Nio Set to Debut First Mass-Market Car in May


Nio (NYSE:NIO), a leading premium electric vehicle manufacturer in China, is set to unveil its first mass-market car by the end of May, according to a senior executive speaking to Reuters on Monday. The company also plans to introduce a smaller electric vehicle for the European market next year, priced at less than $30,000.

Nio has established the sub-brand Onvo to launch its new electric vehicle, targeting competition with the Tesla Model Y. Nicolas Vincelot, general manager for France, revealed plans for the new model during a France-China business forum in Paris. The Onvo brand’s website recently went live in China, teasing the upcoming model, the L60, with further details expected by the end of the month.

In addition to Onvo, Nio is developing another sub-brand codenamed “Firefly,” which will focus on smaller electric vehicles suitable for city driving and priced below $30,000. Both brands will target European sales, with the first Onvo L60 models expected to be available globally by the end of the year, followed by the Firefly brand’s unveiling in 2025.

Furthermore, these brands will integrate with Nio’s fast battery-swapping stations, allowing for quick battery exchanges to minimize downtime. Early images of the Firefly prototype depict a compact four-door hatchback.

Nio’s rival, Xpeng, is also planning to launch a mass-market brand called Mona, featuring self-driving capabilities on vehicles priced below $21,000.

Vincelot noted a shift in Nio’s distribution strategy, moving away from its initial subscription model towards broader distribution channels, including online sales and showrooms in major cities. In Europe, Nio has already commenced sales in several countries, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Facing a slowdown in domestic EV sales and increased competition in China, Nio has implemented cost-cutting measures, including staff reductions and reportedly considering spinning off its battery manufacturing division. Amidst this, Chinese EV manufacturers are expanding into Europe, leveraging cost advantages over European competitors. The European Union’s investigation into Chinese EV imports was anticipated to be a focal point during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to France, with discussions expected between Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, and EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

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