The Chinese manufacturer NIO has begun its European expansion with models such as the ET5, a premium sedan that seeks to compete against the BMW i4, the Polestar 2, or the Tesla Model 3, among others. However, the company also wants to enter the volume market, which is why in 2024 it will launch its generalist brand.
The president of NIO, Lihong Qin, has confirmed that the new firm will arrive in the old continent a few months after its debut in China. According to what was announced in 2021 by the company itself, the relationship between both brands will be similar to that of Volkswagen with Audi or Toyota with Lexus; therefore, we can expect their vehicles to share technology, platforms, etc.
This new brand will develop smaller electric cars than those of NIO, which currently only sells models in the D (medium), E (executive), and F (representation) segments. While NIO is focusing on those markets where premium vehicles have a significant share, its generalist sister will carry out a diametrically opposite strategy.
“It is better to start with France, Italy, and Spain due to the different market penetration structures”. At the moment, NIO has only confirmed its presence in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland, although we should not rule out that it will arrive in our country later.
NIO will launch its new brand in 2024
NIO recently opened its first battery swap station in Germany, a solution it is almost single-handedly pursuing. Before the year is out, NIO expects to have opened around 20 new locations, reaching 120 by the end of 2023. The company manufactures these stations in Hungary.
Like many newcomers, NIO is betting on a direct sales model (either online or through its physical NIO House stores) similar to that of Tesla, a strategy that traditional manufacturers such as Volvo, belonging to the Chinese giant, are beginning to follow. Geeley Groups such as Stellantis will also switch to direct sales in the medium term, keeping their dealers as simple distribution agents.
NIO’s range currently consists of six models, three of which are based on its first-generation NT 1.0 platform (the EC6 crossover and the ES6 and ES8 SUVs), while the rest use the new NT 2.0 (the EL7 SUV). and the ET5 and ET7 sedans), noticeably more advanced than its predecessor.