Nio founder talks plans: Onvo’s second car to be larger SUV

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Yesterday Nio CEO William Li together with Alan Ai (Ai Tiecheng), president of Onvo, gave a press conference where they talked frankly about the Onvo brand and its position relative to Nio along with plans for the two brands. One Easter egg revealed is that Onvo’s second model would be a larger SUV seating six or seven people.

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Unfortunately little else was revealed about the car other than that it would meet the needs of families. Car News China believes the car will unlikely reach production before mid-2025 at the earliest. The Onvo brand intends to put 100 directly operated stores into operation by the time the first Onvo L60 cars are ready to reach stores in September. William Li at the end of last year said that the plan was to open 200 Onvo stores by the end of 2024. Onvo will not have an equivalent of the Nio House which acts as a kind of clubhouse for Nio buyers and nor will Onvo buyers have any right to use Nio Houses. The brand is considering methods such as franchising to increase the number stores to help with market penetration.

William Li (left) and Alan Ai (right) talking about Onvo

Currently the Nio brand sees 70-80% of its sales to buyers in first-tier cities. For Onvo the expectation is that penetration to second, third and fourth tier cities will be much better. This will also accelerate siting battery swap stations in these cities which will in addition help existing Nio users when they travel. Onvo cars are compatible with both the third and fourth generation swap stations although the 60 kWh and 90 kWh battery capacities of the Onvo L60 are different to those in Nio models. There are currently in the region of 1000 third and fourth generation stations across China.

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More information was also revealed about Nio’s strategy for the two brands and the forthcoming third brand codenamed Firefly. The company emphasized that the goal was not to be cheap but to sell more. For Onvo this has meant reducing to a single motor, going from four to one Orin X intelligent driving chips, removing Lidar and reducing the size of the base battery pack. According to Geek Park these changes alone help reduce costs by around 45,000 yuan (6,200 USD). Furthermore, changes implemented to the production process have helped reduce costs.

Nio emphasized that by having different brands it could reach the needs of different customers and that it was common business strategy among the European car groups. Volkswagen reaches very different customers with a Bentley to those who buy a Skoda.

William Li also revealed that the second generation Nio Phone will launch this year.

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Pre-sales of the Onvo L60 began on May 15 priced at 219,900 yuan (30,500 USD) and yesterday we brought you news that it would likely be available with battery as a subscription for 170,000 yuan (23,500 USD). Alan Ai said yesterday that orders received to date have far exceeded expectations. Previously William Li has claimed the Onvo L60 would outsell the Xiaomi SU7.

The Onvo L60 was penned by former Bentley designer Raul Pires, and adopts the ‘Way Up’ design concept. It rides on the new NT3.0 platform which is a 900V silicon carbide platform. Sensors consist of seven 8-megapixel high-definition cameras, 4D imagining radar, and four 360-degree cameras. The high definition cameras have a maximum forward detection range of 687 meters. The vision based intelligent driving system will be available from the commencement of deliveries later this year. Inside the L60 has a 17.2-inch 3K control screen with 12,000 nit brightness. It also benefits from a 13-inch head up display.

Sources: Autohome, Fast Technology

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  1. I really like the Nio’s and am saddened I’m not going to see them stateside due to protectionist legislation. I get it that we want to preserve American jobs but domestic cars are pretty much cost prohibitive nowadays. To me, it’s no different to building a car in Canada or Mexico and slapping a domestic brand name badge on them. I’d love to see the Chinese imports shake up the market and force the domestic automakers to rethink their strategies.


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