Even though China’s EVs could face tariffs in the region, Chinese electric car maker Nio is thinking about creating a dealer network in Europe to accelerate sales development, according to three people familiar with the situation.
In October of last year, Nio, an aspirant Tesla competitor with high-end models, made its way into Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Customers can purchase the cars straight from Nio’s dealerships, order them online, or lease them for as little as one month.
However, two of the sources stated that the company has begun evaluating dealers in important European countries following the company president’s statement last month that sales in Europe were falling short of projections.
The action is a result of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Xpeng, Zeekr, and BYD, actively pursuing growth in Europe as a means of raising the price of their vehicles above those of their crowded home market.
Without providing further details, one source stated that Nio had discovered the “peculiarities” of Europe and that the corporation intended to grow into more European nations. Linkedin articles indicate that Nio has been hiring in France, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, and Austria.
According to the third source, dealers are being examined for both project “Firefly,” a new, more reasonably priced EV brand that the corporation plans to export to Europe starting in 2025, and Nio-branded vehicles marketed in that region.
According to that source, using dealers would also relieve Nio of financial strain as it prioritises funding for research and battery switching stations in China.
Nio stated that it was dedicated to creating a direct sales network and that there have been no modifications made to the brand’s marketing or sales strategies in Europe.
On the other hand, its Firefly project is assessing its channel model—which includes direct sales, agency, or dealers—for Europe.
In an email comment, Nio stated, “We will select the model that best fits the local market and the brand’s development needs.”
The corporation is expanding its presence in Europe even as the European Commission is thinking about enacting tariffs to shield EU manufacturers against Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) that it claims are receiving government subsidies.
Nio does not break out its sales in Europe. Nio is the ninth-ranked Chinese producer of electric and hybrid automobiles by volume of sales.