NIO, a Chinese manufacturer of smart premium electric vehicles, is launching its European business in Norway. Founded in 2014, the company aims to establish NIO as a global brand, with the Norwegian market marking the first step in NIO’s European journey.
William Li, NIO CEO and founder, said: “From the beginning, we have been a company with a global focus. We have been operating our design centre in Munich since 2015, we have a performance team in Oxford, and we have our software team in San José in Silicon Valley.
“We now employ more than 9000 people from 45 countries. We were the first to enter the market in China. Now it’s about introducing our brand and our products in Europe.”
The NIO ES8, the electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) with a range of 310 miles (500 km), will be the first model NIO is offering in Europe. NIO’s all-electric smart saloon ET7 will follow in 2022. Pre-orders for the ES8 will be available from July 2021 with the first vehicles expected to be delivered from September 2021.
NIO intends to establish its entire product and service portfolio in Europe, including the innovative NIO Power Swap technology. This enables vehicle batteries to be automatically replaced within three minutes. The first four stations are scheduled to go into operation before the end of 2021. More will be added in 2022, creating an initial power network in five cities in Norway.
In addition, NIO will also build its own Supercharger network in Norway. With NIO Power Home, a charging solution developed for the home, will be added to the offering giving NIO users in Norway a unique charging experience.
NIO also offers special services, including its own mobile service vehicles that are on call to carry out simple repair and maintenance work. Plus, NIO offers its users a pick-up-and-delivery service for the vehicles, which relieves the user of trips to the service centre.
Within Norway, the premium services are based on the establishment of a full-fledged NIO service and delivery centre in Oslo. In addition, NIO will establish service networks in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Kristiansand in 2021. In 2022, the offer will be established nationwide through a cooperation network with additional authorised partners.
As a user enterprise, NIO’s sales rely on the offline to online (O2O) principle. Sales are made online via the NIO app, and digital channels such as the website nio.com. For offline distribution, NIO relies on its own network of lifestyle locations. NIO will offer this experience to users in Norway by opening a 2000m2 NIO House in the centre of Oslo in the summer.
This will be the first NIO house outside of China. Four more exclusive NIO Spaces will also be added in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Kristiansand in 2022. With this O2O concept, NIO sees itself as a pioneer in the global transformation of vehicle sales.
As a user enterprise, NIO is about more than just an electric car. To make the driving experience easier NIO has developed its own app, which will also be available in Europe. In addition to the app, NIO will offer its “User Advisory Board”, which will allow users to contribute ideas to the future development of the NIO brand in Europe.
NIO will also introduce the Blue Point Plan to encourage users to reduce emissions. This will make NIO the first automotive company in the world to help users certify carbon emission reductions and trade carbon credits.
Marius Hayler, Managing Director of NIO Norway AS, said: “A new chapter in electric mobility is beginning in Norway. Smart EVs will now redefine the customer experience. Owning an NIO vehicle means gaining access to exciting opportunities and communities that will enrich users’ lives beyond a premium electric vehicle. That is why we aim to build a community around NIO in Norway.”
Li added: ”In Europe, Norway is at the forefront of e-mobility and sustainable growth. When combined with the country’s strong sense of community and high purchasing power, it is an extremely attractive market for NIO in Europe.”