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NIO to build dealer network to boost EV sales in Europe

Rumors suggest that after deliveries in Europe in September fell short of expectations, NIO has begun evaluating dealers in major European markets.

According to informed sources, Chinese electric-car maker NIO is considering setting up a network of dealerships in European markets to boost sales. After deliveries in Europe in September fell short of expectations, NIO has begun evaluating dealers in major European markets.

Sources said that the channel adjustment mainly involves NIO’s ongoing Project Firefly. Project Firefly is a sub-brand of NIO positioned in the entry-level price range. It will first be launched in the European market and is expected to debut in the third quarter of 2024.

In response to the above, NIO issued a statement saying that NIO’s marketing and sales model in Europe has not changed and it is still committed to establishing a direct sales network. However, the sub-brand “Project Firefly” is evaluating the channel model in Europe, including direct sales, agents or distributors.

Since entering Norway markets in 2021, NIO has been adopting a direct sales model in Europe. Although this model can provide users with better services, it also faces high capital investment pressure.

In October 2022, NIO once again entered the markets of Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. This time, NIO did not adopt a strategy of directly selling cars, but provided services through a “subscription model” similar to leasing. Founder William Li once explained that this strategy was based on the local mature business model and tax system.

It was previously reported that NIO had only sold 832 vehicles in the European market in half a year. NIO Co-founder and President Lihong Qin refuted the rumors and said that the rumors were not accurate. The actual operating results were probably three to four times that number. But Qin said he was not satisfied with the current situation, and sales did not meet the company’s expectations.

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