China’s Nio slashes waiting time for its electric cars as production returns to normal after Covid-19 disruptions
- The EV start-up has cut delivery times, in a sign that it has overcome supply chain problems and is back on track to compete in the world’s largest automotive market
- Production at Nio’s factory in Hefei has been disrupted by the pandemic five times this year, most recently in October when it ran short of key components for the ET5
According to its official app, buyers of Nio’s ET5 saloon will receive their cars in 13 to 15 weeks after placing their orders. Back in September, they faced a wait of up to 23 weeks.
The waiting period for the ET7 model had also been drastically cut, from five weeks to two weeks, as of Friday.
Nio, along with Guangzhou-based Xpeng and Beijing-headquartered Li Auto, develop and assemble battery-powered vehicles that target China’s middle-class consumers.
Long eclipsed by Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, the three start-ups have been ahead of other Chinese EV builders over the past two years with monthly delivery hovering around 10,000 units each.
Nio’s production at the JAC-Nio Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Hefei, the capital of east China’s Anhui province, has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic five times this year.
On Thursday, Nio said it delivered 14,178 units in November, up 41 per cent from a month earlier because it had secured enough components to quicken the manufacturing process.
Buyers of the ES7 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) will have to wait for four to six weeks for their cars to be delivered, down from seven to nine weeks in September, according to Nio’s app.
The ET5, priced at 328,000 yuan (US$46,496), features a digital cockpit package complete with augmented reality and virtual reality systems.
The car, which now costs 23 per cent more than Tesla’s Shanghai-made Model 3, debuted at the company’s “Nio Day” event a year ago. Deliveries to customers began at the end of September this year.
Xpeng reported deliveries of just over 5,000 vehicles in each of October and November, half its normal level, because a shortage of key components stopped it from churning out enough G9s. The company says the SUV is capable of navigating its way automatically along city streets and will have a driving range of 702 kilometres on a single charge.
Deliveries of the G9, Xpeng’s fourth production model, started in October.