Chinese EV maker Nio cuts Q1 deliveries forecast amid tepid demand

(Reuters) – Chinese electric-vehicle maker Nio lowered its forecast for first-quarter deliveries on Wednesday, as it grapples with slowing demand and a price war in China.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares fell around 4% in premarket trading.

EV demand in Nio’s home market China — the world’s largest auto market — has been faltering as intense market competition has driven down car prices and consumers tightened spending in a sluggish economy.

A price war started by Tesla last year to combat weakening demand in the region has also battered the margins of domestic EV companies.

That has prompted Chinese firms, including Xpeng and BYD, to explore expanding into overseas markets such as Europe where they can sell vehicles at higher prices than their saturated home market.

Reuters had reported in October that Nio was considering building a dealer network in Europe to speed up sales growth.

But European investigators are to inspect Chinese automakers over whether their cheaper EVs benefit unfairly from state subsidies.

Nio expects to deliver around 30,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024, compared with its prior forecast of 31,000 to 33,000. The company had delivered 31,041 vehicles in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Shilpi Majumdar