Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of NIO, said at a media communication meeting held on December 12 that NIO had an advantage in the sales volume of high-end electric vehicles worth over 400,000 yuan ($57,348) in China in November, and had surpassed Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi in many southeastern cities in the country.
However, Qin pointed out that, although the penetration rate of high-end electric vehicles in China can double or even triple in the future, NIO still needs a new growth engine, which means it needs to launch a brand in the mid-end electric vehicle market.
A graph the company’s competitiveness in 2022 shown during the meeting revealed the next development direction of the company. NIO will conduct self-research, vertically integrate its industrial chain, expand to more European countries, adopt a subscription model, in addition to releasing new brands and models.
On December 12, NIO‘s 300th car officially rolled off the production line. From May 2018 to December 2022, it took four years and seven months to reach the 300,000-vehicle mark. In the past November, NIO delivered 14,000 vehicles, which still ranks behind NETA Auto and Li Auto. NIO aims to make a profit in 2024, and achieve a gross profit of over 20% for vehicles worth about 100,000 yuan.
This year’s NIO Day will be held on December 24, with the theme of “Feel the Light”. NIO may release the second generation of its ES8 model at the event, which was built based on the NT2.0 platform. A brand-new stylish model will be launched. In addition, NIO‘s Navigate on Pilot+ will add a new function to allow vehicles complete battery swapping in the service area along expressways.
Regarding battery swapping stations, Qin Lihong said that, due to local rules and costs, it may be difficult to achieve the goal of building 20 battery swapping stations in Europe this year. It is estimated that about 17-18 battery swapping stations will be built by the end of this year, but the goal of building 120 stations next year will remain unchanged.
As for NIO‘s mobile phone, Qin Lihong made it clear that it would not be released on 2022 NIO Day. Earlier, William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, said in an interview, “NIO‘s mobile phone business has teams in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and the progress is relatively smooth. Users who want to change their mobile phones within one year can wait for our launch conference.” Li also revealed that NIO is trying to release a new mobile phone every year, just like Apple.
The commercial inquiry information platform Tianyancha shows that NIO Automobile Sales & Service Co., Ltd. has added the sales of mobile terminal equipment, AI hardware, and communication equipment to its business scope. The company was established in March 2017, with its legal representative Qin Lihong and is wholly owned by NIO.