Home » Chinese EV Maker Nio Wants To Sell Cars In America So Let’s Look At The Company’s Coolest Offerings

Chinese EV Maker Nio Wants To Sell Cars In America So Let’s Look At The Company’s Coolest Offerings

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I feel like I’ve seen this one before. Another Chinese car manufacturer is reportedly making big plans for America, and it’s an EV innovator. Nio has a reasonably appealing lineup of electric cars and crossovers, the unique advantage of battery swapping, and some seriously impressive tech. However, it also has several things working against it, and I’m not just talking about the federal EV incentive sourcing and production requirements.

Oh, and speaking of EVs, the standard story format for electric vehicle fires goes something like this: yadda yadda fire, yadda yadda thermal runaway, yadda yadda heaps of water, yadda yadda fears of re-ignition. It’s been covered to death, to the point where it isn’t novel. Soak the thing like one of those capsule dinosaurs you got in loot bags as a kid, keep it away from stuff, and everyone will probably be fine. However, what happens when a whole electric vehicle factory catches fire? Well, a city in Quebec is reportedly grappling with just that. All this and more in today’s edition of The Morning Dump.

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Chinese EV Maker Nio Wants To Sell Cars In America

Nio Es6

In America’s shift to electrification, glory, riches, and market domination is all up for grabs. Who could blame Chinese EV makers for wanting part of it? Reuters reports that Chinese electric automaker Nio is interested in entering the American market come 2025, and is exploring all sorts of avenues to do so.

Speaking at Reuters Events Automotive USA 2023 conference, Ganesh Iyer, chief executive officer of Nio USA, said the company is considering “any kind of partnerships” in North America.

This comes after quotes from NIO’s US CEO saying the brand wants to enter the U.S. market. From Asian Market-focused website Nikkei Asia:

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 Nio will import premium electric cars made in China to the U.S. rather than attempt to qualify for tax incentives by setting up local production, the Chinese automaker said.

Ganesh Iyer, the EV maker’s CEO for the U.S., laid out the vision for the American market at the NextChina Conference hosted by the China Project news outlet in New York on Thursday. Nio aims to sell its first car in the U.S. by 2025 as part of a goal to expand to 25 countries and regions.

We’ve heard similar rhetoric from Chinese manufacturers before, but if Nio defies the odds, what sorts of vehicles would it sell over here? Or rather, what Nio vehicles might sell well in America?

Nio Es8

The first one that springs to mind is the Nio ES8, since it’s six-seat three-row crossover that could slide into a popular market segment that’s underutilized in the EV space. After all, if people are going nuts for the Kia EV9, another three-row option could scoop up plenty of sales.

Nio Es8 Interior

With integrated ottomans for the first- and second-row seats, the interior of the ES8 looks like a deeply comfy place to be. Also, shoutout to Nio for installing a proper center console in the second row, rather than some basic, flimsy piece of plastic.

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Nio Ec6

Another option is the Nio EC6, a two-row coupe crossover that should get the people going. Love them or loathe them, crossover coupes are popular, and with a 70 kWh or 100 kWh battery pack, this thing should slide into the popular EV crossover market with a style-based USP.

Nio Ec6 Interior

There’s plenty of layering going on inside the EC6, and some nice usage of tone-matched plastic inserts to blend with contrast colors. The floating center console hides a massive storage area underneath it too, perfect for bags and whatnot.

Nio Es6 Rear

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Alright, so maybe you don’t want something as deeply unserious as a coupe crossover but still desire something with the EC6’s footprint. No worries, Nio also offers the ES6, a far more conventional electric crossover.

Nio Es6 Interior

Unsurprisingly, the cabin of the ES6 is pretty much identical to the one in the EC6, but it’s still a relatively handsome place with a unique giant paddle in the console. Like all of Nio’s vehicles, the ES6 supports battery swapping, a complex process that could actually be useful in North America, given our massive distances.

Nio Et7

The Nio ET7 isn’t massively exciting to look at, but it should go like the dickens. With up to 644 horsepower on tap, figure a zero-to-62 mph time of 3.8 seconds, all while being tantalized by impressive technology from a 23-speaker 1,000-watt sound system to a semi-autonomous driving system with built-in LiDAR.

