Dongfeng reveals Nammi brand to rival Wuling’s Mini EV
Chinese carmaker Dongfeng has dedicated a whole label to electric microcars such as the bestselling Mini EV built by SAIC-GM. The new Nammi brand aims to sell 150,000 units in 2024 and nearly half a million only a year later.
Dongfeng is losing no time in entering the high-volume market and has already released the first model, Nammi 01, with sales to start this winter. The company subsequently wants to launch one to two new models annually to achieve sales of more than 400,000 small electric cars by 2025.
The company has not released a complete spec of the Nammi 01 so far. Still, Dongfeng is designing a dedicated platform named Quantum Architecture No. 3 that will be exclusive to Nammi and provide a good experience in terms of space, safety, energy efficiency and intelligence, according to Dongfeng.
Chinese media further report that the tiny EV will run on hub motors forming a system called Mach E. Dongfeng describes the drive as “ten-in-one” with an energy consumption of 11 kWh per 100 kilometres. Fast-charging solid-state batteries – Dongfeng still speaks of pilot operations – shall enable 200 kilometres in just eight minutes recharge time.
At the launch event in Chengdu, the state-owned carmaker also called Nammi “China’s first car brand to focus on small electric vehicles”. The tiny cars shall appeal to female customers in particular and feature user-centred designs also expressed in the second ‘M’ that stands for “Me”, according to Dongfeng.
Executives added that Nammi was an essential part of the mother company’s strategy of strengthening its independent brands, according to Chen Hao, Dongfeng’s deputy general manager.
Dongfeng already has several New Energy Vehicle brands under its belt, including Voyah, M Hero and eπ. According to Chen Hao, Nammi will be instrumental in achieving the group’s sales target of one million NEVs in 2025.
Looking at the numbers, Nammi cars could make half of those sales – small electric vehicles are extremely popular in China. The Hong Guang Mini EV mentioned earlier ranked number one in China’s electric car sales for 24 months in a row. The micro EVs usually cost around 10 – 15,000 dollars, but Dongfeng has yet to disclose the starting price of its incoming Nammi 01.
Moving into an entirely different segment, Dongfeng also announced removing the battery-electric version of the Free SUV from the Voyah line-up. The move is part of a facelift for the car also available in Europe. The new Voyah Free will only be sold as an EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) in China. This has become a trend among Chinese manufacturers such as Leapmotor, who add hybrids or range extenders to their BEV portfolio to increase sales. However, The Geely brand Zeekr explicitly distances itself from such an approach and reportedly wants to continue focusing on pure BEVs.