The first pilot cars of Alps DOM are already rolling off the production line in China. Nio will launch its affordable brand Alps (codename) after the Chinese New Year in March, and the trial production of its first model DOM will start trial production in July, according to local media. The DOM will be an all-electric SUV with battery swap support, and mass production will begin in the second half of the year.
The SOP (start of production) phase usually follows three months after trials, so the car is expected to launch in October. According to people familiar with the matter, Nio’s delivery target is pretty aggressive, as the company expects to deliver “tens of thousands” units of DOM in only three months before the year’s end, 36kr reports.
The SUV mass market is an overcrowded segment in China. The Tesla Model Y dominates it on its higher-end, followed by the Xpeng G6, IM LS6, floods of BYD electric SUVs (BYD Song L, Seal U, and Sea Lion 07), and dozens of others on its mid-to lower-end. Moreover, premium EREV SUV hegemon Li Auto announced it would launch new models in 2024 in the 200,000 yuan (28,000 USD) segment.
DOM model, as well as the whole Alps lineup, will sit on Nio’s third-generation platform called NT 3.0. According to the report, the EVs will have two battery options, 60 kWh and 90 kWh, and feature Nio’s in-house developed electric motors.
Alps DOM is expected to be priced at around 250,000 yuan (34,000 UD) and, unlike Nio-badged cars, will not have Lidar and feature only one Orin chip. According to the previous report, the SUV will be followed by a sedan shortly. CarNewsChina obtained the spy shots of the alleged Alps SUV in July last year.
Nio is under pressure from investors to stop burning money so fast and become more efficient, resulting in plans to cut off 10% of the workforce in September last year, with further cuts announced in December. The mass market subbrand is supposed to help them increase their market share.
Nio also announced the launching of a small car brand, Firefly, in Europe in 2025. In the largest EU auto market, Germany, Nio sold 1,263 cars in 2023. In China, Nio sold 160,038 vehicles in 2023, missing its annual target of 245,000. The estimate for 2024 is more modest, with 230,000 cars.