Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio has secured certification from the Chinese government, granting it status as an independent vehicle manufacturer. Previously, Nio's partner JAC had been the contract manufacturer responsible for producing Nio's electric cars. The newly acquired status enables Nio to potentially take full ownership of the two factories, F1 and F2, established jointly with JAC.
Reports from October had hinted at Nio's interest in taking over the factories in Anhui, operated in collaboration with JAC, contingent upon obtaining its own production license. China's stringent control over car production licenses, driven by concerns of overcapacity, necessitated this move. According to Reuters and other sources, Nio has now been officially included in the “Vehicle Manufacturing Enterprise Credit Information Management System” by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, marking its recognition as an independent vehicle manufacturer.
Previously, Nio's vehicles were manufactured under JAC's name. The joint venture between Nio and JAC encompasses two plants in Hefei, known as F1 and F2. Nio's official production address now aligns with the location of the F2 factory.
This new status could potentially lead to changes in the ownership structure of the factories. In October, JAC announced plans to sell some of its assets in the factories, valued at nearly 4.5 billion yuan (approximately 580 million euros). At that time, JAC assured that this decision would not impact Nio's business and production activities.
Nio had previously contemplated establishing its own production facilities in Beijing and Shanghai but faced challenges due to financial constraints. An injection of funds from investors in Anhui province, including a contract manufacturing deal with JAC, helped Nio overcome financial difficulties. Since then, JAC has been the manufacturing partner for all Nio vehicles, and the agreement was extended in 2021 until May 2024.
The F1 factory has been producing Nio's electric cars since 2017, while the F2 plant, located in the Neo Park Industrial Park established in 2021, is responsible for manufacturing the Nio ET5, a model also available in Europe.