This third brand will be projected to be priced under RMB 200,000 to be exact between RMB 100,000 ($14,820) – 200,000. The brand will operate independently with an independent head and R&D system.
Hierarchically, the third brand will be positioned by NIO such as Lexus Toyota, Toyota and Suzuki, the report said.
Last year, Ai Tiecheng, former general manager of WeWork Greater China, joined NIO to head up the mass-market-oriented sub-brand company ALPS.
William Li, CEO of NIO said in the company's first-quarter earnings call that the sub-brand's price range is between 200,000 yuan and 300,000 will start production in 2024.
With ALPS covering a market between 200,000 and 300,000, it doesn't touch the market space under RMB 200,000.
Other EV competitors such as Neta and Leapmotor have evaluated models priced at around RMB 100,000 to reach a target of up to 10,000 units per month. Meanwhile the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Ranger, are in the price range slightly above RMB. 100,000, the report said.
It seemed logical for NIO to launch an additional new brand if it wanted to capture the market under RMB 200,000, the report said.
The practice of creating sub-brands for certain markets is common in some of the world's automotive manufacturers, such as Toyota with Lexus or Volkswagen with Audi.
Li Auto CEO Li Xiang said in a conference call after announcing first-quarter earnings in early May that the company plans to offer products at every RMB 100,000. But Li Auto doesn't plan to launch a separate brand, said today's 36kr report.