Nio Germany launch confirmed, but roll out some time away [Update]

Nio will enter its first overseas market by beginning customer deliveries in Norway this month. Prior to the Norwegian launch, Nio has confirmed that it plans to enter Germany as well.

During Nio’s Q2 2021 earnings conference call, William Bin Li, the company’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, revealed that the company has its eyes on more European markets and that Germany is one of them. However, it is in no rush and will gradually expand its footprint, perfecting operations in each country before going to the next.

Of course, we’re going to enter more markets in Europe, including Germany. For most of the products we’re going to deliver to Europe is going to be based on the NIO technology platform 2.0 except the ES8.

William Bin Li, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Nio (Q2 2021 earnings conference call)

First Nio model in Germany

Nio ET7 Germany front three quarters
Nio will consider European manufacturing for the ET7 if there’s enough demand. Image Source: Nio

Nio is entering Norway with the ES8, but it has a different plan for Deutschland. The company has confirmed that it will launch the ET7 as its first model in the country by the end of 2022. Moreover, if there’s enough demand for the ET7 in Europe, the Chinese automaker will consider local manufacturing. It is open to collaborating with OEMs and evaluating joint manufacturing in the continent. The ET7 made its European debut in Germany this month. More details on the German operations are expected towards the end of the year.

Nio to introduce a low-cost brand

Nio is planning to launch a new brand for low-cost EVs as well. Without giving too much away, Bin Li said during the earnings call that the relationship between the Nio and new mass-market brands will be Audi and Volkswagen or Lexus and Toyota. The models under this brand could serve as an alternative to models from budget EV brands, including Aiways and MG, both of which are present in Germany. We doubt there’s a plan to launch this new brand in Europe initially, though.

Nio’s line-up, which currently includes three SUVs – ES6, EC6, and ES8, will expand to six cars in 2022. The three new Nio models are likely to roll off the assembly line at the same JAC-NIO factory in Hefei, China, as the current cars. Besides the ET7, there is also the Nio ET5, a sedan for the lower segment, as reported by Chinese news portals. The unveil is expected to take place at the Nio Day 2021 which will be held later this year or early next year.

Nio ES8 Robotaxi in Germany

Intel subsidiary Mobileeye and German mobility service provider Sixt have collaborated to start offering Germany’s first commercial autonomous ride-sharing service in Munich from 2022. Customers will be able to access the service using either the Moovit app or the Sixt app. The two companies aim to expand the service across Germany and other European countries in the coming years.

Mobileye will own the robotaxi fleet for the driverless ride-hailing service in Munich. One of these Mobileye Robotaxis will be a Nio ES8, which debuted at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021). This Nio ES8 fully integrates Mobileye’s self-driving system, called Mobileye Drive.

Featured image: Nio