In October last year, NIO announced its intention to create a new brand of affordable electric cars by 2024. Currently known by the codename Firefly, the new firm will arrive in Europe even before its native China. The relationship between Firefly and NIO will be similar to that of Volkswagen with Audi or Toyota with Lexus.
lihong qin, president of the company, confirmed that at the time that Firefly will develop smaller electric cars than those of its parent company. Its expansion strategy will be opposite to that of NIO, which has started sales in northern Europe because the market share of premium models is higher than in the south.
Thus, Firefly will be especially focused on regions such as Spain, where it will launch a small hatchback electric which, according to rumors, will be a rival to the future Renault R5 and Volkswagen ID.2, scheduled for 2024 and 2025 respectively. «It is better to start with France, Italy and Spain due to the different structure of market penetration”.
william lico-founder of NIO, explains that «We have noticed that the need is there. We are already developing a vehicle that will be launched in both Europe and China. We have listened carefully to the feedback from our European users.”. It is possible that, to meet future demand, the company will be forced to build a new factory in China.
NIO prepares two electric car sub-brands: Firefly and Alps
the group too is working on a third brand that will sit between Firefly and NIO. This project, known as Alps, will also be oriented to the mass market. The Firefly and Alps developments will benefit from both lower battery manufacturing costs and newly designed cells to ensure affordability. Like the NIO cars, the Firefly and Alps models will have interchangeable batteries at the company’s own stations.
At least in the short term, NIO will not enter the price war started by Teslabecause this battle will correspond to Firefly to fight it. “The entire industry has come under pressure from Tesla’s recent decisions. The battle for market share has gotten much more intense. That made the situation worse for everyone. We won’t get involved and lower prices. Our products continue to justify a good price. In the interest of our users, we have a price and we do not want to damage it. We think that’s more sustainable.”
Source | ecomento