NIO’s first mass
Shanghai (Gasgoo)-At Auto Shanghai 2019, NIO offered the first glimpse of its all-new sedan product lineup with the ET Preview, which was not the “ultimate form” of NIO's first sedan model, but was unveiled to convey NIO's idea on product and design, the startup's President Qin Lihong said then.
Before long, local reports revealed that the unveiling of the ET sedan had been postponed and would not appear in this year's NIO Day.
(Photo source: NIO)
Regarding the launching of the much-anticipated sedan model, Mr. Qin disclosed in a recent interview it won't be released until 2022 with the NP2 (NIO Platform 2) delayed as well.
The industry has not reached a consensus over the ultimate form of intelligent vehicles, even the three premium car giants—Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi—are no exception. He said during the transition period, the supply chain related to intelligent autos will become more stable and market demands over such products are tending to be more mature. Therefore, NIO needs more time to figure out its product position and what consumers really want.
（Photo source: NIO)
During the past several years, NIO has completed the construction of its team, product series and marketing & service system, and now is officially ushering in the phase of “qualifying competition”. Therefore, making breakthroughs in user experience is vital for NIO to survive the period full of competitions, and it has to be very cautious in its sedan deployment.
However, the comparative short development cycle and some “overdesigned” details of the first-generation auto platform NP1 somewhat slower down NIO's pace to launch sedan models. “For example, there is too much aluminium alloy used in the chassis,” said Qin Lihong, “It causes pretty high manufacturing and maintenance costs, increases the vehicle weight and lowers the EV range.”
The first sedan model built on the NP2 is expected to come out around 2022 or 2023, according to Mr. Qin. New products to be launched before that will still derive from the NP1.
The next to-be-launched model will be an offshoot of the NP1-based SUV, and is scheduled to be handed over in the third or fourth quarter next year, Mr. Qin added. However, it still remains undetermined for the time being that whether this model will be unveiled at the 2019 NIO Day.