The CEO of China's largest electrical automobile firm compares Tesla to excessive style — and says his firm is the 'woman subsequent door' (TSLA, NIO)

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NIO CEO 60 Minutes CBS

  • CBS’s 60 Minutes interviewed NIO founder and CEO William Li in a brand new phase that aired Sunday night time. 
  • Li did not deny calling his automobile a “Tesla killer” and in contrast Elon Musk’s competitor to excessive style clothes.
  • “They could be stunning, however you possibly can’t put on them daily,” he informed correspondent Holly Williams. 

As Tesla builds its second “gigafactory” in Shanghai, its largest home competitor within the nation is able to play hardball.

Nio, an $eight billion electrical automobile maker that started buying and selling on the New York Inventory Change final yr, is quickly scaling up all through China — and thinks it could possibly hold Tesla at bay.

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday, founder and CEO William Li — who did not deny calling his firm a “Tesla killer” — in contrast Tesla’s automobiles to high-fashion clothes.

“It’s like the garments style fashions put on on the catwalk,” he mentioned in Chinese language of Tesla’s automobiles. “It’s not the identical “They could be stunning, however you possibly can’t put on them daily.”

The comparability continued to incorporate supermodels.

“So Tesla is the supermodel and also you’re the woman subsequent door?” requested correspondent Holly Williams. “Yeah,” Li replied.

To make certain, Nio produced simply 10,000 automobiles final yr. Whereas Tesla doesn’t disclose unit gross sales in China, it introduced in $1.75 billion value of income from the nation in 2019, or about eight% of its world complete. Eight p.c of Tesla’s world deliveries works out to almost 20,000, assuming the identical proportion of income and deliveries.

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Michael Dunne, an auto analyst in China interviewed as a part of the phase, says there may very well be room for each firms to exist.

“There’s loads of market right here to permit Tesla to play and Nio to play,” he mentioned, including that point may very well be working out for the US to catch as much as China’s growing lead on producing electrical automobiles.

“It isn’t too late,” Dunne mentioned when requested in regards to the US’ comparatively gradual price of adoption. However, he warned, “if we wait to 2025, China shall be making 5 million a yr, and if we’re nonetheless making a half one million. Now all the expertise and design engineering is concentrated in China. How do you meet up with that?”

Watch the total 60 Minutes phase right here. 

SEE ALSO: Everybody talks about Nio because the ‘Tesla of China,’ however the automaker is carving out its personal path on this planet’s largest automobile market

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