Ningbo Tuopu said its strategic partnership with NIO uses an innovative T0.5 collaboration model that will provide the latter with better products and services.
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Ningbo Tuopu Group, a Tesla parts supplier, has signed an agreement with NIO (NYSE: NIO) in which the two companies will adopt an innovative partnership model not commonly seen in the automotive industry.
Ningbo Tuopu and NIO signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement on March 16 to establish a strategic partnership for the development, manufacture and supply of new energy vehicle components, according to an exchange announcement today from the Shanghai-listed company.
One of the goals of the partnership is for Ningbo Tuopu to supply parts near NIO's plants in Hefei, according to the announcement.
The companies will also collaborate on the use of low-carbon materials, supply chain emissions reduction, digital supply chain and global business exploration.
For the current phase, Ningbo Tuopu will collaborate strategically with NIO on products including chassis systems, body lightweight, thermal management systems, interior and exterior systems and NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) damping systems.
The two companies will also explore all-round cooperation in the areas of intelligent cabin components, air suspension systems and intelligent driving systems, the announcement said.
The teams of both parties will establish regular communication mechanisms and provide adequate resource support to ensure the implementation of the strategic cooperation, according to the announcement.
Notably, Ningbo Tuopu said its strategic partnership with NIO is based on an innovative T0.5 supply chain cooperation model, which will provide the customer products and services with better QSTP (Quality, Service, Technology, Price).
Ningbo Tuopu did not explain more about the T0.5 partnership model, but it is a new model it has been working on for the past few years.
In the automotive industry, the typical relationship between parts suppliers and automakers is T1 (Tier 1), a supplier that signs a supply contract directly with the car company, and T2 (Tier 2), which has a contract with a T1 supplier.
In the T0.5 model implemented by Ningbo Tuopu, automakers are more involved in the development of components, thus shortening the development cycle and ensuring quality.
Ningbo Tuopu was founded in 1983 and is one of the largest parts suppliers in China. The company last came to the attention of the general public in China because of a recall of the Tesla Model Y.
In December 2021, Tesla announced a recall of 21,599 China-made Model Y electric vehicles because of the risk of warping or breaking the vehicle's steering knuckle, which was supplied by Ningbo Tuopu.
Following the announcement of the Tesla Model Y recall, Ningbo Tuopu's shares traded in Shanghai were at one point severely sold off.
The parts maker later issued a statement saying that the products involved in the recall were only for the Model Y and not for other Tesla models or other customers' models.
The company estimated that the recall was not material and would not have an impact on its annual operating results or on its business based on the number of recalls and defect ratios, it said in the statement at the time.
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