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Nio Et7 Interior

As the ET7 is Nio’s flagship sedan, it shouldn’t be surprising that the interior is covered in neat stuff. The dashtop is sueded, the wood is white, and the steering wheel is an unusual two-spoke design. Granted, the interior styling is terminally boring, but Tesla’s doing the same minimalistic thing and seems to be selling cars just fine.

Nio Et5t

Alright, so the ET7 might not get enthusiasts’ pulses racing, but here’s something a little more enticing. The Nio ET5T is an electric station wagon with up to 480 horsepower. Zero-to-62 mph in the top trim? A cool four seconds flat. Oh, and here’s something even more interesting: The 62 mph to zero braking distance is claimed to be a scant 111.2 feet.

Nio Et5t Interior

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The ET5T would actually be cool to have in America, but Nio faces an uphill battle due to consumer sentiments, market positioning, and even historical results.

Despite the frosty state of American-Chinese relations, history has shown that Americans will buy anything if it’s cheap and decent enough. After all, Japanese cars made headway in America despite anti-Japanese sentiments in the decades following World War II, partly because the cars sipped fuel, were well-built, and offered decent value. However, Nio isn’t exactly the cheapest brand on the block, and once you roll the costs of homologating vehicles for the U.S. market into every car sold and subtract the federal EV incentives because China-built vehicles wouldn’t qualify for them, pricing might not be competitive enough to sustain sales.

Then there’s the nearly impeccable track record of Chinese automakers aspiring to enter the American market, then pulling out. Aside from a few E6 trial cars, BYD’s passenger car lineup never made it to America. Chery wanted to come to America but didn’t, and neither did Brilliance or SAIC. Sure, several automakers have sold and currently sell Chinese-built cars in America, but these are Western automakers with the know-how, distribution networks, and brand recognition to sell in America. The bottom line? Don’t be surprised if Nio’s announcement is a nothingburger.

Who Cleans Up When An Electric Vehicle Factory Catches Fire?

Erion Tractor electric vehicle factory fire

The uniqueness of electric vehicle fires is fairly well-known, but here’s a hypothetical nobody saw coming: What if an electric vehicle factory catches fire? Sure, it sounds stupid, but that’s apparently exactly what just happened to an electric tractor plant in Quebec. Radio-Canada, the francophone arm of the CBC, reports that an Elmec EVduty factory that built autonomous electric Erion tractor prototypes burnt to a crisp on Tuesday, and residents nearby are already worried about the fallout. Before I go any further, it’s worth noting that a cause for the fire hasn’t been announced yet, but as Radio-Canada details, the aftermath is anything but settling.

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The fire that destroyed the Elmec EVduty factory on Tuesday in the Carrefour 40-55 industrial park in Trois-Rivières threw debris several kilometers. Some of this debris is now found in residential areas, where citizens are wondering how to get rid of it while worrying about their potential toxicity and the lack of communication from the authorities, who are passing the buck.

According to Radio-Canada, nobody has officially stated whether or not the debris is toxic, and residents are concerned that plans for debris removal haven’t been announced yet. While industrial fires in general aren’t exactly a recent development, the Elmec EVduty fire is a new frontier that the electric transition will have to reckon with. Lithium battery fires are a bastard to put out, but when a single EV goes up in smoke and its battery pack enters thermal runaway, the thermal event is relatively localized. Scale that up, though, and things can get a bit less local.

It’s just common sense that we should have a series of best practices and an environmental cleanup regimen for the unlikely event that an electric vehicle factory catches fire. Not only would a plan assuage fears of residents living near these plants, it would let governments act quickly should something similar happen again. I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever methods come out of this incident become standard practice across much of North America, given the rarity of such an incident. Whatever happens, we’ll be watching this one closely.

Used Car Values Continue To Fall

car payment

The great unwind continues. Thanks to used car wholesale value declines in October, the Manheim Index of used car wholesale values now sits at the lowest it’s been since April of 2021, wiping out the slight uptick in values we saw during the UAW strike. While Matt delved into vehicle supply on yesterday’s Morning Dump, I’d like to take a minute to talk about pricing, as that’s where deals are made and lost.

