Nio boss quashes rumours UK launch for Chinese EV brand has been shelved 

  • Not a case of if, but when Nio will launch in the UK, boss Matt Galvin tells Car Dealer
  • Rumours circulating in trade that EV brand had decided not to enter the UK are not true
  • UK remains an important part of the brand’s global launch plans

Time 8:01 am, December 1, 2023

Chinese EV challenger car brand Nio has quashed rumours circulating in the motor trade that it is not planning to launch in the UK.

Car Dealer sources said they’d been told the challenger brand had reconsidered its plans to enter the UK market.

However, Matt Galvin, Nio’s UK managing director and head of European sales, told Car Dealer the brand’s plans to enter the UK market remain on track.

Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer, he said: ‘Preparations for the entry into the UK market will continue, with the launch date under regular review. 

‘All aspects of the company’s development are proceeding as planned with additional efforts in the immediate future aimed at tackling the highly competitive Chinese market and European regions where Nio is already fully operational.

‘The UK is integral to Nio’s story: the Nio brand and EP9 were launched in London at the Saatchi Gallery in November 2016, and Oxford is home to Nio’s global R&D centre for performance and advanced concept engineering. 

‘Preparations for UK market entry will continue under my leadership. We will continue with our ongoing plans, ensuring we’re ready to deliver an unparalleled user experience at launch.’

Galvin said the UK is ‘very important’ and a ‘key player’ in the world markets especially as it has now defined its ZEV mandate.

He added: ‘With interest received from potential users to date, there is no question that the UK remains highly attractive. 

‘The UK remains an important market for Nio.

‘It is not a question of if Nio will enter the UK, but when, and launch timings will be shared in due course.’

Last month, Car Dealer reported that Nio insisted it isn’t considering creating a dealer network to sell its vehicles in Europe, despite media speculation to the contrary.

The firm sells its vehicles via a direct-sales model and doesn’t rely on a traditional dealer network like other Chinese car brands such as BYD and GWM Ora.

Rival firm BYD is currently targeting 100 UK car dealers by end of 2025 and GWM Ora has partnered with the likes of Lookers, Peter Vardy and Chorley Group.

Rumours swelled in October that Nio was considering signing agreements with dealers and setting up a network, due to finding ‘peculiarities’ in the European market it hadn’t foreseen.

But switching to a dealer retail model would lose Nio’s ‘control’ over the ‘user experience’, Galvin has told Car Dealer at the time.

‘Certainly, within Europe, the strategy is very clear – it’s a direct sales business,’ he said.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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