Nio is starting to prepare for its arrival on the French market. But the manufacturer should not sell its ET5 and other ET7s there since it is a new brand which should take its place, with a price of between 30 and 50,000 euros.
Chinese cars continue their massive influx to Europe, while the Middle Kingdom has become the world’s largest exporter ahead of Japan and Germany. And this is likely to continue, to the great dismay of the European Union which is increasing measures to limit this invasion.
An imminent arrival?
Will this be enough? Probably not. Indeed, more and more Asian brands are trying their luck, such as MG which is doing very well, as well as Xpeng and BYD, which already offers several models in Europe and particularly in France. Including the Dolphin that we recently tried. But Nio also wants its share of the pie and already sells its cars in certain countries of the Old Continent.
Among them, the ES6 and ES8, which had been at the heart of a deal with Audi a few months earlier. Obviously, one question is now burning on our lips: when Will Nio finally arrive in France ? Well here we are starting to have the beginnings of an answer. To tell the truth, no date has yet been announced by the manufacturer, but there is definitely something going on. In any case, this is what a quick tour of LinkedIn confirms.
On his page, Nicolas Vincelot, employed at Nio for more than two years, announces that he is now taking the position of general director of the brand in France. A real French team has also been built, including Thomas Chrétien, in charge of communication and marketing in our territory. Enough to alert us, even if the manufacturer has not announced anything yet.
Maybe because it’s actually not him who will arrive in France? And for good reason, rumors suggest that Nio will not make the trip to our home in the form we know. It could be that it is one of its new sub-brands that will arrive in France in the coming years.
A new brand
In fact, the manufacturer planned last year to create two new entities responsible for selling cheaper cars since Nio displays a fairly high-end positioning. The first should be called Alps and should see the light of day by the end of next year. Although no model has yet been revealed, an Internet user seems to have seen a camouflaged prototype, relayed on X by Jason Yu.
But it seems that it is rather the second brand, known as Firefly, which could arrive in France. At the moment, we do not know when it will be officially launched, but we announced in May that internal recruitment was already underway. Could it be Nicolas Vincelot and Thomas Chrétien, among others? Without a doubt.
An electric car for less than 30,000 euros
A first car would be planned under this brand, displaying a price under 30,000 euros and directly targeting Volkswagen and its ID.2 as well as the electric Renault R5. For the moment, we know almost nothing about this vehicle, except that it should inherit Nio technologies, including perhaps battery swapping. Note that stations are already installed in Europe, notably among our German neighbors and in Sweden.
It is also rumored that the car could be equipped with a semi-solid battery supplied by WeLion and allowing it to travel up to 1,000 kilometers according to the Chinese CTLC cycle. Which equals approximately 850 kilometers WLTP. The same battery that equips the Nio ET5 and ET7. Information that seems rather false to us, since this battery is very expensive: around 50,000 euros alone!
We now have to wait before obtaining new information on this young brand which will undoubtedly have to ignore the ecological bonus due to the recent decree published by the government.