SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Nio Inc plans to build a factory in Chuzhou city in the eastern province of Anhui to produce budget EVs under a new brand, said three people with knowledge of the matter.
Nio has been planning to launch more affordable EV products under new brand names after 2024 in projects codenamed “Alps” and “Firefly”, said the people, who declined to be named as the discussions are private.
Neither Nio nor the Chuzhou local government immediately responded to requests for comment.
Chinese media outlet Cailianshe first reported the plan.
Nio’s main brand, Nio, is positioned for the premium car segment to compete with brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz in China and Europe.
Chinese EV players, most of which are still loss-making, are ramping up efforts to increase their market shares in the world’s largest auto market as the penetration rate of EVs rises rapidly.
More than a quarter of the new cars sold in January in China were either pure electric or plug-in hybrids, according to China Passenger Car Association.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Zhuzhu Cui and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Sonali Paul)