Nio on track to unveil its first mass-market car in May, executive says

PARIS — China’s premium electric vehicle maker Nio is on track to unveil a new model under a mass-market brand by the end of this month and a second smaller EV to be sold in Europe next year for less than $30,000, a senior executive told Reuters on Monday.

Nio has created the sub-brand Onvo to launch a new EV that Chief Executive William Li has said will take aim at the Tesla Model Y, the world’s best-selling EV.

“Nio is currently working on the launch of new car brands, that would be less premium, still obviously 100% electric, and more suited for the European market needs,” Nicolas Vincelot, general manager for France, said during a France-China business forum in Paris.

On Monday, the new website for the Onvo brand went live in China with a message to “stay tuned” for details on the new model, the L60.

Vincelot said more details on the brand, until now code named “Alps”, were expected by the end of the month.

Onvo is one of two sub-brands the loss-making EV maker is launching. The second, developed under the code name Firefly, is developing smaller EVs intended for city driving that are expected to be priced under $30,000, he said.

Both brands are targeting sales in Europe. The first Onvo L60 are expected to arrive in Europe by year-end. The Firefly brand should be unveiled in 2025, Vincelot said.

Both are also designed to work with the fast battery swapping stations Nio has pioneered in China, allowing to swap an empty battery against a full one in a few minutes.

Pictures of the Firefly prototype carried by Chinese auto media show a compact four-door hatchback.

Rival Xpeng also plans a new mass-market brand called Mona that will include self-driving features on cars priced below $21,000.

Vincelot said that Nio was no longer relying mainly on the subscription model it used at its beginning, but turning to a wider distribution model, selling and leasing cars on the internet or in showrooms located in big cities.

In Europe, the company has started selling cars in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Nio has been looking to cut costs in response to a slowdown in EV sales and fierce competition on pricing in China. The company announced plans to cut 10% of its staff last year, and Reuters reported that the Hong Kong-listed automaker was looking to spin off its battery manufacturing.

With sales slowing at home, Several Chinese EV makers are expanding in Europe and they look to capitalise on their cost advantage against European rivals. The European Union is investigating Chinese EV imports to see if they breach competition rules. On Monday,

Vincelot’s comments coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vist to France, where the EU investigation was expected to be a focus in talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top