While retail pricing typically lags wholesale pricing by a number of weeks, there’s some data out there suggesting a lopsidedness between what dealers are paying for cars at auction and what consumers are paying for cars at dealers, in that some savings aren’t being passed on. Surprise, surprise. As per the Manheim Index:

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Assessing retail vehicle sales based on observed changes in advertised units tracked by vAuto, we initially estimate that used-vehicle retail sales in October were down 2% compared to September, and the year-over-year comparison with 2022 worsened again. Used retail sales are estimated to be down 4% year over year in October. The average retail listing price for a used vehicle declined 0.7% over the last four weeks.

On a more positive note, Cox Automotive, the people behind the Manheim Index, isn’t the only analytics firm seeing declines. Black Book saw higher than expected seasonal depreciation last week, with a weekly price decline of 0.95 percent compared to the average this year of 0.67 percent. At this point, there’s nothing indicating that the slide won’t continue, so sit back and relax, because what goes up must always come down.

Choppy Waters For Polestar

666114 20230418 Polestar 4 Large Crop

As mainstream manufacturers brace for an EV demand slowdown, perhaps few sold in America are quite as vulnerable as Polestar. After all, this is a brand that isn’t a startup, yet it has zero combustion-powered cars in its lineup to fall back on, isn’t a low-cost brand, and sports a dealer network that isn’t exactly huge. Indeed, Reuters reports that Polestar has downgraded both its sales and margin expectations for 2023:

Polestar, which operates in 27 markets globally, said it would now deliver about 60,000 vehicles this year, down from between 60,000 to 70,000. It had reiterated that forecast just last month after slashing the target in May from the 80,000 it had estimated earlier.

The U.S.-listed company, founded by China’s Geely and Volvo Cars, also said it would achieve a gross margin of 2% in 2023, down from its prior 4% forecast.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Both Polestar and shareholder Volvo seem to think so, with the latter manufacturer issuing a media release with some lofty claims for the 2025 fiscal year.

In light of a fast-changing operating environment, Polestar has introduced a strengthened business plan that reorients a path to profitability by prioritising margin progression over volume. For the fiscal year 2025, Polestar is targeting a gross margin in the high teens with a total annual volume of approximately 155,000-165,000 cars. This is expected to be achieved through a richer product mix, with four models in production, reduced cost structure and refocused approach to key markets including a new joint venture in China and measures to improve profitability in the US business. Polestar has already implemented cost reduction measures announced earlier this year around headcount reductions and continues to advance active cost management efforts.

So, let’s check the match here. Polestar is looking to more than double its volume and roughly nonuple its margins in two fiscal years? I know the Polestar 3 crossover will go a long way to helping sales, seeing as many customers aren’t seeking sedan-shaped things anymore, but those are some wild expectations.

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Your Driver Is On Their Way

New Heights

If you’ve booked a taxi lately, you’re probably well aware that the current Toyota Camry is, well, old. Six years old, to be precise, which means it’s just about due for replacement. Thankfully, a new one is right around the corner, and Toyota has dropped a hint that should get snowbelt dwellers absolutely stoked: It will be available as an all-wheel-drive hybrid.

With a new Honda Accord already on sale and a refreshed Hyundai Sonata incoming for 2024, now’s the perfect time for Toyota to unveil a new, more competitive Camry. If you’re the sort of person who’s into midsize sedans, set an alarm for Nov. 14, because that’s when we’ll see all of the new Camry instead of just a cropped-in look at the trunk lid.

Your Turn

The Toyota Camry is a popular enough car that virtually everyone has some sort of Camry story. Whether it was the cheap sedan that didn’t quit on you, the dependable family hauler, or your first experience with a hybrid powertrain in a normal-looking form, I’d love to hear your Camry story.

