Shanghai (Gasgoo)- On December 16th, NIO officially launched its first mass-production electric vehicle ES8 in the press conference held in Wukesong Center with over 1 thousand participants. The first 10,000 ES8 vehicles will be the Founder Edition and will be delivered in March, 2018. NIO is promising to become "Tesla of China" and drive mass production of electric vehicles.
During the press conference, William Li, CEO of NIO, stressed the human-machine system, NOMI, which integrates the voice interactive system and an intelligent emotion engine, turning the car from a machine into an intelligent partner.
Three days earlier on December 13th, a local reporter visited NIO global design center located in Munich. The center is in a six-storey glass building, a birthplace for every new vehicle model of NIO.
Zhang Hui, General Manager of NIO Germany introduced that, employees in Munich were from over 27 countries, averaging 35 years old, and a quarter of them were German, while Chinese accounted for less than 10 percent.
In addition, he said that ES8, EP9 and the concept vehicle EVE were all designed in Munich, including the appearance, interior and human-machine interface, but not engineering development.
Mu Jianfeng, managing director of NIO Germany supply chain, revealed that, designers and developers of UI/UX department absorb inspirations from various new technological products and optimize design continuously to offer the best product to users.
Zhang Hui said that NIO's plan was to launch a new vehicle model every year from 2018 to 2022. NIO received thousands of orders of ES8 before revealing the price, and the design of the second production vehicle model, ES6, also came to an end, which will be unveiled in Auto Beijing 2018. Besides, NIO has started "incubating" the third model.
When asked about if the same bottleneck that limited Tesla Model 3 would occur to ES8, Zhang Hui said, "70% of our over 400 suppliers are international company, mainly in western Europe, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We took international branches into consideration when we chose suppliers, and expected they were within 600 kilometers from our factory in Hefei."
According to Zhang Hui, many suppliers of Tesla were located in Asia, and it took a long time to ship components and parts to factories. This was why the production of Tesla Model 3 lagged. However, NIO has already taken into consideration the growing demand for parts and components caused by capacity expansion.
Moreover, NIO has cooperated closely with CATL, a battery supplier, and CATL established an office in Germany. Zhang Hui predicted that, battery is what the whole industry lacks in the long term, and this is also why Volkswagen, Mercedes-Ben, and Continental all attempts to build battery factories. As for NIO's plan to be listed next year, Zhang Hui replied, "Building vehicles needs money, so NIO certainly aims to be listed, but the details remain to be discussed."
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