Nio has a new North American headquarters and Innovation Center in San Jose, California. The Grand opening happened on September 20, together with the Nio US Partner Day.
The new HQ is in a 200,000 sqft building at 3151 Zanker Road, just a short walk from Nio’s previous space on 3200 North First Street. The new facility is twice the size of the previous one, and Nio signed the lease in January 2022 for ten years.
Nio announced that 100 leaders from 70 partners attended, alongside state and city representatives. Ganesh V. Iyer, CEO of Nio US, thanked Matt Mahan, Mayor of San Jose, and other government officials for supporting Nio’s growth in the US.
Nio has been eyeing the United States for a long time. In 2020, William Li, CEO of Nio, told a Chinese media outlet, Ycai, that Nio plans to enter the US market but did not give any specific timeline. In 2021, Li announced that the company plans to start selling EVs in the US in 2025 as part of their 25 countries by 2025 expansion plan.
Moreover, in November last year, Li added that the next generation of Nio cars is coming to the US. In May last year, Ycai reported that Nio plans to build a plant in the US, and CarNewsChina noted that the company started hiring US government relations jobs for the San Jose office.
However, things don’t go as quickly as anticipated. High tariffs complicate the expansion to the US, and China’s EVs would hardly qualify for tax credits.
In July, Li criticized US protectionism and, in an unprecedented move, publicly demanded the same access to the US market as Tesla has to the Chinese. Tesla was the first automaker in 40 years who was able to enter the China on its own – all other automakers in the past had to form a 50:50 joint venture with Chinese automakers. So, in China, for example, ID.3 is not manufactured by Volkswagen but by SAIC-Volkswagen.
Nio is currently focusing on Europe with its expansions. They sell cars in Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. In August, Nio registered a record-breaking 411 vehicles in Germany. However, the number was influenced by the September 1 end of EV subsidies foo companies.
We probably won’t see Nio selling cars in the US anytime soon, but it is good to see they keep the presence and R&D growing and attracting new talents in Silicon Valley, as the company intending to make global products should.