(Photo credits: Erion, yonkershonda licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, Polestar, Toyota)

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Scruffinater
Scruffinater
3 months ago

My first car was a 1988 camry le (that was top of the line then!) handed down from my mom. I loved that thing, but that era of 4-cylinder camrys were apparently prone to oil sludge issues, especially with that era’s Quaker State oil. So sadly it only made it halfway through college before it was burning copious amounts of oil (only around 100k miles I *think*). On the other hand, my Aunt’s family had a manual camry dx from the same year that easily made it to 300k. And ours was great aside from the oil sludge, so I still give it a pass on the reliability front. I still occasionally daydream about finding a similar one (silver with gray suede interior and the spoked look alloys) and doing the celica all-trac drivetrain swap. The styling on that generation has aged well imho and I would totally rock one again. I might even paint it beige just for fun 😉

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
3 months ago

I have a Camry. It is very reliable. It gets good gas mileage. It is very boring. Having a reliable, efficient, boring car makes owning a bat shit crazy project fun. I need a bat shit crazy project because currently I am just bored with the Camry.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
3 months ago

If NIO was making cars like that a few years ago, I could see those models with some redesigns and “Ford” badges slapped on them. Of course that’s a short term solution for Ford or any NA automaker, but it would have worked well.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
3 months ago

There is a zero percent chance of my buying a chinese car, but oh MAN do I like that wagon.

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago

My Camry stories are about as exciting as the cars themselves. A friend in college had a 1998 Camry with nearly 200k on it. It had been in her family since new and had only required basic maintenance and a couple small repairs in that time. It also drove like a new car, something that genuinely surprised me when I got behind the wheel. I detailed it, and even the interior held up amazingly well given it had been a family car for over a decade. Once clean, it looked brand new, something I cannot say about detail jobs on other cars which were newer and had fewer miles.

I’ve driven a couple other generations of Camry (though not the most recent two) and they were just fine. Those with the V6 had plenty of power, they were comfortable and quiet, handled well, and felt solidly built. Exciting? No. But I 100% see why people buy them.

Genewich
Genewich
3 months ago

My dad gave me a 1999 ES 300, which is basically a Camry. It had a perpetual check engine light, no overdrive, and no traction control, and he said if I could fix it we could have it for my son’s first car when he gets his license next year.

He claimed that they’d had it to the shop repeatedly over the course of a few months, and could not get it fixed.

I plugged in my $20 bluetooth OBD reader, which told me it was the speed sensor wire. I looked at the clearly-visible-by-just-opening-the-hood connection as saw that there was in fact a three inch gap between the wire and the connector. I spliced in some speaker wire I had laying around and it has been flawless ever since.

I don’t know if my dad was telling the truth about the shop, or if he wanted to gift his grandson a car and thought I wouldn’t take it, but it only took me 10 minutes to get it going. Now my kid’s first car will be a 25 year old tarted up Camry with just 125k miles, which is way nicer than my first car, a pre-Camry era Toyota Mk II Grande, a JDM version of the Cressida. (I loved that thing, a straight 6 and RWD).

Tom Herman
Tom Herman
3 months ago

OMYGOSH!! I just realized I don’t have a Camry story! I’ve never driven one. I’m not sure I ever rode in one. I sat in one once.

Gee See
Gee See
3 months ago

If NIO wants to differentiate themselves from the legacy automakers.. make the API open and also make a bug bounty. You don’t have to let the API control the car, just read is enough to create a healthy ecosystem. That’s one of the things Tesla have is there are tons of 3rd party apps for their cars. Bugs / warts be damned, just fix it when people point it out instead of burying them.

Last edited 3 months ago by Gee See
Knowonelse
Knowonelse
3 months ago

My FIL wanted a black Camry the first year they were available. Dealer says that they can’t get a black one. FIL wrote to the head of Toyota, and while we don’t know for sure that was why, but he got a black one. We got it 250k miles later for our kids to learn to drive. We didn’t get out of the DMV parking lot the first time as the drive tester spotted a failed brake light. Ugh. That was due to a known failure of a circuit board in the trunk, so I soldered it back up, and we had that car for years when we sold it at 300k miles.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
3 months ago

Will the new Camry come with a dent from the factory, or will that still be a DIY mod?

Myk El
Myk El
3 months ago

My folks had one for a decade. Really good a the job it was purchased to do. They sold it last year at 125,000 miles for $5000. They really only need one car now that they are deep in retirement, so they kept the Mazda CX-5 as they want one vehicle with AWD with the mountain snow they are dealing with. Would not be surprised if that gets replaced with another Camry when they move out of the high country next year.

