The Chinese manufacturer NIO wants expand its offer of electric cars expanding the range of prices it covers. Currently, by price, its main brand can be considered as high end premium. It will be joined by a second brand that will launch in 2024 that aspires to compete with vehicles of the stature of the Tesla Model 3. Now, and with the aim of attracting a much larger market with more affordable prices, NIO is considering the launch of a third brand where they could be found basic models for 14,500 euros and whose tops of the range would be below the €30,000.
In China’s electric car market, NIO is positioned as a high-end premium brand. This good reference is a problem for the manufacturer since its prices do not allow it to reach large sales volumes. In May of this year, NIO turned this inconvenience into a business opportunity by announcing creating a second brand of more affordable electric cars, although this did not mean that it was very cheap.
Thus, in addition to the main brand, NIO will launch a second brand in 2024 that has not yet received its final name and that will be knows internally under the code of ALPS. It will be at the level of Tesla, which it considers its main competitor and will have a role similar to that of Volkswagen in relation to Audi. Their prices will be in the range of 200,000 and 300,000 yuan (€29,000-43,000).
To these two will be added a third brand, this time more economical aimed at the mass market. It should specifically cover the mid-range and low-end market with prices starting at 100,000 yuan and going up to 200,000 (€14,500-29,000). By Now the name it will receive and the dates that the Chinese manufacturer is considering are unknown. for this brand to start selling electric cars.
Each of the brands will work under an independent management team and a dedicated R&D programaccording to the information portal 36kr. NIO is currently recruiting the core team that will bring this new economic brand to life within the group. The formation of this separate development team could make a lot of sense, as it is likely that technological synergies between NIO vehicles with batteries between 70 and, in the future, 150 kWh, could pass from one brand to another.
Although for now the brand does not have a name and the founder and executive director of NIO, William Li, has not made any comment, local information from an independent Weibo blog speaks that this third project will have codenamed ‘Firefly’ or ‘GJ’. The first model could resemble SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Baojun E300, also known as the Mini-EV, which was a big seller in China.
NIO continues with the European expansion of its main brand. The company now officially has a factory in Europe to assemble battery exchange stations. Located near the Hungarian capital, Budapest, it is scheduled to start operations in September and, in addition to engaging in production, will serve as a service, research and development center. NIO has confirmed that it covers an area of 10,000 mtwo although it does not mention its production capacity. According to the company, with European production, the goal is to “create a solid foundation for local battery charging and replacement services.”