It’s Happening Again

Nio setting a ‘Ring record back in 2017.Photo: NioThe Morning ShiftAll your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn’t your time more important?   Another day, another promising car startup with layoffs hitting and a co-founder bouncing out. All that and more for The Morning Shift for Thursday, August 15, 2019.1st Gear: Nio Cofounder Bounces…

It’s Happening Again

Nio setting a ‘Ring record back in 2017.Photo: NioThe Morning ShiftAll your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn’t your time more important?   Another day, another promising car startup with layoffs hitting and a co-founder bouncing out. All that and more for The Morning Shift for Thursday, August 15, 2019.1st Gear: Nio Cofounder Bounces As Startup Hits Hard TimesI made it out to the Shanghai Auto Show this year and spent a few days wandering the streets of Shanghai, eating jianbing and buying teapots. As you do. What surprised me most was not the architecture, or the giant prison right in the middle of a neighborhood, or the general atmosphere, but rather hey people actually drive Nio vehicles out here!Indeed, I never really knew if Nio was, like, an actual company or just handed out press releases to that effect, but I was surprised to see not only a giant stand on the auto show floor, but actual big SUVs in traffic, handsome faces and all. Nio, I figured, was looking legit.As it turns out, while I did see some real cars actually sold to real people, sales are not all that Nio would like them to be. Figures are disappointing, the Financial Times reports, with layoffs hitting and a co-founder summarily leaving the startup. From the FT:Nio, China’s top electric car start-up by funding, has been hit by the departure of one of its founders after financial pressures led the company to cut its workforce by 10 per cent and sell its prizewinning racing team.Company founder and former executive vice-president Jack Cheng left the company on Wednesday, according to an internal memo. Mr Cheng is a Taiwanese former Ford executive who often served as the company’s international face.[…]Mr Cheng’s exit follows a series of high-level departures from Nio. Li Zhang, the company’s former head of software, and Angelika Sodian, who headed Nio’s operations in Britain left the company in June. US chief executive Padmasree Warrior left at the end of last year.Nio raised $3.9bn in venture-capital funding in addition to its IPO, but has been forced to cut staff and sell assets this year due to continued losses, which amounted to $390m in the most recent quarter.The company will cut 1,000 positions worldwide this year or about 10 per cent of its workforce, it confirmed to the FT this month. Nio said in a May filing that it had laid off 70 employees across two Sil
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