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By Ding Yi / Feb 11, 2020 05:52 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese electric car company Nio reported a year-on-year sales drop in January, but its CEO downplayed the negative results, blaming them on the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Nio delivered 1,598 vehicles in January, consisting of 1,493 ES6s and 105 ES8s models, representing less than half of the number the company sold in December. The figure also put an end to the company’s five consecutive months of shipment growth, and marked a year-on-year decline of 11.5%, the company said in a statement Monday.

However, Nio chairman and CEO William Li said in a statement that he was satisfied with the result, attributing the dip to the Lunar New Year holidays, which were extended in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, forcing many businesses to delay restarts to sales and production.

Amid uncertainties over when the deadly epidemic will be brought under control, Nio also expects its vehicle sales to drop further in February.

Any consecutive sales drop could put Nio at risk, as the cash-strapped company struggles to find new investment to fund its operations. Last week, Nio announced plans to raise $70 million through the sale of convertible bonds to an “unaffiliated” Asia-based investment fund, temporarily alleviating some financial pressure.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Nio Posts Fifth Straight Month of Shipment Gains in December

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