After laying off 70 workers and closing an office in the U.S., Chinese automaker Nio is searching its cupboards for cash.
EV sales have foundered in China this year after generous subsidies expired. and several companies have delayed or abandoned expansion plans. Nio seems to be no exception, except that it has other resources it can look to cash in.
Nio is reportedly seeking a buyer for its power systems in China, including its charging stations and battery swap station, mobile power delivery vans, charging technology integration services, and charging station maps. The company said it has invested $290 million in the operations. Nio's power unit is on track to operate 1,100 charging stations and 1,200 power delivery vans by 2020 in cities across mainland China, and it aims for the launch of an independent app for Nio Power in the next two months.
The company also operates a venture investment fund in the U.S. and is seeking new opportunities to invest in new electric car technologies in the U.S. and overseas, according to the South China Morning Post. The fund is reportedly worth $1.5 billion and is has reportedly raised another several hundred million dollars from unspecified sources.
Nio Formula E race car, EP9, ES8 and Eve concept car
The automaker is known as the Tesla of China, and is one of the country's most successful luxury electric carmakers, It currently sells two SUVs in China, including the six-passenger ES6 and the slightly larger eight-passenger ES8. Nio recently recalled nearly 5,000 ES8s in China after a series of battery fires.
Nio showed two new vehicles at this year's Shanghai auto show: the ET Preview sedan, and the ET7 concept coupe, which previews the company's next-generation battery system. It also entered into a production agreement with larger Chinese automaker GAC, which has its own electric-car interests, to produce cars for it in the future after the Chinese government cracked down on the number of startup electric automakers with new restrictions.