NIO Vs XPeng: Which Electric Vehicle Stock Is A Better Buy?

Investing in a high-growth industrial segment carries significant risks. Market dynamics are such that sectors with exciting growth prospects attract competition like bees to honey, and companies with considerable resources can deploy sufficient capital to gain great traction in new markets quickly. For example, Fitbit (FIT) was once a market leader in the wearables space. But several tech giants, including Apple (AAPL) and China’s Xiaomi, bundled into the sector, quickly impacting Fitbit’s top-line growth.

In the last year, companies in the electric vehicle (EV) sector crushed the broader markets as the transition towards clean energy vehicles gained pace globally. This transition will accelerate in the coming decade and has already attracted the attention of legacy manufacturers such as Volkswagen and BMW.

Nevertheless, two EV companies we think investors should analyze carefully in this disruptive segment are China-based manufacturers NIO (NIO) and XPeng (XPEV). Let’s analyze to see which stock is a better buy right now.

The bull case for NIO

NIO is often referred to as the Tesla (TSLA) of China, and for good reason. The company delivered a record 7,257 vehicles in March 2021 and more than 20,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021. While this is significantly lower than Tesla’s 184,000 quarterly figure, NIO generates most of its revenue from China. Its deliveries were up almost 100% year over year despite a shortage of automotive semiconductor chips that halted production for five days at NIO’s partner factory in Hefei.

China is the largest EV market in the world, which suggests that the sales and profit margins of NIO and peers are likely to widen at a rapid pace over the next decade. NIO has already delivered 100,000 vehicles to date.

NIO’s sales more than doubled in 2020 and this stellar growth translated into a stock return of more than  1,100% last year. But this year, EV stocks have been trailing the broader market and have lost momentum because investors are concerned about their steep valuations.

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