I prefer my Accord for doing the same job, but the Camry by no means was a bad car.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

Following a modified Camry guide car around Watkins Glen long course for a few laps. Those can hustle! It was a lot of fun and scary all at once.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

Had a ’08 Camry SE for less than a year after my Focus ST blew up from Ford’s closed deck Ecoboost coolant passage issue and I was waiting for my GR86 to come in. It was in great shape with only a few thousand more miles than the ST. I knew it wouldn’t be great to drive, but I thought it would at least be comfortable and reliable. Well, unlike the Ford that had felt almost new in spite of its stiffer suspension, the Camry rattled and shook like every bushing was missing, leaked oil on the exhaust that had a hole in it somewhere, and the seat was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced with the lumbar support about 6 inches too high, the bottom cushion uncomfortably stiff (and my last three cars had less than stellar seats), and the leather had me sliding all over so adding a cushion for lumbar support merely pushed me forward in the seat and that was the power seat, too, not the base model. I’ve driven bad cars, but I didn’t know how bad a car could be to drive until I had that one. Truly a soul-sucking experience. I felt like I lost personality every time I drove it. I kept it as a winter car/backup for about 6 months after the GR came in in January, but it was so terrible to drive, that I avoided it as much as possible and sold it off in the summer. Still better to drive than a new ’16 Kia Rio I had to rent, but not by much.

Jatco Xtronic CVT
Jatco Xtronic CVT
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

I test drove an 07 Camry left to rot in a field for over a year.. it was pretty smooth. You sure yours wasn’t beat to death before you got it?

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

Interior, exterior, and undercarriage were in excellent condition and being a loaded manual SE, I imagine had to be ordered, points to someone who took decent care of it. Had about 190k miles, but felt like ‘80s domestic 150k, which is funny because my two Focuses had 180k and 204k and felt almost new and my ‘90 Legacy laughed at that mileage. Whatever happened to it ride-wise was probably just light neglect, but all those other cars had no work done on suspension besides a strut or shock change at that point, had stiffer suspensions that should wear out sooner, and just felt better in general without all the interior rattles, either (some, maybe, particularly the much older and heavily abused Legacy, but not bad). Motor mounts were gone, too. Cruise control didn’t work, but I never use it. Guy who bought it seemed to be a Camry guy and he said a lot of them were like mine—blown motor mounts, oil leaks, oil consumption, exhaust leaks after the header, and the CC, which could be either cheap or expensive to fix depending if it was one part or another. Mostly small stuff except for the oil consumption hat was an issue for them then and the exhaust like it was built in 1988 before stainless steel became commonly used. At least it didn’t feel end-of-life, but the accumulation of problems did not impress. All that concentrated boring for mediocre resiliency and oil consumption worse than the old Legacy with 50k more miles and I guarantee more abuse than the previously single-owner Camry. Got me an owner loyalty discount on the GR86, at least, even though I had only owned it 2 months at that point and never had a Toyota before.

Jatco Xtronic CVT
Jatco Xtronic CVT
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

How interesting! Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky with every Camry I’ve ever driven/rode in, because they’ve all felt very nice (even the Camry TRD)

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

And it’s my only real experience with one, so maybe it’s bad luck, but that car really seemed to have been taken care of well and the seat was still an abomination of bad ergonomics, like it had been designed by an invertebrate who only had a cheap Halloween skeleton to reference when designing the seat for a human. My ex has a same generation ES300 and that thing is MUCH nicer. Still boring, but like a completely different car—low end old Chevy vs mid range Mercedes. I was shocked with the Camry as I had only been in her Lexus before and assumed it would feel about 85% the same.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cerberus
M K
M K
3 months ago

My inlaws had a series of Camrys…from early 2000s onward. I remember the first time I drove one, I was like blah…this is somehow horrible, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It was like the essence of personal transportation had been distilled down to the lowest common denominator of non-offensive conveyance. When my father in-law sold that one for 85% of the original price, bought another one, and continued to repeat this process with trouble-free Camrys, I started to understand the calculus involved. He was driving new and reliable cars for the same price I was driving a string of sh!t boxes, didn’t spend his weekends fixing them, and never worried about getting stranded. I still find them soulless, but I perfectly understand the appeal now.

