The founder and chief executive of one of China’s rising electric vehicle makers have warned his peers about the sudden imposition of protectionist policies by foreign governments against them in light of their shared plans to maximize cost advantages in order to expand their export reach.

At the ongoing 2023 edition of the Shanghai Auto Show, Nio founder William Li told reporters that his firm and other Chinese EV manufacturers 

A Bad Thing for Sustainable Development

While this certainly gives Chinese EV manufacturers a leg up against the competition, it could hamper sustainable development on a global level throughout the industry. As a result, thanks to increasing exports, Li expects that governments will soon impose market protection guidelines in order to protect local industries.

However, this has not deterred Li’s Nio and firms like BYD and Xpeng from looking towards expanding their reach overseas as demand in the domestic market has weakened. It should also be noted that global firms like BMW, Renault, and Tesla manufacture and assemble their EVs in China but usually sell their end products overseas.

Chinese automakers are now setting their sights on the European EV market, with Nio set to offer new products specifically developed to meet the continent’s demand for more compact EV models. Li added that his company is also going over plans to enter the North American market but on a quarterly basis.

Li, however, has declined to give details regarding these plans.

Catering to Different Segments

Despite Li’s reticence, what is known is that Nio currently offers six models in the domestic market with plans to launch five more models before the end of the year.

Also, Li told the media back in February that he was set to build a factory for the manufacture of low-cost EVs for the European market. Currently, Nio is positioned in the premium segment, putting it up against industry giants like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.