Electric car hopeful Nio closes California office amid layoffs

Nio ET Preview concept

Chinese electric-car startup Nio announced Thursday that it will close an office in California and lay off 70 workers, according to a report in The Verge.

The report cites a filing with the California Employment Development Department.

After introducing two new SUVs alongside its high-performance electric sports car, Nio unveiled a new concept for its first sports sedan at the Shanghai auto show two weeks ago. 

DON’T MISS: Nio unveils ET Preview electric sedan in Shanghai

The company closed its office in San Jose, California, where it employed 50 people to work on self-driving car technology and to compliance issues to eventually bring its cars to market in the US. Currently, they are sold only in China.

The company also laid off 20 workers at its US headquarters in San Francisco.

Nio began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in September, where its stock saw an initial spike, but has since dropped back to below its IPO level.

CHECK OUT: NIO aiming to innovate with battery cooling, patents suggest

In March, it revealed new patented battery cooling technology that cools the bus-bars in the battery and the junction box during fast charging.

Currently, Nio is the only company operating a network of electric-car battery swapping stations in China.

READ MORE: Electric carmaker Nio begins trading on NYSE, aims to sell cars in US

Nio had plans to build its own auto factory in China, but announced to investors in March that it had put those plans on hold in the face of “uncertainty” after the Chinese government cut subsidies on Chinese cars.  For now, at least, it will continue to have its cars built at a contract-manufacturing facility owned by JAC Motors.

In a statement to The Verge, a Nio spokesperson said, “After four years of rapid growth, we’ve set up a global organization. However, fast development has also posed issues like repetitive functional departments, undefined work tasks, unclear work responsibilities, and insufficient work for certain people. We would like to solve them by optimizing management efficiency this year.”

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