John Beef
John Beef
3 months ago

In 1983 my parents bought a Camry hatchback, first model year with quad sealed beam rectangle headlights in a light blue color with a 5 speed manual. My mom was incredibly unhappy with her unreliable 1980 VW Dasher, and didn’t want to get stranded somewhere with my dad being in the Navy and deployed for months at a time. The Camry was pretty great! It did have a smell, though. She was an Avon lady and it always had this smell of a dozen different perfumes. One hot day it was too much for me and I vomited in the footwell of the passenger seat. My mom drove it 7 years and then gave it to my brother in favor of a ’90 Accord, 5 speed manual again. She didn’t drive an automatic until her ’99 Avalon, at the age of 53.

Sadly, they kept the Dasher and sold my dad’s awesome ’72 Super Beetle. He spent most weekends trying to keep the Dasher working. After the transmission went out, replaced it himself with one from a junkyard Audi, and then drove it straight to the dealership to trade it in on an ’87 Celica.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

The last manufacturer to break into the U.S. was… Hyundai/Kia? In the 80’s for Hyundai, and the 90’s for Kia? It’s taken them ages to become legitimate players here. But they showed up and built a brand with cheap cars for people who basically had to place their bets on Hyundai in order to be able to afford transportation. That and cheap bastards. And then they slowly but surely moved upmarket from there.

These Chinese brands simply aren’t going to break through here, unless they adopt that model of cheap cheap cheap. Nobody in their right mind is going to finance a 40k car from a brand who’s only distinction is “Made in China”. Especially on an EV in a place where EVs are struggling to sell from established brands. For an example of how this is likely to go, see: Vinfast.

Seriously, why would someone with the means to buy basically any car they’d want, take a chance on a Chinese EV and all the potential baggage that brings?

MDMK
MDMK
3 months ago

There’s also the geopolitical issue complicating matters. While H/K and the various Japanese brands arrived and eventually succeeded in the U.S. market, both S. Korea and Japan are U.S. allies.China? Not so much. It only takes one statement from an influential politician or internet conspiracy running amuck to turn Chinese automakers attempting to sell their products here into the next GMO.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  MDMK

Absolutely. I also don’t believe domestic manufacturers really took foreign competition all that seriously until it was too late to backtrack.

They all very much take the threat of China flooding our market with cheap cars seriously.

If China had managed to establish some brands here back when U.S. automakers were happily selling tons of cars in China, there might have been a sort of give and take established. But now that selling cars in China seems like a dead end for non-Chinese brands, I’ve got to imagine the lobbyists are going to be cranking up the heat on legislators to ensure that we’ll never see a Chinese car undercutting domestic, or even other foreign competition.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

Why did anyone with the means buy a Tesla? That was an even bigger risk.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Tesla managed to pull off branding itself as an American tech company disrupting a glacially slow industry, which was all the rage in the 10’s. They managed to get a bunch of weird nerds to rally around a cult of personality. Also, they had a genuinely unique product with basically zero competition.

The Chinese brands bring literally none of that to the table. No brand recognition. No weird cult leader (unless you see people getting on board with the CCP, lol). They’re certainly not first to the market, if anything all established brands will be selling EVs to us by the time they might enter the market. Even if they switch gears and decide to try to dramatically undercut the competition, they’ll likely get tariffed to death.

I just don’t see it happening.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

As many felt about Japanese imports in the 1960s and Korean products in the 1980s.

Hell in a few decades we may be installing Chinese and Korean nuclear reactors all over the country because they are the ones now advancing that tech.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

And now here’s Nio glancing to the promised land,
To sell their EVs even though they’re tariff slammed.
It’s hard to imagine that they ever really can,
‘Less Nio, Nio sneaks across the Rio Grande.

Last edited 3 months ago by Canopysaurus
Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

nice Duran Duran reference 😛

It’s funny because Kia actually made a car called Rio LOL

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
3 months ago

Those NIO interiors are pretty – stark. They seem like a very dull place to be.

