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At first glance, China-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio’s (NYSE:NIO) April delivery data might seem positive. Yet, it’s essential to dig into the numbers and put them in context before you think about buying NIO stock. Moreover, Nio’s stubborn refusal to budge on the issue of vehicle price cuts is probably a huge mistake.
Along with the company’s other issues and obstacles, Nio has to deal with fierce competition from rival EV maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). This task will only be more difficult if Nio’s management isn’t flexible in its business strategy.
As Nio stays the course with a questionable business strategy, the automaker’s stakeholders might consider bailing. Otherwise, they could end up underwater on their investment in Nio during the month of May.
Nio Won’t Slash Its EV Prices
It’s no secret that the global economy isn’t running on all cylinders. Supply chain constraints, geopolitical tensions, sticky inflation, and recession anxiety continue to impact the fragile balance of supply and demand in the EV market.
Tesla responded to these issues with a well-documented series of price cuts. You may or may not like Tesla, but it’s hard to deny that lowering EV prices should make the company more competitive.
In stark contrast to Tesla, Nio CEO William Li declared, “For us, we will certainly not join the price war.” Li justified this statement by claiming that Nio’s EVs “are superior to the Model 3 and Model Y in terms of design, technology and performance.”
Tesla has many fans around the world, and they would very likely disagree with Li’s declaration of Nio’s superiority. Furthermore, Li just doesn’t seem to want to cater to value-seeking customers’ needs. Reportedly, Li asserted that Tesla’s “price reductions lower the EVs’ residual value. Such actions … are simply detrimental to customers.”
NIO Stock Falls After Release of Delivery Numbers
Financial traders watch closely for Nio’s vehicle delivery numbers, which are typically released on a monthly basis. As it turned out, Nio delivered 10,378 vehicles in March. Did the automaker show improvement in April, though?
Nio tried to spin its April delivery data as positive, but investors should look at the bigger picture. The company emphasized that its April EV deliveries rose 31.2% year over year. That’s not the whole story, though, as Nio’s 6,658 deliveries for April indicated a sharp slowdown compared to the deliveries in March.
Notably, NIO stock fell after Nio issued the press release. This is a clear sign that investors weren’t too impressed with the company’s results, as they surely discerned an alarming trend in the delivery data.
NIO Stock Is a Sell in May
It’s understandable if Nio’s investors insisted that Li should be more responsive and flexible concerning vehicle price reductions. There’s no clear indication, though, that the CEO will actually back down from his policy on price cuts.
Meanwhile, traders should be wary of Nio’s attempt to put a positive spin on its EV delivery data. So, at the end of the day, it’s wise to steer clear of NIO stock in May.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.