Chinese electric vehicle brand Nio, which competes with the likes of Audi-maker Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz-parent Daimler, and Bayerische Motoren Werke, plans to launch cheaper electric vehicles.
Details: The company is planning to launch mass-market cars under another marque, which is positioned lower than the brand Nio, financial news outlet Yicai reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
In January, the company’s CEO Li Wei suggested that with the advancement of EV technologies and the reduction of battery costs, it may enter this huge market for the masses.
Nio more than doubled its electric car sales in April to a near-record level despite the chip shortage affecting manufacturing.
Last month, the company delivered 7,102 EVs in China (a fourth 7,000+ result in the last five months), which is 125% more than a year ago. The ES6 remains the top-selling model with a small year-over-year growth of 9%.
Wuling Hongguang minivan, manufactured by General Motors and Chinese automakers SAIC and Guangxi Automobile, is China’s best-selling electric car. With a starting price of around $5,000, the minivan has sold more than 250,000 in total.
Context: China is by far the largest market for the electric vehicle industry because of the country's large population of 1.4 billion people. Sales of battery-powered/plug-in passenger vehicles have exploded in the last five years with China leading EV adoption in absolute and relative terms.
The EV sector is getting more competitive in the country, as Xiaomi and Didi Chuxing jump in, and other players expand their electric and autonomous driving lines, therefore Nio has to expand its product lineup to attract more customers.