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INSIGHTS / THE BIG PICTURE

Mass production and delivery delays – common challenges facing China EV startups

China · Oct 10, 2018 · By Wang Xiao'e

As Tesla postponed delivery yet again, its Chinese rivals are scrambling too

In February this year, Chinese electric car maker NIO unveiled its mass production plan, announcing the first batch of its ES8 model would be delivered in April. When the time came, NIO said the vehicles would be ready instead at the Beijing Auto Show, at the end of April. But it missed the deadline yet again, presenting a new schedule on May 18, for 550 vehicles to be rolled out by June and 10,000 more by end-September.

NIO finally delivered its first cars on May 31. Just ten were sent to its first batch of users, comprising NIO staff including co-founder Qin Lihong and product manager Li Tianshu.

Such embarrassing delay and limited internal release have raised doubts about NIO’s mass production capability. Yet it is not alone in the market, as most, if not all, of its rivals are facing the same problem.

Another EV startup Xpeng Motors has already received orders for 6,000 G3 vehicles, its first mass production model, and announced its ambitious plan to deliver 30,000 units by the end of 2019. However, in August, an anonymous source revealed Xpeng’s order of auto parts was only enough to cover the manufacturing of 95 units this year. 

Problems and bypasses

Edited by Bernice Tang

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