Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO) is planning to roll out a more affordable sub-brand around the $31,300 price band, cnEVpost reported on Friday, citing Tech Planet.
What Happened: According to the report, the yet-to-be-named sub-brand is currently in early development talks and is expected to operate independently. Its positioning will be lower than Nio, but not too low, the report said.
Nio’s current line of vehicles is focused at the high-end of the market and priced no less than RMB 358,000 (USD $56,000) unless customers choose to opt for a battery-as-a-service subscription and pay an additional monthly fee.
Nio had earlier this week said Gemini is the code name for a new high-end product that is scheduled to be launched next year.
Video: China’s Nio Challenges Tesla (QuickTake)
Why It Matters: Nio has in the past few years tried different approaches to enter the mass market including establishing joint ventures through investments with GAC and Changan. The stake in those partnerships is now down to 5% from over 40% earlier, giving the company “more flexibility and possibilities to try different approaches to enter the mass market,” Nio CEO William Li said during the latest fourth-quarter earnings call.
Li added it is a possibility to make a new brand to enter the mass market but not under the Nio name.
“We are actively looking at ways to enter the mass market more aggressively, which is a long-term strategy for us,” Li said.
The Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) rival had in April said electric vehicle brands that gain market share by “constantly lowering” prices will only hurt their own brand image.
Price Action: Nio shares closed marginally up at $42.76 on Thursday.
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