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NIO president confirms its more affordable Firefly sub-brand will enter Europe in 2025

In a recent interview with media in Europe, NIO cofounder and president, Lihong Qin, confirmed the Chinese automaker intends to launch its family-friendly Firefly sub-brand in the market in 2025. This latest update follows nearly two years of speculation about the Firefly brand, in addition to a separate NIO sub-brand called Alps, both of which should join the EU markets.

It was mid-2021 when EV automaker NIO publicly shared its intentions to expand to new markets outside China, beginning with Germany. Since then, we’ve seen the company start selling its EV models across the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark alongside proprietary battery swap stations to support its unique business model.

Around that same time, NIO confirmed that a second, more affordable sub-brand was in the works to sell smaller EVs in China and Europe – its codename is “Alps,” and last we heard, it was scheduled to launch in mid-2024.

Last October, Qin shared more details of the Alps sub-brand, relaying that the automaker does, in fact, intend to launch in Europe next year, beginning in markets like Spain and France, because of the higher sales of smaller mass-market vehicles.

During this time, we wondered if NIO’s rumored third brand, codenamed “Himalaya” but also called “Firefly,” would join Alps in Europe. Following a recent interview in Europe, NIO’s president has confirmed as much, but we won’t see the cost-friendly sub-brand across the pond until 2025.

NIO ET7 Europe

NIO’s Firefly launches in 2025 – Will we see Alps in 2024?

According to recent comments from Lihong Qin to Reuters, NIO’s affordable Firefly brand will, in fact, launch in Europe in 2025. While Qin did not share expected EV pricing, he did share that Firefly EVs will be smaller and designed with families in mind.

When we first reported NIO’s plans for the Firefly brand, it was rumored to be targeting models in the RMB 100,000-200,000 price range ($14,000-$28,000). The NIO President compared the tiered branding strategy to Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, covering multiple segments and price points.

With confirmed plans to launch in Europe, it appears Firefly will emerge as NIO’s base-level EV sub-brand, with Alps positioned between the two. We’ve previously reported that NIO is targeting a price range of RMB 200,000-300,000 ($28,000-$42,000) for its Alps EVs, which appear to be further ahead in development than Firefly.

For comparison, NIO brand EVs are currently priced between 50,000 and 91,000 euros and are positioned in Europe’s premium segment amongst brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The automaker has previously stated its NIO, Alps, and Firefly marques will all operate independently with their own R&D pipelines and core teams, presumedly based out of China. Interestingly, Qin’s recent conversations with the European media included no mention of the Alps sub-brand, just Firefly.

Regardless, we should see an Alps launch in Europe by Q3 2024, with Firefly to follow sometime in 2025.


Author: Scooter Doll
Source: Electrek

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