Chinese Tesla rival Nio cutting 10% of staff this month

NIO House (Hangzhau West Lake)

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker and Tesla competitor Nio is planning to cut a sizable portion of its workers this month, citing increasing competition and weakening demand in the country.

Nio will cut 10 percent of its workers in November, according to a letter from CEO William Li in a report from CNBC on Friday. Li wrote the letter to employees warning of increasing competition in the coming years amidst continued economic uncertainty, adding that it was a “tough but necessary” choice.

“The coming two years will witness the most intense competition during the transformation of the automotive industry in an environment full of uncertainty,” Li wrote.

The decision came as part of a look at Nio’s two-year operating plans, which Li said the automaker has been doing over the last couple of months. Within the past few weeks, however, Li says that Nio “identified the business priorities and developed a detailed plan for organizational and business optimization.”

“I’m sorry to colleagues who may be impacted by the adjustments,” Li added in the letter. “This is a tough but necessary decision against the fierce competition.”

He also added that the company is planning to cut certain projects that aren’t expected to contribute to the company’s financial performance in the next three years. In addition, he says Nio is still committed to investing in technology advancements, adding that the move would also help the company reach core product deadlines.

“Our journey is a marathon on a muddy track,” Li wrote in the letter’s ending. “Please stay focused on efficient execution and improvement of system capabilities. Power up.”

According to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla delivered 72,115 Shanghai-built vehicles in October, while Nio delivered 16,074 units. Currently, Nio operates primarily in China, though it also has some delivery and service centers in Europe.

Recent insurance data showed that Tesla had 10,800 registrations in China in the last week of October alone, representing a 33 percent increase from the prior week. Interestingly, the uptick was spotted just as Tesla began delivering its refreshed Model 3 “Highland” in China, which the company unveiled in early September. Li was also spotted at Tesla’s display of the upgraded Model 3 at the Munich Auto Show in Germany under a week after its announcement.

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Chinese Tesla rival Nio cutting 10% of staff this month
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