Cash strapped electric carmaker Nio reportedly finalised an agreement with a consortium of investors led by Hefei Construction Investment Holding Company to establish a CNY29.3bn (US$4.13bn) joint venture in Hefei, in China's Anhui province.
The new company, to be called Nio China, will encompass all of Nio Inc's core businesses and assets valued at CNY17.77bn and CNY4.26bn respectively, giving the electric vehicle startup a controlling 75.9% stake in the new joint venture.
Hefei Construction and other investors will contribute a much needed CNY7bn in cash for a combined stake of 24.1%.
Nio Inc's cumulative net loss stood at US$1.62bn at the end of 2019 even though the company reported an 81% rise in new car sales to 20,565 units last year. First quarter 2020 sales were just short of 4,000 units.
Nio co founder and president Qin Lihong told local newspaper China Daily the entry of new investors into its business "will not affect its commitment to becoming a user centred company".
He added "this new partnership will not change our commitment to our customers, but in fact will make it better – guaranteed".
Qin said the cash investment would be made in installments, the last of is which scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
Nio has agreed to complete the transfer of its core businesses and assets into the joint venture within one year of the final installment by its financial investors.
A new headquarters will be built in the Hefei economic and technological development area to house Nio business operations including R&D, supply chain and manufacturing activities, sales and aftersales management, while the company's global headquarters will remain in Shanghai.
Nio will continue to manufacture cars at the current 100,000 units a year facility owned by JAC Motors which currently makes the ES8 and ES6 models with a third – the EC6 – scheduled to go into production in the second half of 2020.
Qin expects Nio to eventually build a new vehicle assembly plant in Hefei, possibly in collaboration with JAC Motor.