NIO Veteran Zhou Xin Takes Over Whole Vehicle Engineering

Danilo Teobaldi has stepped down as vice president of automotive engineering for Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO, transferring to become the firm’s chief engineer in Europe. Meanwhile, Zhou Xin, NIO‘s Executive Vice President and Chairman of Product Committee, will take over the post, 36Kr reported on January 19.

Danilo Teobaldi, a native of Turin, Italy, joined NIO from automaker Qoros in 2015, and was made responsible for vehicle integration and preliminary engineering. In October 2019, Roger Malkusson, the former vice president of vehicle engineering at NIO, retired and Teobaldi took over.

Danilo Teobaldi supported NIO‘s vehicle engineering development for more than three years, and was responsible for the development and optimization of vehicle base indicators such as dynamic performance and safety performance. However, competition in the industry is becoming increasingly fierce, and NIO needs to accelerate the boarding of new technologies and the listing of new products, which may be one of the reasons why Danilo Teobaldi left.

According to feedback from relevant departments, the pace of vehicle technology and projects is still slow, and even the verification of 800V charging technology is out of touch. The technology can improve the energy replenishment efficiency of electric vehicles, which NIO plans to launch in 2024.

Zhou Xin is one of the chairmen of the four committees of NIO, and one of only two executive vice presidents of the company. Danilo Teobaldi turned out to be responsible for European vehicle engineering, which means that NIO will develop a special vehicle platform for the European market.

Europe is a market that NIO attaches great importance to. Now, in addition to setting up channels and service teams in Europe, NIO also plans to launch models specially designed for the European market. An ET5 hunting version will be launched in Europe, and the third brand developed by NIO will also be exclusively provided in the continent.

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According to the plan, NIO will launch two new cars this year, including upgraded versions of its ES6 and EC6 models, and a lower-priced SUV model similar to the Tesla Model Y.

NIO‘s product line is one of the most complex among Chinese EV makers. The ES and EC series are for SUVs, and the ET series is for sedans. At present, these series each have two to four subdivision models, which are more or less different from appearance to interior. For this product strategy, William Li, Chairman and CEO of NIO, explained that the higher the brand, the higher the requirement for individuation. NIO has used the same power system, cockpit, intelligent driving and others for the models equipped with the second-generation platform, but it still needs to meet the needs of different consumers in terms of shape, size and space.