Chinese electric carmaker Nio posted a steep fall in July sales with only 837 vehicles delivered to customers. Growing sales of its new ES6 SUV were offset by a sharp decline in those of the ES8 flagship model after a major recall in June over fire risks.

Why it matters: The company’s disappointing sales are compounded by significant reductions in government subsidies, which came in on June 25.

  • Sales of NEVs in China dropped 7% year on year to 8,000 units in July following significant growth of 80% in June, marking the first fall in more than two years.
  • Nio will struggle to hit its 50,000-unit sales target for this year. It has delivered 8,379 ES8 and ES6 cars in total as of the end of July.

Details: Nio sales fell 37% on the month in July, including an 80% crash in ES8 shipments at 164 units.

  • Sales of the ES6, which hit the market in late June, expanded 63% last month to reach 673 units. The company has struggled to shift ES8 models this year after hitting a record of 3,318 in December.
  • Nio attributed the fall to a massive recall it issued a month earlier after reports of ES8 vehicles catching fire. It has replaced battery packs on nearly 5,000 affected models.
  • The Chinese EV maker remains optimistic and predicts sales of up to 2,500 units for the next month.

“During the month, we prioritized battery manufacturing capacity for this effort, which significantly affected our production and delivery results. Also, some deliveries were pushed forward to June in anticipation of further electric vehicle subsidy reductions that took effect at the end of that month.”

—William Li, Nio founder and CEO

Context: BYD, China’s largest EV maker, also reported an 11.84% decline year on year in July NEV sales last week, marking the first fall this year, affected by government subsidy cuts and the overall economic slowdown.

  • The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects a potential recovery in passenger car sales over the next two months, as the traditional peak season will arrive in September and October.

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: or Twitter: @yushan_shen

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