Chinese EV maker NIO files for $1.8 billion IPO in US

ES8 displayed during a media preview of the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing

It plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NIO".

Nio's move to sell shares in the United States comes at a time when Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a plan to set up a very big factory in Shanghai, China to corner a market where the government is promoting new-energy vehicles with incentives for buyers.

The company said in a filing on Monday that it's looking to raise as much as $1.8 billion in the initial public offering (IPO).

Nio was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur William Li, originally as NextEV. Tencent, a massive Chinese tech company, provides Nio's backing.

NIO is also joining several sizable Chinese listings in NY this year, even as Sino-U.S. trade tensions involving tit-for-tat tariffs rattle global stock markets.

The $1.8 billion raised will be used in areas of research and development of products, services and technologies; sales and marketing and development of sales channels including NIO Houses; production facility development and supply chain launch, as well as use and working capital.

The $1.8 billion IPO that Nio is seeking would be make it the highest-valued Chinese automaker listed in the US stock market.

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With numerous world's electric vehicles being sold in China, it isn't a surprise that many want to involve themselves in the industry.

It started making deliveries of its first volume manufactured EV, the seven-seat ES8, in late June, after unveiling the $68,000 auto past year.

"In March 2018, Tesla indicated that its autopilot system was engaged at the time of a fatal accident and an Uber Technologies Inc. self-driving vehicle struck a pedestrian leading to a fatality", Nio said in the filing". Its other backers include investment firms Hillhouse Capital Group, Sequoia Capital and a private equity fund established by Baidu. Others like WM Motor Technology Co and XPeng Motors, backed by funding from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, are also developing new models.

"NIO is just getting started early", said Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight of its IPO plans.

Nio said that it had delivered 481 ES8s as of July 31 and had reservations for more than 17,000 additional vehicles.

NIO first started generating revenue this year, reporting $6.7 million from vehicle sales and $7 million in total revenue. The Shanghai-based firm listed Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bofa Merill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Citi, Credit Suisse and UBS as underwriters.

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