Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker NIO is actively preparing to enter the U.S. and global markets, its Chairman and CEO Li Bin said in an interview published Sunday on Yicai.com.
As with why NIO did't plan to enter the international market earlier, Li Bin said that it would be pointless to enter markets such as the U.S. if the company cannot mass produce vehicles.
Therefore, NIO is building its own "moat" and upgrading the capacity of NIO's JAC plant.
Li Bin said that by September this year, the NIO JAC plant will increase its production capacity by 25 percent to about 5,000 vehicles per month.
Li Bin also said that NIO's fourth model will also be produced at NIO JAC plant.
Since its inception, NIO has achieved cumulative deliveries of 50,000 units in July.
"In the short term, NIO has just crossed the life and death line," Li Bin said at the Chengdu Auto Show.
In April this year, NIO received 7 billion yuan in financing from the Anhui Hefei government. On July 10, NIO received 10.4 billion yuan in credit line from six Chinese banks.
In addition, NIO also received around $900 million in financing in the U.S. market.
NIO launched its coupe SUV NIO EC6 on July 24, which is its third mass-produced model.
The NIO EC6 has a pre-subsidy price range of 368,000 to 526,000 yuan, and deliveries will start in late September.
Li Bin said in the above interview that the NIO EC6 will compete directly with the Tesla Model Y, which is the fifth model launched by Tesla and deliveries started in the U.S. back in March this year.
If the pricing strategy of the China-made Model 3 is followed, the starting price of the China-made Model Y will most likely be lower than that of the NIO EC6.
However, Li Bin believes that the NIO EC6 still has a differentiating advantage over the Tesla Model Y.
"All our cars are dual-motor, Model Y and Model 3 are single-motor," said Li Bin, adding that NIO supports battery swap, which has certain advantages.
He believes that although there is competition between Tesla and NIO, the fact is that the scale of EVs in the overall passenger car market is still relatively small, and the priority is still to increase the market scale.