Nio (NIO) is entering its next phase of expansion. Last week, the EV maker announced it is partnering with the Hefei Anhui municipal government in China to build a new energy vehicle industrial park.
The city has ambitions to become a center for EV production, which the Hefei Xinqiao Smart Electric Vehicle Industrial Park, should help realize.
The NIO China HQ is already based in Hefei and the new park will support production, R&D, pilot demonstration and various service facilities.
It is not the first time the province and Nio are crossing paths. Last April, entities led by the Hefei government injected $1 billion of cash into the company, which at the time was struggling to stay afloat.
The Hefei government and its affiliates intend to re-invest all profits from the equity investments back into the NIO China partnership.
“In our view,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Edison Yu, “This lays the groundwork for capacity expansion to help NIO reach its +300k longer term volume target or nearly 3x current capacity. Details were not provided on financing sources, but we suspect there will be large support in the form of bank credit lines or arrangements similar in nature.”
Nio is also making moves further afield. A recent Linkedin post by the company said it was looking for someone to “formulate an action plan to enter the US market.”
However, Yu believes that if the company moves forward with its intentions, it “would still be several years away and be a very tough endeavor given geopolitical backdrop, although the new Biden administration could potentially be seen as less antagonistic.”
That said, elsewhere across the globe, there should be more near-term developments. The company is set on entering the European market before the end of the year.
Yu expects Norway to be the first destination. Positions based in Oslo are already being advertised on Linkedin and Yu says NIO gave a hint of where it is heading, when at the ET7’s launch event, the company put a picture of the Karl Johans gate on the center screen navigation map.
Based on the above, Yu reiterated a Buy rating on NIO shares along with a $70 price target. This figure suggests ~12% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Yu’s track record, click here)
Nio also has decent backing from Yu’s colleagues. The analyst consensus rates the stock a Moderate Buy based on 8 Buys and 5 Holds. However, at $65.28, the average price target suggests a modest 5% upside. (See Nio stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.