(Image credit: CnEVPost)
BYD's power battery business FinDreams Battery is actively exploring market share from new car-making forces, including NIO (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) and Xiaomi's car business, technology media 36kr said today, citing people familiar with the matter.
The partnership between NIO and FinDreams was finalized before the Chinese New Year, and it will use BYD's lithium iron phosphate batteries, the report said, adding that several NIO staff had frequented BYD's (OTCMKTS: BYDDY, HKG: 1211) headquarters in Pingshan, Shenzhen, in the second half of last year.
Earlier this month, an image circulated on social media showed NIO founder, chairman and CEO William Li accompanying BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu on a tour of NIO's Hefei plant, the report noted.
Regarding when the partnership between the two sides will be unveiled, an industry source close to NIO executives said the form of cooperation is novel, and people can wait and see, the report said.
BYD's Wang appeared at an NIO House campus and was accompanied by NIO's Li, according to a picture shared by Ouyang Chen, founder of local automotive media ddxq.tech, on his Weibo on March 10.
"Curious what they talk about over dinner ......," the auto blogger, who has about 1.23 million followers on Weibo, said.
Almost at the same time as NIO, Xiaomi Auto also signed a partnership agreement with FinDreams, the 36kr report said.
Xiaomi's first car is planned in two configurations, with the lower model to use a 400V voltage platform and plans to use BYD's blade battery. Its high trim model uses will 800V voltage platform, most likely using CATL's products, but the details of the cooperation have not been finalized, according to the report.
NIO's power battery is currently supplied exclusively by CATL, but Li has said publicly that the battery has become a factor limiting production capacity. And seeking more suppliers to increase capacity security has become a common industry practice, the report noted.
BYD has given a lot of concessions on business terms in order to take the cooperation of these star car-making projects, as reported by 36kr.
Notably, earlier today, NIO announced its fourth-quarter earnings and held an analyst call afterward.
In several previous earnings calls, Li has mentioned battery supply as one of the most significant bottlenecks to NIO's capacity, and today there were some interesting changes in his wording.
Battery capacity should be able to match NIO's demand this year, and price increases are a different matter, he said.
Li also mentioned that the core team of NIO's new brand for the mass market has been built, with a clear strategic direction and development plan.
The first products of the sub-brand are already in the critical development stage, he said, adding that NIO will not go into the mass market at the expense of gross profit.