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Tesla's Largest Outside Shareholder Just Invested in its Biggest Chinese Rival
Well, this is interesting: Baillie Gifford, one of Tesla’s largest shareholders, has now invested in the company’s largest Chinese rival, as TechCrunch reports.
The investment firm has taken an 11.44 percent stake in Nio, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission posted on Tuesday. Nio just went public on the New York Stock Exchange last month – raising $1 billion in an IPO that proved to be a mixed bag for the company’s debut on the market.
Baillie Gifford is the largest shareholder of Tesla besides CEO and founder Elon Musk, who owns about 20 percent of the company. Nio is looking to take aim at Tesla’s share of the electric car market.
Nio wants to become the Tesla of China — and beyond. The company has operations in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, although it only sells its ES8 vehicle in China. The 7-seater ES8 SUV is priced at 448,000 RMB, or around $65,000. That’s cheaper than Tesla’s vehicles, especially since new, higher import tariffs have driven up the price of its Model X SUV and Model S sedan.
It’s unclear if Baillie Gifford might be hedging its bets after Musk’s recent erratic behavior, which began with him threatening to take Tesla private and then backing away from that threat. Musk and Tesla were then sued by the SEC and prominent short-seller Andrew Left over Musk’s threat to take Tesla private.