NIO starts development of sub-brand model for mass market: report

NIO launched the development of a sub-brand model for the mass market in Hefei, central China‘s Anhui province, as per a CnEVPost report citing local news media.

Annual production capacity for the model – which will be positioned below NIO’s SUV and sedan models – is expected to be 60K units, the report said.

Demand for electric vehicles could see an uptick in smaller cities and rural areas in the near term, as per the report.

While there were no details on the sub-brand, the report said NIO’s sales channel is now penetrating third- and fourth-tier cities in regions like remote Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang.

Last year, rumors abound regarding the sub-brand, especially when JAC Motors announced a tender for JAC-NIO’s model codenamed “Gemini” at the end of April, the report said. JAC is a Chinese automaker based in Hefei.

During NIO’s post-earnings call in Aug., CEO William Li confirmed that the company would launch a sub-brand, marking its entry into the mass market. He noted that the relationship between the NIO brand and the new brand would be similar to that between Lexus and Toyota, and Audi and Volkswagen.

Earlier in the week, Barclays rated NIO Overweight on the company’s potential on the world stage. While NIO’s focus on the higher-end segment gave it a head start, it is critical for it to launch mass-market offerings in the next 2 years, Barclays analyst Jiong Shao said in a note, as per the CnEVPost report.

Author: Jessica Kuruthukulangara, Seeking Alpha

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