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Tesla Rival NIO Inc is Hiring Manufacturing Specialists for a U.S. EV Factory, Reports Say

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【Summary】Electric vehicle startup NIO Inc, which is emerging as one of Tesla’s biggest rivals in China, is reportedly looking to build a EV factory in the U.S., a local news outlet reported on Friday, citing new job listings posted by the automaker in China. The job description says that candidates for overseas manufacturing park planning specialists are required to have experience managing two or more complete master plan projects, at least one of which should be in the U.S.

Eric Walz    May 27, 2022 1:30 PM PT
Tesla Rival NIO Inc is Hiring Manufacturing Specialists for a U.S. EV Factory, Reports Say
The NIO ET5 electric sedan is poised to compete with the Tesla Model 3 in China when deliveries begin later this year. (Photo: NIO)

Electric vehicle startup NIO Inc, which is emerging as one of Tesla's biggest rivals in China, is reportedly looking to build a factory in the U.S., local news outlet Gasgoo reported on Friday, citing job listings posted in China by the company.

According to the job ads, the positions NIO is recruiting for include "overseas manufacturing park planning specialists", "car body process specialists for overseas projects", "overseas planning and infrastructure specialists", and "overseas logistics project managers".

The job description shows that candidates for overseas manufacturing park planning specialists are required to have experience in managing two or more complete master plan projects, at least one of which should be in the U.S.

The NIO job posting further requests that candidates should have sufficient knowledge of the U.S. state policies, design codes, and planning submission procedures, and be familiar with the process and master plan principles of the U.S., which shed some insight into NIO's plans.

NIO currently operates an autonomous driving R&D center in San Jose, California, where the company's North American headquarters is located. According to the media report in China, NIO is also hiring planning and infrastructure specialists and senior analysts for its San Jose-based team.

In January, The San Jose Mercury News reported that  NIO signed a lease for a 210,500 square ft building in San Jose that will be the headquarters and innovation center for the maker of electric vehicles and smart car technologies, commercial real estate firm Colliers said, who brokered the deal for NIO.

The building is near NIO's current headquarters in north San Jose. NIO signed a 10-year lease, according to Colliers.

NIO has emerged as one of China's promising new electric vehicle startups. Earlier this month, the company announced it reached deliveries of 200,000 electric vehicles. The 200,000 vehicle milestone took the company four years to reach since launching its first model, the ES8 SUV, in 2018.

The company followed up the ES8 with the ES6 compact SUV, EC6 fastback and full-size ET7 sedan. The company's fifth vehicle, the ET5 sedan, was unveiled in Dec 2021 at the company's annual "NIO Day" event in China. The mid-size ET5 is poised to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and other similar EVs in China.  

NIO is also planning to launch its sixth battery-powered model soon named the ES7, which is an SUV that will compete with Tesla's Model Y and BMW's X5L SUV that's sold in the China market.

Other overseas automakers are also opening EV manufacturing sites in the U.S., including Volvo Cars, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, in addition to those planned by U.S. automakers Ford Motor Co and General Motors.

NIO's electric vehicles are uniquely designed, as the batteries can easily be removed in a highly automated process of one of the company's hundreds of battery swapping stations in China.

In April, the Financial Times reported  that NIO is in talks to license its electric vehicle battery swapping technology to rival automakers.

According to the Financial Times, NIO is in talks with both Chinese and international auto groups to open up its network of battery swap stations to other automakers, according to its European president, Zhang Hui. NIO wants to sell the technology and infrastructure to other auto  groups in order to expand outside of China.

In June of last year, NIO announced it received approval to sell its fully-electric ES8 SUV in Europe, paving the way for its expansion for the first time outside of China.

NIO received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA) for its ES8, its flagship SUV. The EWVTA certification marks the first steps for NIO's entry into Norway and the European market at large. With its EWVTA certification, the NIO ES8 is officially approved for mass production and license plate registration in all EU countries, the company said. 

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