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

Nio has entered its first overseas market by beginning customer deliveries in Norway. Prior to the Norwegian launch, Nio had 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 in September.

Nio will enter five new European markets in 2022, and it plans to offer only Nio Technology Platform 2.0 models in these countries. While Norway gets the Nio Technology Platform 1.0-based ES8, the other European markets (including Germany) will start with Nio Technology Platform 2.0-based models. We’re talking about the ET7 and newer EVs that enter series production from 2022. Bin Li confirmed this:

Next year, besides Norway, we’re going to enter additional 5 countries in Europe. And for this product planning of all those European countries, basically the ES8 based on the Nio Technology Platform 1.0 will only be sold in Norway. But for the other new countries, we’re going to enter, we will only sell the product based on the Nio Technology Platform 2.0.

William Bin Li, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Nio (Q3 2021 earnings conference call)

Nio European production

After Nio posted a job ad on LinkedIn for an ‘EU Plant operation manager’ with Mazowieckie, Poland, as the location, a rumor that the company will open its first European plant in Poland quickly spread in the media. Nio later reached out to CnEVPost to dismiss the rumor, saying that the job ad was a technical error and that there’s no plan to enter Poland.

It’s interesting to note that Nio had confirmed in September 2021 that it is interested in European production, stating that it would consider localising the ET7 in the region if there’s good demand. Here is what the company had said in an announcement on 8 September 2021, in the press release titled ‘Nio ET7: European debut of smart sedan, set for sale in 2022, marking the start of expanding operations in the region’

Nio confirmed that should demand be there in Europe for ET7, it would consider the need for local manufacturing capacity and is open to explore the possibility to collaborate with other OEMs and to discuss joint manufacturing in the region.

Nio (in the press release issued for the Nio ET7 European debut dated 8 September 2021)

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 recent 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 unveiling is expected to take place at the Nio Day 2021 on 18 December 2021.

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 in Germany at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021). This Nio ES8 fully integrates Mobileye’s self-driving system, called Mobileye Drive.

Featured image: Nio