NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) is a leader in China’s premium electric vehicle market. The company designs, jointly manufactures and sells smart and connected premium electric vehicles in China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
NIO is redefining user experience by providing users with comprehensive, convenient and innovative charging solutions and other user-centric service offerings. The company is committed to sustainability, as well as driving innovation in next-generation technologies with connectivity, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.
The company was formerly known as NextEV Inc. and changed its name to NIO Limited in July 2017. NIO Limited was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
The company offers five-, six- and seven-seater electric SUVs, as well as the EP9 supercar, which was the first model NIO developed in 2016. Combining an attractive design and strong driving performance, the EP9 showcased extraordinary acceleration and best-in-class electric powertrain technology, helping position NIO as a premium brand.
In 2017, the company launched its first volume manufactured electric vehicle, the ES8, to the public; it began making deliveries in 2018. The ES8 is a seven-seater premium electric SUV, featuring an all-aluminum alloy body, that offers exceptional performance, functionality and mobility. NIO then officially launched the ES6, a five-seater high-performance premium electric SUV, in December 2018 and began the first deliveries in June 2019.
NIO also provides a convenient and innovative suite of energy and service packages to its users, as well as charging solutions, such as Power Home, a home charging solution; Power Swap, a battery swapping service; Power Mobile, a mobile charging service offered through charging trucks; Public Charger, a public fast charging solution; and Power Express, a 24-hour on-demand pick-up and drop-off charging service.
The company’s value-added services include statutory and third-party liability insurance and vehicle damage insurance through third-party insurers; repair and routine maintenance services; courtesy car services during lengthy repairs and maintenance; and roadside assistance, as well as data packages.
NIO also has a limited strategic collaboration with Mobileye N.V. for the development of automated and autonomous vehicles, as well as collaboration agreements with various manufacturers for the manufacture of its ES8 model.
The company sells its vehicles through its own sales network, including NIO House and a mobile application. NIO Houses serve not only as showrooms for NIO vehicles, but also as clubhouses for users, with multiple social functions. The company’s mobile application fosters a dynamic and interactive online platform.
NIO is a pioneer in automotive smart connectivity and enhanced Level 2 autonomous driving. The company believes that NOMI, a voice-activated AI digital companion, is one of the most advanced in-car AI assistants ever developed by a Chinese company.
The Industry’s Digital Shift
The automotive industry is experiencing a digital shift as cars become more intelligent via onboard computing systems. This industrywide trend is being driven by a race to consolidate the electric control units (ECUs) that manage the onboard instrumentation for each vehicle.
Electric vehicles today are made up of a complex system of hardware components and electrical wires. Current ECUs control various applications, such as on-road vehicle sensing, emergency braking and parallel parking assistance. As designers and manufacturers strive to reduce the complexity of these systems by embedding more intelligence directly into software updates, NIO is positioned to significantly improve the user experience.
Designing a Unique User Experience with a Standard Approach
The company is standardizing the operating system platform across its own fleet of vehicles and has a vision of developing shared software and technical standards among all automotive manufacturers. NIO is pioneering an innovative digital cockpit that can be customized to the user’s personal preferences, thus delivering a more seamless overall user experience.
There are many benefits to taking a standardized approach. A standard interface allows engineers to speed up development of new applications without worrying about communication glitches between different hardware components. Standardization also reduces the wasteful duplication of processes, while providing a more flexible platform for future customization. Manufacturers can drive profitability as they realize cost savings by developing the newest systems in-house, rather than paying costly licensing fees to outside vendors.
Bin Li is NIO’s founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Li also serves as chairman of the board of directors at Bitauto Holdings Limited, an NYSE-listed automobile service company and a leading automobile service provider in China. In 2000, Li co-founded Beijing Bitauto E-Commerce Co. Ltd. and served as its director and president until 2006. In 2002, Li co-founded Beijing C&I Advertising Company Limited and has served as its chairman and chief executive officer since inception. In addition, Li currently serves as vice-chairman of China Automobile Dealers Association, or CADA, and was recognized by CADA in 2008 as one of the top-10 most influential and distinguished people in China’s automobile dealer industry over the past 20 years.
Lihong Qin is the company’s Director and President. Qin is also NIO’s co-founder. Qin previously served as chief marketing officer and executive director at Longfor Properties Co. Ltd., a leading company involved in property development and investment in China, from 2008 to 2014. He also served as deputy general manager at Anhui Chery Automobile Sales and Service Company, from 2005 to 2008; as senior consultant and project manager at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, from 2003 to 2005; and as assistant brand manager for the marketing department of Procter & Gamble (Guangzhou) Ltd., from 2001 to 2003.
Ganesh V. Iyer is the company’s Global Chief Information Officer. Iyer has served as the company’s global chief information officer since April 2016 and as managing director of NIO U.S. since December 2018. Iyer has over 30 years of experience delivering results in various industries, including autonomous technology, hi-tech, manufacturing and telecom. Iyer served as vice president and chief information officer at Tesla Inc., from 2012 to 2016. Before joining Tesla, he held senior information technology leadership roles at VMWare, from 2010 to 2012. Prior to VMWare, Iyer served as director of information technology at Juniper Networks and WebEx.
Wei Feng is NIO’s Chief Financial Officer. Feng joined the company as CFO in November 2019. Prior to joining NIO, Feng served as managing director and head of the auto and auto parts research team at China International Capital Corporation. Prior to China International Capital Corporation, Feng served as an equity analyst at Everbright Securities Co. Ltd., from 2010 to 2013. Feng’s career also includes more than five years’ working experience within the ZF Group, where he participated in numerous corporate efforts.
- NIO Inc. designs, jointly manufactures and sells smart and connected premium electric vehicles in China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
- The automotive industry is experiencing a digital shift as cars become more intelligent and is seeing a race to consolidate the electric control units that manage the onboard instrumentation for each vehicle.
- NIO is a pioneer in automotive smart connectivity and enhanced Level 2 autonomous driving.
- NOMI, the company’s voice-activated AI digital companion, is one of the most advanced in-car AI assistants ever developed by a Chinese company.
- The company is standardizing the operating system platform across its own fleet of vehicles and plans to develop and share software and technical standards among all automotive manufacturers.