The manufacturer NIO is presented as one of the most serious Chinese automotive alternatives in the European market in the coming years. Its competitively priced models are positioned as tough opponents for brands historically based in the Old Continent. In recent statements, the founder of the company believes that profitability in Europe is guaranteed and he hopes to succeed where his direct rivals have encountered a greater number of problems.
The first NIO model to land in Europe will be the ET7 electric sedan, which is expected to begin its first deliveries in the coming days. Later the ET5 will arrive, a slightly smaller sedan, and later the EL7 will do the same, a large electric SUV, which is expected by the beginning of 2023. That is why, with three electric models in circulation, NIO aspires to quickly become an alternative for European drivers and users. It will also have its particular method to exchange fully charged batteries.
NIO has one of the greatest innovations in terms of “recharging” electric cars. And it is that its well-known mechanism is not about plugging in the vehicle and waiting for it to recharge, but about replacing the battery with a fully charged one through its exchange stations, of which there are already three in Europe, the last one recently inaugurated in Germany. NIO plans to build 1,000 of these outposts outside of China by 2025, with most of them in Europe.
The founder of NIO, William Li, has expressed that in China there are a large number of automobile manufacturers, although “with a real product” they are only “around 20 or 30”, including Geely, SAIC or their NIO. The eastern businessman sees clear signs of success in these brands on European territory since the enormous offer of firms improve their respective products. “ All competition is good because it advances the industry. There are many big manufacturers in Europe. Even in China, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are tough competitors. We still have a long way to go to be that strong.”
Li said that if NIO has been able to survive and succeed in China, it has a chance to be competitive in markets like Europe. The businessman sees the automotive industry as one of the “most open markets” that exist.
In his business vision, in the medium-long term, Li only envisions a market made up almost entirely of battery-powered electric cars since he thinks that hydrogen fuel cell models will not be up to the task. “The vehicle is becoming a mobile living space, and that only works with an electric car,” he said.
William Li’s forecasts for Europe are encouraging, as he sees NIO as one of the most satisfying brands among its customers in just three years. In this aspect, the person in charge looks directly at brands like Tesla: “We are on the right track towards profitability. Tesla took 16 years. We won’t need 16 years.”
The company’s plans stipulate that NIO will become a mainstream brand in Europe, in true Volkswagen or Toyota style, just a few months after its arrival. This is something that MG is already achieving, for example, a firm that has returned to the Old Continent with a new philosophy and a very particular brand positioning that is giving very good results.