And I guess I’m virtually nobody, because I’ve never been in a Camry or known anyone who has ever owned one.

Outofstep
Outofstep
3 months ago

My Camry story is my dad was not the best at dadding growing up and kind of stopped for a few years. To make up for it he figured buying me and my sister a used 1994 Camry was a good way to make up for being well him.

He definitely didn’t take it for a test drive or inspect anything on the engine. It had cigarette burns on the headliner and 150,000 miles. I assume those were hard miles and that car was never maintained in it’s 8ish years of life. The engine went boom 2 months later and I had to find a junkyard motor and have a friend help me install it because I was broke… Then a little less than a year later the transmission went bye bye and I ended up having to find a replacement vehicle immediately which was a 96 Sebring convertible. My dad is lucky I still talk to him at this point. Haha.

LTDScott
LTDScott
3 months ago

I actually don’t have any Camry stories, surprisingly. I’ve never had one, neither has anyone in my family or any of my close friends. I’ve never even rented one. The most time I’ve spent in one is a Vegas taxi.

SubieSubieDoo
SubieSubieDoo
3 months ago

My wife and I bought a new Camry in April 2006 when the new body style was released for the 2007 model year. It was boring gray and the V6 model and ran just like a Camry should until the transmission started jumping from 1st and 3rd on both up shifts and the reverse on downshifts. We found out that Toyota rushed out the first 50,000ish Camrys with a new transmission design using approximately 40% fewer parts. Our car was bought back by Toyota, like many hundreds of people that year, for what became known as the “snap ring issue”.

https://forums.edmunds.com/discussion/5031/toyota/camry/2007-toyota-camry-transmission-gear-snap-ring-issue-tmsusa-responds

Eddie Wuncler
Eddie Wuncler
3 months ago

I’ve been waiting for a PHEV awd Camry since the Rav 4 prime first came on the scene. This will be everywhere, and rightfully so. This is the Peak Camry, and it’s going to sell >500k guaranteed

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

My dad bought a Camry in ’00, a lightly used ’99. It replaced the hilariously unreliable Dodge Stratus that tortured him from ’96 till then, which you all have heard me grumble about. My family holds grudges, and they still haven’t forgiven Chrylser for the Stratus.

The Camry was a revelation. It was a beige on beige LE, boring a car in appearance that you could imagine. But boy, did it ever fucking work. It was built like a bank vault, the interior whisper quiet. The ride, comfortable. The powertrain… compliant. The fit in finish was impeccable, and compared to the Stratus, felt like a luxury car despite it being on the low end trim-wise.

My dad took it to 200k with no issues, and I bought it from him after my Saab 900 Turbo effectively died. It was hard to move from such a fun, manual car to such a snooze box, but goddamn, did it ever fucking work, still. I took it to 240k, and honestly, never should have moved on from it.

I don’t necessarily love the Camry in general, but I did love that car. Because when a machine loyally performs for you day in and day out when it really owes you nothing, you can’t help but find it endearing.

Eddie Wuncler
Eddie Wuncler
3 months ago

I went 00 Camry to 10 Saab and still wish I had that green torpedo

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
3 months ago

I saw a Camry once, does that count? I have never driven one, or sat in one. Hell, I don’t even know anyone who has ever owned one.

I don’t understand the infatuation with Chinese cars on this site actually. Chinese manufacturing is in the toilet right now, and continues to fall daily. It took them over a century to engineer a ball point pen, and you think all of a sudden they can engineer a safe, cheap car? If you are right, great, but I just don’t see that ever happening.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

‘92 LE I looked after for my boss from 170k to I wanna say 330ish? I drove it from SW Va to Rochester NY for technical training once. Competent, but soul-sucking. I did the timing belt I think 3 times—first time did all bells&whistles: water pump, all the pulleys, idler, etc.

Only issues it had were: weirdness with rear lights due to his brother having had it in UK and the add-on rear fog light. And, I once got into it to move it, then my foot went to the floor on the brake: front right soft line blew. Still looked fine. That was around 200k.

Oh, and it was a bit of Jimmy Rustle getting the CV axle out of the automatic gearbox: very strong clip, that one.

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