Nio considering European retail partners after Chinese EV outfit failed to meet expectations

  • Nio ‘mulling over’ prospect of building a European dealer network
  • Chinese firm could reach deals with retail partners after failing to live up to expectations
  • Brand has so far sold cars direct to customers both in store and online

Time 10:26 am, October 20, 2023

Chinese EV brand Nio is considering setting up a European dealer network after witnessing the success of fellow firms BYD and Great Wall Motors.

The outfit arrived in Europe in 2021 but has so far failed to live up to expectations despite having a presence in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, among others

Up to this point, the firm has sold directly to customers from its own stores and online.

However, bosses are now said to be ‘mulling over’ the prospect of agreeing deals with retail partners and setting up a full dealer network.

Automotive News Europe reports that Nio has been hiring in France, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland and Austria in recent months.

A source close to the firm told the outlet that the brand had found ‘peculiarities’ in the European market, which it had not foreseen before enterring it.

The brand also has concerns over cash as it continues to invest heavily in research and battery swapping stations in China.

Despite this, Nio’s sales in Europe rose 84 percent to 1,619 in the nine months to October, according to preliminary figures from market researcher Dataforce.

Should Nio decide to set up shop in the UK, there would likely be a long queue of dealer groups willing to represent it.

Earlier this year, Cambria boss Mark Lavery told our Car Dealer Live conference that the new wave of Chinese brands is the ‘single biggest seismic shift’ the automotive industry has seen for decades.

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.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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