Update: Corrected a typo in the year of ET7' launch.

The NIO ET5 took one and a half months from being unveiled to seeing the first prototypes for production line validation roll off the line, compared to four months for the ET7.

NIO sees first ET5 prototypes for production line validation roll off line-CnEVPost

(Image credit: NIO)

NIO announced today that it has seen the first prototypes of the ET5 for production line validation roll off the line, one and a half months after the announcement of the new sedan.

Manufacturing of the NIO ET5 is well underway, with the first production line validation prototypes officially rolling off the line in Hefei on January 23, the company said.

This is an important part of the Validation Build phase, in which the ET5 opens up to a full range of testing and validation work, which will mainly be completed to optimize the production line process, verify the functional integrity of the vehicle, and validate the properties and performance of the vehicle, NIO said.

NIO sees first ET5 prototypes for production line validation roll off line-CnEVPost

Engineers will carry out continuous optimization and refinement by identifying potential problems in the production process, and improving components and manufacturing processes.

Through small pilot production prototypes, the assembly process of the production line will be gradually adjusted to an optimal state, laying the foundation for mass production of the ET5, according to NIO.

Prior to this, the first production line body for the ET5 rolled off the line as one of the important part of the Confirmation Build phase, the company said.

The main tasks of this phase were to verify the rationality of the process flow for machining and assembly, train line operators and further optimize the machining and assembly processes, according to NIO.

NIO sees first ET5 prototypes for production line validation roll off line-CnEVPost

NIO unveiled the ET5, the second sedan after its flagship ET7 and the company's fifth production model, at the NIO Day 2021 event held last December 18.

The NIO ET5 was available for pre-order at the time of the announcement, and deliveries will begin in September 2022. The speed is well ahead of the ET7, which was launched on January 9, 2021, and deliveries will not begin until March 28, 2022.

Production of the ET5 is also significantly faster than the ET7, judging by the first progress of the ET5 announced by NIO today.

The ET7's first production line body rolled off the production line in early April last year, about three months after the model was announced, while the ET5's first production line body rolled off the production line only about one month after it was announced.

The NIO ET7's first production line validation prototype rolled off the production line on May 13, 2021, about 4 months after its launch. The ET5 reached that stage in about a month and a half.

NIO did not specify, but the first prototypes of the ET5 appear to have been produced at its existing plant, as its new plant at NeoPark in Hefei is still not ready.

On April 29 last year, the Hefei municipal government and NIO jointly announced the official start of the construction of NeoPark.

At the end of November last year, NIO began installing equipment at the plant, and the company said at the time that the first model produced here would see a full-process line pilot car roll off the line in the second quarter of 2022, with a production car in the third quarter.

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