at 2:57PM

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Find out why the Elon Musk-led electric vehicle pioneer's stock led the Nasdaq upward Monday.

Stocks got back into the groove on Monday, and the Nasdaq Composite (NasdaqINDEX: ^IXIC) helped lead the way higher. Even as other major market benchmarks gave up much of their daily gains, the Nasdaq was still up a third of a percent as of 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Electric vehicles have been a hot area of the market lately, and Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) remains the leader in that high-profile industry. Even though Chinese competitors were the ones doing most of the talking on Monday, Tesla's stock continued to move higher as investors seemed confident in the company's ability to remain atop the fast-growing market. Below, we'll look at what China's EV companies said and what it means for Tesla and the broader industry.

Red Tesla driving away from a city skyline.

Image source: Tesla.

China loves electric vehicles

Several Chinese electric automakers reported their latest monthly results. They all showed continuing growth, albeit at different rates.

Shares of Nio (NYSE: NIO) were up nearly 3% Monday afternoon. The company reported delivering 7,931 vehicles in July, jumping almost 125% compared to the same month a year ago. Nio shipped 3,669 ES6 five-seat SUVs, 2,560 EC6 coupe-model SUVs, and 1,702 ES8 six- and seven-seat SUVs. That brought the total number of vehicles that Nio has delivered in its history above the 125,500 mark.

XPeng (NYSE: XPEV) saw an even bigger rise, with its stock climbing 6%. The automaker reported deliveries of 8,040 vehicles in July, rising 228% year over year. Deliveries of the P7 midsized sedan hit 6,054, while XPeng sent out 1,986 of its compact SUV model, the G3. 2021 has been an exceptional year for XPeng, with year-to-date deliveries through seven months almost quintupling the same figure from 2020. The company attributed much of the popularity of the P7 to its navigation-guided pilot driver assistance platform, and ongoing technological innovation could make that feature even more valuable to drivers.

Lastly, Li Auto (Nasdaq: LI) led the pack with 8,589 deliveries in July. The company's Li ONE has been a massive hit, with year-to-date deliveries of nearly 38,750. July marked a record month for deliveries once again, and co-founder Yanan Shen predicted that new upgrades by the end of 2021 will further support the positive perception of Li Auto's vehicle model for consumers. Li's shares were up 2% on the day.

Tesla keeps winning

Some might have thought that gains for Chinese EV stocks would mean losses for Tesla, but that's not how investors looked at it. Instead, Tesla stock rose 5%, as shareholders seemed to assume that if China's own domestic automakers are having success, so too is Tesla in serving the Chinese market through vehicles from its Shanghai Gigafactory facility.

Tesla did get a vote of confidence from KGI Securities Monday. Analysts gave Tesla an outperform rating and set a price target of $855 per share, implying almost 20% further upside from where the stock trades currently.

The other news item affecting Tesla came from Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq: PLL), which said it would delay lithium shipments to the automaker. Piedmont shares were up even though the supplier didn't specify a date on which it could make good on its agreement with Tesla.

As the leader in the EV space, Tesla has been able to keep competition at bay while steadily growing the addressable market for electric vehicles of all kinds. That's a positive for the entire industry, and it means Chinese EV stocks can win without endangering Tesla's key role in driving innovation forward in the industry.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla, Nio Inc., and Piedmont Lithium.

Stocks Mentioned

Tesla Stock Quote
Tesla
TSLA
$182.45 (-6.37%) $-12.41
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$11,461.50 (%)
Nio Stock Quote
Nio
NIO
$12.80 (-2.51%) $0.33
Li Auto Stock Quote
Li Auto
LI
$22.11 (-2.94%) $0.67
XPeng Stock Quote
XPeng
XPEV
$11.34 (-0.96%) $0.11
Piedmont Lithium Inc. Stock Quote
Piedmont Lithium Inc.
PLL
$56.58 (-6.51%) $-3.94

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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