“Then you will be sorted out by the users” – says the Nio boss to Tesla | EUROtoday

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EIt appears like an assault by David in opposition to Goliath – and William Li would definitely like this picture, in spite of everything, David gained ultimately within the Bible. For years, Li, the founding father of the automobile model Nio, has introduced himself because the Chinese model of Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Saving the world with electrical automobiles: He embodies this mission much more completely than his American position mannequin when he seems in entrance of his followers. Now, throughout a go to to the Netherlands, Li has spoken concerning the competitors within the electrical automobile market. Tesla didn’t come off nicely. The Nio boss denies the competitor a talent that he believes is the important thing to the Chinese automobile market: pace.

“If a car company in China cannot develop a new vehicle within 24 months and does not constantly deliver software updates, users will discard you,” mentioned Li on the opening of a department in Amsterdam. The Chinese electrical automobile market is flourishing due to the fierce competitors.

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There Xiaomi SU7

The brief growth time is a fundamental requirement for automobile firms. But that might change into an issue for Tesla: “In the past six years, Tesla has only brought one new model onto the market and they needed another three to four years to facelift that model,” he mentioned, referring to the Model Y.

Nio, alternatively, has launched 5 new fashions in China inside 4 months and is engaged on two new manufacturers. Like many different start-up bosses earlier than him, Li is planning a direct assault on Tesla. It stays to be seen whether or not he’ll fail.

Nio's two new sister manufacturers – Onvo and Firefly – are meant to guide the producer into the mass market. So far, the corporate has solely bought costly, technologically superior electrical automobiles within the worth phase of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. A mid-range SUV within the 30,000 euro vary is now to be launched underneath the Onvo model.

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The Chinese challenger Nio EL7 (left) and its German competitor Mercedes EQS SUV (right)

“The L60 is a car that competes directly with the Model Y,” mentioned Li. But it’s alleged to be technically higher and cheaper. He hopes that gross sales in Europe can begin in September, mentioned Li. Next yr, cheap electrical automobiles underneath the Firefly model will comply with, for the “entry-level segment” of the market.

Will Nio have the ability to maintain out financially till then? “We have enough capital to continue growing,” the boss assured. The investments – 1.8 billion euros final yr – are “not out of control.” However, figures from the Bloomberg information company present that Nio is paying its suppliers' invoices later and later.

Last yr, the corporate wanted a mean of just about 300 days to settle excellent money owed, in comparison with lower than 250 days the yr earlier than. However, BYD additionally took greater than 250 days to settle excellent money owed, whereas Tesla solely took round 100 days.

Instead of present figures, Li talks concerning the future

Just like Tesla, the corporate lately minimize ten % of its jobs. But in contrast to its US competitor, Nio shouldn’t be slicing prices to extend income – however to scale back losses. On the inventory market, confidence in Li's guarantees is now not notably robust. Nio is at the moment price round ten billion {dollars} (9.2 billion euros). The share has misplaced greater than 90 % of its 2021 excessive. Tesla, alternatively, continues to be price 544 billion {dollars}.

Expansion into Europe has been a catastrophe for Nio thus far. According to information from Jato Dynamics, the model was capable of promote simply 305 automobiles in Europe within the first quarter, in comparison with simply 2,274 final yr. Tesla, alternatively, had 362,300 new registrations in Europe in 2023. In China, Nio is no less than nearer to its US rival when it comes to gross sales.

New entry-level model for around 30,000 euros: the Onvo L60 from Nio. The car is intended to compete directly with the Tesla Model Y

New entry-level mannequin for round 30,000 euros: the Onvo L60 from Nio. The automobile is meant to compete straight with the Tesla Model Y

Quelle: VCG by way of Getty Images

Most lately, the Chinese bought round 15,000 automobiles of their house market in April, with Tesla promoting simply over twice that. However, all manufacturers out there are at the moment underneath excessive stress. The electrical automobile producers are engaged in a troublesome worth conflict. The native market chief BYD is at the moment far forward when it comes to gross sales and had a share of greater than a 3rd of the electrical automobile market in April. In massive cities, this market already accounts for greater than 40 % of all automobile gross sales.

Li brushes apart doubts about his formidable plans with visions. In this respect, he’s fairly just like Musk. He then talks about plans for the subsequent 10 or 20 years, concerning the transformation of transport, local weather safety and the preservation of creation. The community of battery-exchange stations and fast-charging parks that the model is constructing in China and Europe can be a long-term wager on electromobility.

For this motive, he additionally speaks out in opposition to tariffs on merchandise akin to electrical automobiles and photo voltaic panels. “We believe that such products not only have value for users around the world, but also make a very important contribution to combating climate change and sustainable development,” Li mentioned. “If a government imposes tariffs on solar panels or electric cars, it makes no sense.”

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China's President Xi Jinping

Li and Musk now agree on this level. At an look at a convention in Paris this week, the Tesla boss spoke out clearly in opposition to tariffs on electrical automobiles, after having supported them in January. One motive: Tesla may very well be hit onerous, no less than not directly, by the 100% tariffs on Chinese electrical automobiles that US President Joe Biden has simply imposed.

No different US automobile firm has as a lot to lose in China as Tesla. The manufacturing facility in Shanghai is the corporate's largest plant on the earth, and the expansion of the electrical automobile market is at the moment going down nearly completely in China.

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According to Li, the key of the Chinese producers' success lies in three elements: their house market is the biggest electrical automobile market on the earth, the nation has full provide chains for the automobiles and “the people in China work very hard.”

The automobile market in his house nation is probably the most aggressive on the earth, mentioned Li. “If you can make it there, you will make it somewhere else.”