Confusion surrounds Nio’s plans for Europe
Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has denied reports that the company is planning a European plant in Poland. The publication of the job advertisement for an “EU Plant Operation Manager” in Mazowieckie, Poland, on which the reports were based, was a “technical error”.
The portal CN EV Post had reported on the job advertisement published on LinkedIn and the obvious conclusion that Nio was planning to build a production facility there to serve European markets. To that portal, Nio also denied plans for a European plant in Poland and gave the reason for the “technical error”.
“After discussions with our internal teams and the human resources department that released the information, we have confirmed that it is a technical error and that Nio currently has no plans to go to Poland,” the company is quoted as saying.
Despite the denial, for a “technical error”, the job advertisement published on LinkedIn was very detailed. There, the main tasks listed included “building an EU plant”, “building and developing operations teams including process, quality, supply chain, warehouse, etc.” as well as “building a communication network with the Nio team to provide an annual global “planning playbook” for products and resource planning for the EU plant”.
However, the impression remains that the job ad was inadvertently published before Nio officially announced the plant. We may only find out if this is actually the case when Nio follows up with the announcement. Nio does not give any further details about the plant, such as the investment, the planned production capacity or the start of construction or production, in the advertisement, which can still be accessed.
In Europe, Nio is so far only active in Norway, where the first ES8s have been delivered since autumn – these are vehicles built in China. As Nio CEO William Li recently explained at a conference in the context of the latest quarterly figures, Nio plans to enter the market in at least five more European countries next year. However, he did not reveal which ones. It is already known, however, that Nio also wants to launch in Germany in 2022.
In the conference call on the quarterly figures, Li went on to say that in the long term it was “a reasonable plan” for overseas markets to contribute 50 per cent of sales. In the wake of the financial crisis, Nio had been forced to halt its expansion plans at the time in 2019, but the company is now pushing hard to enter more countries, including through collaborations: A few days ago, Nio also entered into a strategic partnership with Shell to cooperate on charging and battery exchange facilities in China and Europe.
As the South China Morning Post reports, another Chinese manufacturer could soon follow with a European plant: Shen Yanan, co-founder and president of the now listed manufacturer Li Auto, is quoted in it as saying that they want to be a winner, “not just a mere participant in the world market”. The plan is to build a plant outside China that will serve as a springboard for the world market. Apparently, Europe is also being discussed.
linkedin.com (job advertisement), cnevpost.com (initial report), cnevpost.com (denial) scmp.com (Li Auto)
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