Nio, Inc. (NYSE: NIO) unveiled its ambitious plan to enter the Norway electric vehicle market, its first overseas foray, at a live-streamed press conference Thursday.
The press conference kickstarted with introductions by Nio's local hires in Norway, followed by a formal welcome extended by Marius Hayler, General Manager, Nio, Norway.
William Li, Nio's founder, Chairman, and CEO joined the press conference from the company's Shanghai Design Center and explained the EV maker's founding and subsequent milestones. Nio has 9,000 employees in over 40 countries, Li said.
Why Norway as First Overseas Market?: Nio's vision since inception was to become a global brand providing premium products and services to users worldwide, Li said. Being the most EV-friendly country, Norway has a culture of loving nature and innovation that resonates with Nio's vision in many ways, he added.
Nio began preparations to foray into Norway in 2018 when the king of Norway visited China and relayed the country's determination to achieve sustainable development.
Enter Hayler: Hayler, an automotive industry veteran, joined Nio in March. He said his decision to join Nio was premised on the belief that Norway is ready for the next step in the EV revolution. Norwegians prefer vehicles that represent a sustainable future and have a great look, he added.
Hayler also commended Nio for delivering customer experience beyond expectations, making cars a natural choice for everyone.
"Our vision is to bring this best car-owning experience into Norway," Hayler said.
Nio's Team In Norway: Hayler said Nio has currently recruited 15 people in Norway, with the strength likely to increase to 50 people by the end of the year.
Preparations and Progress In Norway: Hayler introduced the first Nio House in Oslo City Center, having a floor space of 2,150 square meters, likely to be opened in September.
By 2022, the company plans to open Nio Spaces in Bergen, Stavanger, Trandheim and Kristiansand.
The company will bring Nio Power charging infrastructure into Norway, including 7 Kilowatt-hour home chargers, 180 kWh superchargers, and Nio's unique Power Swapping Station. By the end of 2021, the company hopes to have four swap stations in and around the Oslo region. Swapping facilities will be set up in Bergen, Stavanger, Trandheim, and Kristiansand by 2022 and expanded to other regions in Norway.
Nio Power Norway will become operational in September.
The company has set up a 1,800 square meters Nio Service and delivery center in Oslo, which will open by September. Subsequently, the company is planning to launch its mobile service.
Nio said it would launch the European Nio App in July.
The company is also looking ahead to debut its lifestyle brand, NIO Life, in Norway.
Models For Norway: Nio ES8 will be the first model to be delivered in Norway. The vehicle will come from Nio's Hefei advanced manufacturing base. The company said it had tweaked the model around, especially the body structure and charging port, to adapt to European driving conditions. Shipments of ES8s to Norway will begin in June.
Nio will launch the new ET7 sedan in Norway in 2022.
It also announced the 'Nio Norway User Advisory Board' project. Norwegians who believe in Nio will be invited to join the board and be tasked with offering advice on local products, experience, service quality, power network, Nio House functioning, among other things.
"The plan is to co-create a better local user community – for Norwegians, by Norwegians," Hayler said.
Price Action: Nio shares are trading higher by 0.77% to $38 in the premarket session on the last check Thursday.
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