The US branch of Chinese automaker NIO continues to make interesting moves in North America, as the company signed a ten year lease on a building in San Jose, CA. The new 200,000+ sq. ft. US headquarters is more than double the size of NIO’s current footprint, signaling that a long speculated entry into the North America could be one stop closer to becoming reality.

If you’re not already familiar, NIO is a Chinese EV automaker founded in 2014 that has quickly become a company to watch. As one of the leaders in EV sales in China, NIO has already expanded to European markets beginning with Norway and Germany, but that’s not all.

At the company’s annual NIO Day celebration this past December, NIO shared ambitions to provide services in 25 countries and regions by 2025, displaying a map on screen with several markets highlighted including Western Europe, Australia, and the United Sates.

Following NIO Day, we reported new job postings on LinkedIn by NIO USA in San Jose, CA, including the position of Head of User Infrastructure Construction & Readiness. Here’s the job description:

The Business & Corporate Development Team at NIO USA is responsible for the strategy, planning and execution of NIO’s Go-To-Market for the Americas. This is a strategic corporate initiative, sponsored by the CEO & CFO, and comes with high visibility and tall expectations!

As the Head, User Infrastructure Construction & Readiness, you will be responsible for the end-to-end delivery of key NIO infrastructure in the Americas, to support NIO’s business model and user experiences. NIO’s infrastructure must be strategically located, built in compliance with local standards, and adhere to NIO’s global expectations. You will lead the collaboration with world-class internal experts and external partners to have that infrastructure built out from scratch to scale in the Americas.

With the latest NIO news to emerge, it appears this new employee and the rest of US crew will be working to “scale in the Americas” from a new headquarters.

NIO US
An expansion map displayed during NIO Day 2021 / Source: NIO

NIO’s new lease to serve as US headquarters and innovation center

Mercury News out of the Bay Area shared word of NIO’s recent agreement, which consists of a ten year lease for a 201,500 sq. ft. property located at 3151 Zanker Road in San Jose, CA.

According to real estate company Colliers who brokered the lease, the new US headquarters will support NIO’s research and digital development, testing, assembly, warehousing, and operations.

NIO’s current US headquarters is an 85,000 sq. ft. building located at 3200 N. First St., a two-minute drive away on the same block as its new location.

The article points out that NIO had at one point also leased an adjacent building on First Street adding an additional 100,000 square feet of space, but it’s uncertain if the company ever actually moved in.

It’s also unclear at this point when NIO staff will move to its new US headquarters on Zanker Road. When it does, it’s planning to operate from there for the next decade, perhaps as the hub to NIO’s expansion into the US market.

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