Nio (NIO) is poised for its official launch in Europe, joining a wave of Chinese car brands descending on the world’s second largest EV market after huge success at home. Nio stock sank Thursday along with startup peer Li Auto (LI).
On Friday, Nio is expected to launch its latest and greatest models, including the ET7, ES7 and ET5, in Berlin. The event will be livestreamed at noon ET on Nio.com and YouTube. Investors will watch for pricing and delivery timing.
About a week ago, Chinese EV giant BYD (BYDDF) launched three 100% battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, for Europe. Notably, BYD unveiled the affordable Atto 3 compact SUV, seen as a cheaper alternative to the Volkswagen (VWAGY) ID.4 and Tesla (TSLA) Model Y. BYD on Tuesday announced a big deal with German car rental giant SIXT, which will buy more than 100,000 BYD EVs, with some Atto 3 deliveries in Q4.
Nio’s ET5, its most affordable EV yet, is seen as a Model 3 rival. The ES7 is seen as a Model Y competitor.
China EV makers see huge opportunity in Europe. They also face big challenges, as virtually unknown brands taking on famous and beloved Western car brands.
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Shares of Nio tumbled 7.8% to 14.79 on the stock market today. Nio stock remains 66% below its 52-week high.
BYD gave up 0.7% Thursday. Tesla stock lost 1.1%. Volkswagen rallied 1.2%. Nio startup peer Xpeng (XPEV) retreated 3.9% to a fresh record low. LI stock plunged 12.3% to its worst level in nearly five months.
The startups last week reported that China EV sales grew in the third quarter. But product transitions and supply issues hurt delivery volumes, analysts at Deutsche Bank said.
China EV Makers Expand In Europe
Just days ago, Nio’s co-founders made a 10-day European road trip ahead of the official launch there. On Sept. 28, Nio opened its first battery swap station in Germany, home to Volkswagen, BMW (BMWYY) and Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF).
Friday’s launch event marks the culmination of intense planning. Nio announced its European expansion last year.
Both BYD and Nio have used Norway as a pilot market so far. They’re now launching in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. The U.K. and other countries will follow.
By 2025, Nio aims to be in 25 countries.
Xpeng is already in Europe. Li Auto could enter as well.
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