Less than a week after NIO USA’s CEO shared intentions for the Chinese automaker to enter North America by mid-decade, he has spoke again saying the company is still actually “debating” market entry. NIO EVs coming to the US still feels imminent, but the executive relayed that the automaker will need plenty of help to do so, adding uncertainty to that 2025 timeline.
NIO ($NIO) remains one of the top names in EV innovation in China, whose reputation has since extended into new markets of Europe and beyond. In addition to creating some of the more popular EVs in China, NIO is also the industry leader in battery swap stations and has now delved into adjacent technologies such as mobile phones.
With its own brand of phones, NIO hopes to provide an immersive, holistic experience to its EV owners and intends to expand that opportunity to new customers in North America… eventually. During the the NextChina Conference last week, NIO USA CEO Ganesh Iyer shared that the automaker’s previously laid plans to enter 25 new markets by mid-decade do, in fact include North America. Per Iyer:
My goal, and my commitment to this company, is I want all of us to buy a NIO car from our personal paycheck one day, I hope that ‘one day’ will be sooner, which means we need help from everyone — government, policymakers, supply ecosystem [and] infrastructure readiness.
Vague but firm – NIO wants its EVs in North America by 2025, but that’s more easily said that done, and Iyer recognizes that. This week, Iyer was interviewed again and shared a similar sentiment. However, the CEO for NIO USA was less firm on the company’s plans.
NIO still “debating” entry into North America
In a recent interview with Reuters, Ganesh Iyer once again spoke to NIO’s entry into North America – this time stating the automaker is still debating entry… at least doing so by 2025. As we reported last week, NIO intends to continue building its EVs in China and will import them into new markets, which could eventually include the US.
Iyer also shared that NIO will needs to implement necessary infrastructure before bringing electric vehicles to North America. Whether that means storage and maintenance facilities, showrooms, or even swap stations is unclear, but it could entail all based upon NIO’s current footprints expanding through Europe.
According to Iyer, NIO is open to suitors in North America to help expedite its market entry, telling Reuters the automaker is exploring “any kind of partnerships” on the continent.
While its plans to enter North America appear more fluid than ever, NIO remains one of the only Chinese EV automakers even mentioning the market as a future target.
In the past, XPeng Motors has flat out denied any plans for entry into the US, citing the high cost of tariffs for importing EVs. BYD is another competitor that has entered North America (Mexico at least) and has found much success in all of its markets outside of China.
We still believe we will see NIO EVs on US roads, but it might take a bit longer than 2025. We will be watching regardless!
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