Nio, China rival to Tesla, says U.S. head to step down

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Warrior joined Nio in 2015, formerly called NextEV, and led with founder and CEO William Li to become one of China's most legitimate challengers in the global race to develop electric vehicles.

SHANGHAI – The American head of Nio Inc., an electric car manufacturer who is seen as one of the main Chinese rivals of Tesla Inc., is leaving the company, the company declared Friday in an indictment, the first major management departure since the IPO of September .

Padmasree Warrior, CEO of Nio USA and Global Chief Development Officer, will resign on 17 December due to "personal interests", according to the company.

Warrior joined Nio in 2015, formerly called NextEV, and led with founder and CEO William Li to become one of China's most legitimate challengers in the global race to develop electric vehicles.

Prior to joining Nio, Warrior was chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems Inc. and chief technology officer at Motorola.

China is the world's largest and fast-growing market for new energy vehicles, a category consisting of electric battery trucks and electric hybrids with plug-ins.

The sale of NEV in the first 10 months of 2018 amounted to 860,000 vehicles, an increase of 76 percent.

Competition is increasing, however, as Beijing strives to reduce subsidies that have resulted in a large number of EV makers entering the market. Some of them are now being erased.

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Tesla is building a car factory in Shanghai to strengthen its presence in the market and lower its prices to become more competitive.

Nio's stock – sharply up this year thanks to robust sales growth and rising positions of some analysts – dropped more than 4 percent in US trade on Thursday.