originally planned to unveil the ES7 in April, but with the Beijing auto show set to be postponed, the SUV's launch will also be later than originally planned.

(Image credit: Xchuxing)

Nio (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) originally planned to unveil the ES7 in April, but with the Beijing auto show likely to be postponed, the launch of the new SUV will also be postponed.

The Nio ES7 will be unveiled at the end of May, the company's co-founder and president Qin Lihong said in a response to a user's question on the Nio app early this morning Beijing time about whether the model would be launched next month.

On February 15, Qin said Nio would unveil the ES7, the first SUV model of its NT2.0 platform, in April and planned to start deliveries during this year.

Qin was revealing the plan at a time when there weren't many Covid cases in China and few cities had imposed restrictions on travel.

But starting this month, several cities have gone into lockdown because of the large number of reported Covid cases, and Shanghai, where Nio's global headquarters is located, has gone into phased lockdown from this week.

The Covid outbreak has already led to the likely postponement of the Beijing auto show scheduled for April 21 - April 30.

The 17th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2022), which was scheduled to open in Beijing on April 21, will be postponed, state media China News Service said on March 22, citing a staff member from the event's organizing committee.

Due to the Covid pandemic, a number of car companies may not be able to make it to the show on time, so the Beijing auto show, originally scheduled for the end of April, may be postponed until June, the staff member said.

Nio seems to have originally planned to announce the ES7 before the Beijing auto show and show the model to people at the event. But with the Beijing auto show essentially set to be postponed, it is understandable that the ES7's launch has been postponed along with it.

The Nio ES7 is positioned as a large five-seat all-electric SUV, between the ES6 and ES8, with intelligence levels in line with the ET5 and ET7 sedans, Qin previously said.

"Our delivery target for this year is up to the supply chain, and we will increase production capacity this year and deliver as much as we can produce," Qin said in February.

That model is the previously rumored model codenamed Gemini, which was misunderstood to be a new brand, but is actually a new model, Qin said.

The model is aimed at competing with the BMW X5L, which will be released this year, according to Qin.

During an analyst call after announcing its fourth-quarter earnings on March 25, William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Nio, said the company will release the ES7, its first SUV based on the NT2.0 platform, in the near future, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year.

The current total addressable market for midsize SUVs priced above RMB 400,000 is 200,000 units, and Nio has confidence in the ES7, Li said.

Nio sees the market for large five-seat SUVs growing rapidly and does not believe the ES7 will have an impact on sales of existing SUV models, according to Li.

It is also worth noting that local media Cailian reported on Friday that Nio expects to release vehicles for the 2022 model year in late May with a major upgrade to the smart hardware, and the price of the upgraded models and battery is expected to increase.

The information indicates that Nio will likely announce the upgrades for the 2022 model year when it announces the ES7 in May.