Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio Inc exhibits its first concept model, Nio eve, at the 2019 Haikou International New Energy Vehicle Show. [Photo by Zhang Dandan/China Daily]

BERLIN – The partnership between Chinese companies and European partners has become even closer against the backdrop of COVID-19, said Zhang Hui, vice-president of NIO Europe.

The domestic production and sales of the Chinese electric carmaker have been on the rise for months, which also means that there are more orders for German suppliers even during the epidemic, Zhang said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

In order to keep the supply chain stable, NIO and its partners are deepening cooperation and communicating in advance, so that the effect of the epidemic would be reduced to the lowest level.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed. Mutual understanding, mutual support and precise previews are contributing to NIO’s smooth operation and its local partners’ fight against the epidemic,” Zhang continued.

NIO announced last year that it would enter the European market in the second half of this year. At the moment, the Chinese carmaker, with its office in the German city of Munich, provides only design and R&D services.

According to Zhang, once NIO begins its car sales in Europe, it will expand its investment in Europe and need more partners to form after-sales service.

“Therefore, it is foreseeable that there is big room for more cooperation with local partners, as NIO starts its sales business,” he said.

NIO also hopes to establish its footing in Europe and build up its brand to better serve the European customers “by making use of our Chinese digital experience, connectivity experience and service experience.”