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Tesla Stock Active as Musk Repeats Chip Concerns, NIO Plans Brand Challenge

'We want to provide better product and service at prices lower than Tesla,' says NIO CEO William Li.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares edged higher Thursday even as founder and CEO Elon Musk said the clean-energy carmaker is operating under 'extreme supply chain limitations' linked to the global semiconductor shortage.

In reply to a tweet from Ark Investment  (ARKK) - Get ARK Innovation ETF Report boss Cathie Wood on the subject of China's strength in electric vehicle exports, Musk noted that Tesla splits its quarterly production runs with a focus on domestic markets over the second half, adding that "as publicly disclosed, we are operating under extreme supply chain limitations regarding certain “standard” automotive chips."

The comment's echo Musk's comments late last month, when he warned that the global chip shortage was ""quite serious" and could impact production rates over the second half of the year. He added that volume growth will depend on the availability of other parts in the global supply chain.

"The chip supply is fundamentally the governing factor on our output," Musk told investors on July 27, "It is difficult for us to say how long this will last because [it's] out of our control essentially. It does seem like it's getting better, but it's hard to predict." 

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Tesla shares were marked 0.25% lower in premarket trading Thursday to indicate an opening bell price of $709.56 each. 

Tesla's main China-based rival, NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report, unveiled ambitions Thursday to challenge big-brand carmakers such as Volkswagen and Toyota in the EV market, with CEO William Li adding that the carmaker "wants to provide better product and service at prices lower than Tesla."

NIO posted a second quarter profit of $102 million, with vehicle deliveries rising 112% from last year to 21,879 over the three months ending in June.

Tesla's second quarter delivers were up 122% from last year to a record 201,250, while net income on a GAAP basis came in $1.142 billion, the first billion-plus profit on record for the Palo Alto, California-based carmaker.

Group revenues, Tesla said, rose 98% from last year to a record $11.96 billion, firmly ahead of analysts' forecasts of an $11.3 billion tally. Gross automotive margins were 28.4%, Tesla said, 300 basis point higher than last year.