The Chinese manufacturer Nio is planning a new brand for more affordable electric cars. While Nio wants to be active in the premium segment like Audi or Lexus, the new brand will compete more against Volkswagen and Toyota.
Nio CEO William Li announced the new brand when presenting the latest quarterly figures. “The relationship between Nio and our new mass-market brand will be like Audi-Volkswagen and Lexus-Toyota,” Li said. However, he did not reveal the name of the new brand, and Li also left open the price range in which the new brand’s vehicles will be positioned. He only limited that the new brand would not compete with SAIC-GM’s Wuling Hongguang Mini EV.
The Wuling was also China’s best-selling electric car for the eleventh consecutive month in July. The small electric car is available at prices starting at 28,800 yuan, the equivalent of less than 3,800 euros. Nio’s current vehicles are all in the price range above 300,000 yuan (39,500 euros).
The company has intensified preparations for the launch of the brand and the production of these vehicles, he said. “Currently, we have built a core team, marking an important step towards the final product launch,” Li said. It is still unclear whether the brand will only target the Chinese market or, like Nio, will also be offered in Europe.
The Chinese electric carmaker has not yet revealed when the brand will be introduced and the first models will be launched. Li has set high goals, saying: “We want to provide better product and service at prices lower than Tesla Inc’s.” The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range is currently available in China at prices starting at 235,900 yuan (31,000 euros).
Nio itself plans to start deliveries of three new models in 2022, according to Li. Among them is the ET7 sedan, which Nio introduced in January 2021. Currently, Nio sells the ES6 and ES8 SUV models, plus the EC6 SUV coupe. Li did not give any details about the other two models – but they are said to be based on Nio’s new product platform.
In the first half of the year, Nio delivered 21,896 units of the three SUV models. In the second quarter, the company turned over about 1.1 billion euros, but had to report a loss of about 775 million euros.
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