Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Nio (NYSE:NIO), the world’s two leading electric vehicle manufacturers, each set new sales records in 2020.
Tesla announced that it delivered 180,570 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of last year, beating its previous record as well as Wall Street expectations. The electric automaker produced 179,757 vehicles total in last year’s final quarter.
For the year 2020 as a whole, Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles, missing its most recent guidance of 500,000 vehicles by just 450 electric cars and SUVs. At a shareholder meeting earlier in 2020, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said he expected deliveries to hit an implied range between 477,750 and 514,500 cars for 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fourth-quarter numbers represent a new record for Tesla, which set its previous best sales in the third quarter of 2020 with deliveries reaching 139,300. Tesla was able to increase vehicle production and deliveries by ramping up Model Y production, successfully operating a new car plant in Shanghai, and bringing on new battery cell suppliers to make more of the high voltage battery packs that power its electric vehicles.
Musk has proclaimed that he wants to increase Tesla’s vehicle sales volume from about 500,000 in 2020 to 20 million annually over the next decade with plans for an electric vehicle that costs $25,000, a Cybertruck, Semi-truck and Roadster in development.
Nio Doubles Deliveries
At the same time, Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio reported that its 2020 sales more than doubled from 2019 to 43,728 vehicles. Deliveries have climbed steadily for five straight months, topping 7,000 units in December, Nio said in a written statement. The Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer has revealed plans for its first electric sedan and announced that it is now expanding in Europe.
The strength in demand reflects the overall recovery in China’s economy and its auto market.
In a national push to become a leader in electric vehicle technology, the Chinese government has aggressively supported the industry with subsidies and the building out of all important charging infrastructure.
Sales of pure electric vehicles in China rose 4.4% from January through November on an annual basis, versus a decline of 7.6% in overall passenger car sales during the same time, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Nio stock was one of the best-performing U.S.-listed Chinese companies in 2020, with its share price rising more than 1,100%.