Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio is planning to launch a new budget EV brand, sources have revealed.
The auto firm is looking to build a factory in Chuzhou city in the eastern province of Anhui to produce the EVs, in projects codenamed “Alps” and “Firefly”, it’s claimed.
Neither Nio nor the Chuzhou local government immediately responded to requests for comment after Chinese media outlet Cailianshe first reported the plan.
Nio’s main brand, Nio, is positioned for the premium car segment to compete with brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz in China and Europe.
Chinese EV players, most of which are still loss-making, are ramping up efforts to increase their market shares in the world’s largest auto market as the penetration rate of EVs rises rapidly.
More than a quarter of the new cars sold in January in China were either pure electric or plug-in hybrids, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara