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Aiming to launch a new car model every year under the Chinese Neo Onbo brand

Tech NewsAiming to launch a new car model every year under the Chinese Neo Onbo brand
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kathmandu | Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Nio (9866.HK) announced on Thursday that it plans to launch one new model annually under its budget-friendly Onvo brand, pricing these vehicles similarly to gasoline-powered cars. This expansion aims to cater to the family car segment in China’s competitive auto market.

The announcement followed the debut of the Onvo L60 SUV, priced from 219,900 yuan ($30,476), which is 12% lower than Tesla’s (TSLA.O) Model Y starting price of 249,900 yuan in China.

Nio revealed that a second Onvo model targeting larger families is in the pipeline and expects the new brand to contribute positively to overall profitability once monthly sales reach 20,000 units.

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Nio’s CEO William Li commented on China’s auto market, stating that despite having 110 auto brands, consolidation has reduced the active players to 20-30, a trend expected to continue without severe impact.

In China, EV manufacturers face challenges including slim profit margins and slowing sales after a price war amid weakening consumer demand. Many are now eyeing overseas markets.

Nio, among the smaller players, is striving for profitability. It accounts for approximately 3% of China’s EV market share by volume and is focusing on cost reductions.

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The Onvo L60 emphasizes safety and comfort over acceleration speed to attract family car buyers and reduce costs. Alan Ai, President of Onvo, highlighted the importance of cost-saving measures like avoiding high-performance electric motors.

Nio, known for its investment in EV infrastructure like battery-swapping and charging stations, plans to expand its network to monetize with increased user numbers.

CEO Li anticipates earning $10 billion annually from battery-swapping services as the user base grows. Nio plans to add 1,000 more battery-swapping stations this year, building on the existing 2,415.

Nio has partnerships with six Chinese EV makers since late last year to grant access to its battery-swapping stations. Partners include Geely Holding Group (owner of Zeekr and Volvo), Guangzhou Automobile Group, and Changan Automobile.

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