(Image credit: NIO)
Chinese brands, including NIO, XPeng Motors and BYD, have made Norway their first stop in the international passenger car market. So just how big is the Norwegian market? How are these brands performing?
In the first half of the year, Norway sold 54,000 electric vehicles (EVs), up 12.7 percent year-on-year, CITIC Securities said in a research note Tuesday, adding that the share of EVs in all new vehicle sales was 79 percent, up 21 percentage points from the same period last year.
This means that Norway's EV market is small, especially compared to China, the world's largest car market. As a reference, NIO delivered 60,879 units from January to July, while BYD sold 803,880 NEVs in the same period.
So why should Chinese brands make Norway their first stop in the international market?
Policy and infrastructure support has driven the popularity of EVs in Norway, and with increased competition in the market, Chinese brands have an opportunity to gain market share through product competitiveness, said CITIC Securities.
From January to July, 5,726 Chinese branded EVs have been registered in Norway, up 204 percent year-on-year, according to CITIC Securities' note.
In the second quarter, the share of Chinese brands in all Norwegian EV registrations reached 10.6 percent, up 6.9 percentage points from the same period last year, according to the note.
Among the Chinese brands entering Norway, SAIC's MG brand is currently in the lead due to its earlier entry into the market, according to CITIC Securities.
BYD vehicle registrations in Norway have also reached a relatively high level, while NIO vehicle registrations are growing at the fastest rate, with registrations in the first seven months of the year up 175 percent compared to the full year 2021, CITIC Securities said.
CITIC Securities did not provide more detailed data, but according to Elbilstatistikk, NIO has sold 561 vehicles in Norway so far this year, BYD 1,323 and XPeng 494.
In Norway, the BYD Tang is ahead of its class rivals in terms of intelligence, with a larger center screen and the standard HUD head-up display system more attractive, CITIC Securities said.
The NIO ES8 has an advantage in terms of interior space and price, being the only model in its price range that is more than 5 meters long and has a wheelbase of more than 3 meters, CITIC Securities noted.
The NIO ES8 is priced below NOK 550,000 in Norway, which is a significant advantage, the note said.
In addition, NIO models sold in Norway have virtual voice assistant Nomi Mate that supports Norwegian, bringing convenience to local users in using intelligent features, CITIC Securities said.
NIO has adopted the same direct sales model in Norway as it has in China, moving its entire service and sales system over to emphasize the user experience, according to CITIC Securities.
XPeng uses a parallel sales model of direct sales and authorized dealers and has already established 18 sales outlets and 21 service outlets in Norway, according to CITIC Securities.
In Norway, the Chinese automakers have achieved results never seen in the era of traditional fuel vehicles, CITIC Securities said, adding that they are expected to expand into the wider European market through the influence, consumer recognition and innovative sales experience gained in Norway.
NIO officially launched the ES8 in Norway on September 30, 2021, and its first local NIO House has been open for business since October 1.
At the end of January, NIO opened its first battery swap station in Norway, and on August 15, NIO is expected to open its second battery swap station in Norway.