NIO reportedly recruiting positions to build a US manufacturing plant

According to a report from China, automaker EV NIO is recruiting a number of vehicle manufacturing-related positions in the United States. Recruitment descriptions suggest the Chinese automaker intends to begin planning and erecting electric vehicle production facilities on U.S. soil that could begin with complete assembly (CKD) or semi-disassembled methods ( SKD).

NIO ($NIO) is an electric vehicle automaker originally founded in China in 2014 that has established itself as one of the leading electrified brands, originally starting with a line of electric SUVs. Following the addition of two electric sedans, NIO began expanding to other global markets last year, starting with Europe.

Last December, we highlighted that during the automaker’s annual NIO Day celebration, it shared ambitions to provide services in 25 countries and regions by 2025. The presentation featured an on-screen map with several highlighted markets at potential entry points including Western Europe, Australia and you guessed it…the United States.

A few days later, we reported new job postings on LinkedIn by NIO USA for its current office in San Jose, California, which at the time included a job for the Construction and Prep Manager. user infrastructure. Here is that job description:

NIO USA’s Business and Corporate Development team is responsible for the strategy, planning and execution of NIO’s Go-To-Market for the Americas. This is a strategic corporate initiative, sponsored by the CEO and CFO, and comes with high visibility and high expectations!

As the User Infrastructure Build and Readiness Manager, you will be responsible for the end-to-end delivery of NIO’s key infrastructure in the Americas to support NIO’s business model and user experiences. . NIO’s infrastructure must be strategically located, built to local standards, and meet NIO’s global expectations. You will lead the collaboration with world-class internal experts and external partners to get this infrastructure built from the ground up at scale in the Americas.

In January, news emerged that NIO US had signed a ten-year lease in San Jose to serve at the automaker’s local headquarters, although there was no mention of manufacturing. Following a recent report from China, NIO would take the next step towards entering the US market and exploring manufacturing.

American made NIO
NIO’s current US headquarters in San Jose, California

NIO job postings again hint at US manufacturing intent

The original report of NIO job vacancies in the United States is from yicai out of China who states that a journalist from China Business News exclusively learned that NIO is recruiting a number of new US-based manufacturing-related positions.

The reporter also shared that the specific positions that NIO recruits include overseas manufacturing park planning experts, body experts, planning and infrastructure experts, and overseas logistics project managers.

Applicants would be required to have senior planning experience on at least one US project and knowledge of US state policies, design specifications, and planning approval procedures. Additionally, the report points out that the specific positions listed for planning and infrastructure expert and senior analyst in San Jose require candidates to “have knowledge of industrial real estate industry regulatory processes.”

Based on NIO’s most recent movements and US job postings, parties reporting US manufacturing plans believe that a US plant will begin operations using NIO kits. complete assembly (CKD) or semi-disassembled (SKD), at least to begin with. This process includes shipping kits of fabricated and/or semi-assembled components to another country for assembly.

As NIO continues to grow in China and expand into other overseas markets, its electric vehicle manufacturing currently resides entirely in China in the capital city of Hefei in Anhui province, so it might make sense to see these kits sent to the United States for assembly to begin, while a full manufacturing footprint is established.

In response to the Chinese report regarding US manufacturing, NIO said there was no information to disclose at this time. We have also reached out to NIO for comment and have yet to receive a response.

Electrek’s Grasp

This news is an intercontinental report of a report of a report, so take it with a grain of salt, but is it that hard to believe? NIO has had a footprint in Northern California for years now, and while it continues to deny any immediate plans to enter the US market, it continues to take internal action that says otherwise.

Committing to another decade at its San Jose hub was a first clue. You can argue that a specific area remains a tech mecca and a great place to house R&D and other innovations like self-driving, for example.

That being said, many of the most recent job postings allude to a possible (or inevitable) entry into the United States. Plus, there’s the whole NIO map of the day which specifically highlighted the country as an upcoming market, so that’s also an interesting giveaway.

I personally think that two additional factors are at play here. Manufacturing on US soil would allow NIO to more effectively capitalize on US sales and take advantage of certain tax incentives, but also to ship some of these EVs to Europe rather than shipping them from China.

If these assembly rumors are true, it would also make sense to see these knockdown kits shipped from China to an additional assembly plant in the EU as well. Perhaps we see this before actual American manufacturing. This is all hypothetical until we hear it directly from NIO, but I don’t think it’s a matter of if NIO will begin manufacturing in the United States, but when.

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