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Chinese EV Maker Li Auto Drops Despite Big Jump in January Deliveries

Shares of Li Auto fell despite more than quadrupling its January deliveries from the same period last year.

U.S.-listed shares of Li Auto  (LI) fell Tuesday even though the Chinese EV maker more than quadrupled its deliveries in January compared to a year ago to 5,379. The numbers were, however, lower than the company's December delivery total of 6,126.

Shares of the Beijing, China., firm dropped 5.77% to $30.19 at last check during trading.

Li Auto said its January deliveries of its Li Ones, a luxury mid-size crossover SUV, represented year-over-year growth of 356%.

The clean energy automaker also said that it will set up a new research and development center in Shanghai to develop high-voltage platforms, ultra-fast charging technologies and autonomous driving tech for its upcoming products.

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"The abundant availability of top-notch talents with expertise in smart vehicles in Shanghai and its adjacent areas alongside rich supply chain resources made [Shanghai] an ideal choice for our new R&D center,” said Yanan Shen, co-founder and president of Li Auto, in a statement.

“Its establishment will expedite our new model launches and the development of smart vehicle technologies as we aim to provide our users with increasingly advanced products and services," Shen noted.

Li Auto has 60 retail stores covering 47 cities, as well as 121 servicing centers.

Rival Chinese EV maker NIO's American depositary receipts rose on Monday after the company said it delivered a record 7,225 vehicles in January, representing more than 350% year-over-year growth. And XPeng Motors  (XPEV)  also rose on Monday after it said it delivered 6,015 electric vehicles in January, a 470% increase over last year. 

Such strong demand for electric vehicles is a sign that Chinese consumers are not only back to spending on big-ticket items such as cars as the coronavirus pandemic subsides, but that the Chinese economy is also on a recovery path.