The Optimism of NIO
NIO, the China-based manufacturer of electric vehicles—the ES8, a 6- or 7-seat SUV, now, and the ES6, a five-seater starting production in June—is nothing if not optimistic (maybe “nothing if not optimistic” is the source of the acronym—because in reporting its Q1 results, it noted that its sales were down 54.6% from Q4 of 2018, vehicle margins were -7.2%, revenue was down 52.5%. . .you get it.
That said, the company plans to develop a third model using the ES8 and ES6 platform that is to be launched in 2020 and is undertaking the development of the ET series of sedans.
Louis T. Hsieh, NIO chief financial officer, said in the context of the Q1 report: “Looking ahead to the second quarter, we expect an even more challenging sales environment and anticipate overall sequential demand and deliveries to decrease, as competition continues to accelerate and the general automobile market in China remains muted.”
The historic plant has built—and is building—a lot of cars in its 70-year run of commercial vehicle production. Today, with the e-Golf and the GTE, it is making what are arguably the most-advanced Volkswagens out there.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Dan Nicholson is vice president of General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, the organization that had been “GM Powertrain” for 24 years.