Beijing (PingWest)—NIO, the Chinese EV maker, will begin delivering its products to European customers as early as next month, following the footsteps of its domestic competitor Xpeng Motors.
A sales team focusing on the European market had been established and a detailed plan about its expansion into the market would be announced in early May, Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of the EV start-up, told reporters at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.
“We want to be part of the business community in Europe,” he said. “Selling some of our vehicles to make some money is not our ultimate goal.”
Norway looks set to be the first market that NIO will explore outside mainland China, with a showroom in the northern European nation expected to open in September, according to local media outlet Bilbransje24, which cited Marius Hayler, the chief executive of NIO Norway.
Guangzhou-based Xpeng delivered 100 G3 smart SUVs (sports utility vehicles) to Norwegian buyers at the end of 2020. This is the first time that China has delivered smart cars directly to individual customers in Europe.
Sales of new energy vehicles, including pure electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell cars, reached 1.7 million in 2020, an increase of 12% over the previous year.