Lose in the West, Gain in the East, NIO left its US CEO while Welcomes New SUV Models and a Bet Winning
COVID-19 and China

NIO’s lost in the west

According to the news release of NIO Inc. on November 29, 2018, the company announced that Ms. Padmasree Warrior, chief development officer of NIO and chief executive officer of NIO USA, Inc., has decided to resign from her roles with the Company for personal interests, effective from December 17, 2018.

According to Ms. Padmasree Warrior’s article on LinkedIn about her decision, she believed that it might not be a good time to make this career change, but will be the right time for her to make the change because she had already done really well in her current role.

“Looking back on my time at NIO, I accomplished what I came to do. I outlined a technology vision, built a talented team of approximately 700 people in the heart of Silicon Valley and delivered the first round of industry leading technology modules. Today, NIO is a publicly traded company on NYSE delivering premium electric vehicles to users in China. I am very proud of the NIO team.” Ms. Warrior wrote. 

Ms. Warrior & William LI
Ms. Warrior & William LI - photo from Ms. Warrior's page on LinkedIn

It is said that William LI (LI Bin, 李斌) expressed thanks to Ms. Warrior for her efforts and achievements in the past three years. It seems the resignation was indeed a happy ending for both. However, NIO’s stock price dropped more than 4 percent on the same day of the news release.

NIO’s gain in east

On the same day of the news release about Ms. Warrior’s resignation, NIO Announced Priority Pre-orders for the NIO ES6 Kicks Off on December 1, and the NIO ES6 will be officially launched at NIO Day 2018 on December 15, 2018.

<b id = 2639 class=NIO ES6 Front" height="278" src="" width="494" />
NIO ES6 Front - photo from the official website of NIO

Compared with NIO’s current production vehicle ES8, which is a full-size SUV with 7 seats and a wheelbase of 3,010 mm, ES6 is positioned as a mid-size SUV with 5 seats and built on a wheelbase measuring 2,900 mm. The starting price of ES6 would approximately be CNY 370,000, and the “priority pre-orders” will be only accessible by invitation from ES8 owners.

However, the launching date will probably not be the delivery date, which so far is still unclear.

Some consumers in China look forward to the ES6 to be an alternative of Xpeng G3, another smart electric vehicle from Xiaopeng Motors, however, the price and wheelbase demonstrate that ES6 will not face a direct competition with Xpeng G3, which was said would only charge CNY 200,000 to 280,000, with a wheelbase of 2610mm.

ES8 10000
ES8 10000 - photo from William LI's page on

The competition for now only exists between the founders, William LI and HE Xiaopeng (何小鹏), of the two companies. HE Xiaopeng used to challenge William LI that “Nobody (among EV startups in China) could deliver over 10,000 production vehicles (in 2018)”.

Until Nov 27, 2018, the 10,000th ES8 came off the production line.

- Author: ZHANG Fan; Write to ZHANG Fan at

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