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NIO Shares Drop Despite Record November Electric Car Deliveries

NIO shares fall even as it notches up a new monthly record for deliveries as fraud allegations against rival Kandi Technologies give investors pause.

NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report traded lower Tuesday, even after the Shanghai-based company said it hit a new monthly record for deliveries of its electric vehicles in November, as fraud allegations by short-seller Hindenberg Research against rival Kandi  (KNDI) - Get Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. Report Technologies prompted NIO investors to also sell.

NIO’s American depositary receipts trading in New York were down more than 8% on Tuesday after the electric carmaker said it delivered 5,291 vehicles in November, up from 5,055 vehicles in October and more than double what it sold last November.

The deliveries consisted of 1,387 ES8s, the company's six-seater and seven-seater smart electric SUV; 2,386 ES6s, the company's five-seater smart electric SUV; and 1,518 EC6s, the company's five-seater premium electric coupe SUV. Year over year, deliveries have risen more than 109%, NIO said.

For the year, deliveries have risen 111%, NIO said. NIO said it's in the process of accelerating production capacity to accommodate increasing order growth. 

Demand for NIO's all-electric SUVs continue to attract buyers in China, a sign that Chinese consumers are not only back to spending on big-ticket items like cars following the coronavirus pandemic but that the Chinese economy is also on a recovery path.

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NIO, which went public in New York in 2018, has both cut costs and borrowed capital to keep itself operational through the pandemic. Gross margin, or revenue minus production costs, was positive for the first time in the second quarter.

Still, NIO lags far behind Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, whose registrations in China topped 50,000 in the first half of 2020. Tesla also is preparing to begin producing its Model Y crossover at its Shanghai plant after ramping up output of its longer-range Model 3.

NIO last week posted better-than-expected third-quarter results as demand for its cars continues to help bolster its balance sheet. The Chinese electric vehicle maker reported an adjusted per-share loss of 12 cents on revenue of $667 million. It had been expected to report a loss of 18 cents a share on sales of $664 million.

At the same time, the company has been caught up in recent allegations by short-selling firm Hindenburg Research that rival Chinese electric carmaker Kandi has been inflating its sales numbers to attract additional investors.

Shares in Kandi plunged nearly 30% on Monday after Hindenburg accused the Chinese automaker of faking sales and hyping its electric vehicle growth story. Hindenberg was also behind the allegations against electric-truck maker Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Nikola Corporation Report, which it accused of lying about the viability of its truck and grid network just days after it announced a $2 billion deal with General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report. GM has since scrapped the deal.

NIO's depositary receipts were down 8.63% at $46.17 in Tuesday trading. The stock has risen 250.9% since the company last reported earnings on Aug. 11, and has surged more than 2,000% in the past 52 weeks. Shares of Kandi were down 9.93% at $8.79.