NEV companies hot among Chinese job hunters for higher pay
Published: Jul 25, 2021 09:33 PM
An NEV is being charged. Photo: VCG

An NEV is being charged. Photo: VCG

The new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry has become a heated sector for Chinese job hunters, with new vacancies more than doubling year-on-year in the first quarter, as NEV sales in the country expanded rapidly after the coronavirus crisis. 

According to a report from Chinese recruitment website, the number of new jobs offered by NEV-related companies surged by about 103 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors for job hunters.

In particular, turnover of senior executives has been very active among NEV companies, as many people left traditional carmakers to join NEV firms. For example, Chen Xuefeng, who used to be executive vice president at Chery Jaguar Land Rover, became CEO of Faraday Future China in March. 

Domestic electric car Baoneng also hired three senior executives who used to work for traditional car manufacturers, including Geely and Dongfeng Renault, in recent months. 

There were more than 90 senior executive shifts at domestic automobile companies in the first half of this year, according to automobile information website If this trend continues, job changes among China's senior vehicle executives will likely break last year's record of 200.

Besides a surge in job changes, the salaries paid to NEV executives also surpassed the levels in many other industries. According to media reports, the salaries offered by Xiaomi Automobile are about 20 percent higher than those for equivalent jobs. Great Wall Motor Co also launched a massive share incentive plan for some of its employees. 

Higher salaries and rapid executive turnover came as China's NEV market expanded rapidly after it weathered the coronavirus crisis. In 2020, China's NEV production rose 7.5 percent on a yearly basis, while NEV sales were up 10.9 percent. 

Feng Shiming, an independent auto industry analyst, told the Global Times that domestic NEV sales are likely to surge more than 20 percent this year, with most going to first-tier brands like Nio, Xpeng and Tesla. 

He said this growth surge is spurring demand for new technology talent, like chip-making technicians or people who specialize in visual design.  

"In the NEV industry, the update of technologies and car models is much faster than traditional car companies, and that means talent moves around at a much faster speed," Feng said. He noted that it takes only about one year to roll out a new NEV brand, compared with two to three years in the past for internal combustion models.

But he said that the rapid turnover among car executives actually shows a distorted market, where companies chase people with a track record at successful NEV projects, like those working for Nio.