NIO has underestimated the enthusiasm of many users for buying its cars, and the company is open to the buy option and will prepare further, Li said.
NIO introduced its vehicles to four European countries besides Norway last week, but its business model of leasing only rather than selling vehicles has generated much controversy.
After much discussion, William Li, NIO's founder, chairman and CEO, admitted that the company had underestimated the enthusiasm of many users for buying NIO vehicles and said it was open to the buy option.
"In the past two days, we have received lots of feedback from our users, mentioning they would like have the buy option. I have to admit that we have underestimated many users' enthusiasm for buying NIO cars," Li wrote in an English-language article posted on the European version of the NIO App.
NIO started with subscriptions in all four countries so that the team could focus more on one business model at the beginning, Li said, adding that it was also the most effective way for a new team entering a new market without compromising the user experience.
NIO is open to the buy option and will further prepare for it, he said.
From now on, the general managers in the four European countries will start online and offline communication with local consumers to introduce NIO's subscription service in more detail and to listen to further feedback, Li said.
Here is the full text of the brief article posted by Li.
In the past two days, we have received lots of feedback from our users, mentioning they would like have the buy option. I have to admit that we have underestimated many users' enthusiasm for buying NIO cars.
We start in these four countries with subscription so that the team can focus more on one business model at the beginning.
This is also the most efficient approach for a new team entering a new market without compromising on the user experience.
We are open to the buy option and will further prepare for it.
From now, general managers of the four countries will roll out online and offline communication with you to introduce NIO's subscription service in more detail an listen to your further feedback on all aspects.
You are more than welcome to sign up for the communication, as your voice is essential to us.
NIO held its NIO Berlin launch event on October 7 European time to introduce its three newest models -- the ET7, EL7 and ET5 -- to European consumers.
Unlike the vehicles it sells directly in Norway, NIO offers a service it calls NIO Subscription in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden that allows local consumers to lease vehicles only, rather than buy them.
The vehicle rental service already has close to 60 percent market share in some parts of Europe, and consumers are subsidized by some companies as a result, Li said later at a media event.
As of now, 20 percent of European consumers still want to buy a vehicle, but it's still early days for NIO's operating model and it hopes to reach the other 80 percent first, Li said.