's F4 plant for its sub-brand codenamed Firefly will be located in Chuzhou, Anhui province, while the F3 plant for the ALPS project will remain in Hefei, a source said.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

NIO (NYSE: NIO) is preparing new plants for its two sub-brands, and one of them will not be located in Hefei, Anhui province, where the company's two current plants are located, a source told CnEVPost.

The company's F4 plant for its sub-brand codenamed Firefly will be located in Chuzhou, Anhui province, while the F3 plant for the sub-brand codenamed ALPS will continue to be located in Hefei, the source said.

The F4 plant will assemble vehicles for the Firefly project and produce some parts, the source said, adding that the brand will initially produce vehicles mainly for export to Europe, with production scheduled for the third quarter of 2024.

The Chuzhou plant will produce small cars priced at around 100,000 yuan (15,000), the source said.

The F3 plant, which will remain in NeoPark, will mainly produce models under the mid-to-high-end sub-brand internally codenamed ALPS, targeting a price range of RMB 150,000 to RMB 300,000, according to the source.

The groundbreaking ceremony for NIO's F3 and F4 plants will be held in March, the source said.

Separately, another source said that NIO will build an auto parts production base in Chuzhou and that construction started on January 29.

Chuzhou is located in the easternmost part of Anhui province, about a two-hour drive from Hefei and a little more than an hour from Nanjing and the Yangtze River.

(The red circle highlighted is Chuzhou city.)

NIO currently sells the ES7, ES6, EC6, ET7, ET5 and the old ES8, and it launched two new models -- the EC7 coupe SUV and the new ES8 -- at NIO Day 2022 on December 24, 2022, with deliveries to begin in May and June 2023, respectively.

Only the ET5 is currently produced at the company's F2 plant in NeoPark, while all other models are produced at the F1 plant, the JAC-NIO manufacturing base, both located in Hefei.

In a face-to-face communication event with vehicle owners on January 26, NIO co-founder and president Qin Lihong said that NIO is preparing models for a sub-brand codenamed ALPS, with deliveries expected to begin within 2024.

The company's other sub-brand, codenamed Firefly, is also in the planning stages and will be delivered first to European consumers, Qin said.

NIO's small model is in development and will debut in Europe and is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2024, according to Qin.

Notably, the Chuzhou city government said in a WeChat post on January 30 that the city held a groundbreaking ceremony for several major projects, including a new energy auto parts production base project, on January 29, but no further details were revealed.

Chuzhou will work together with the auto parts manufacturing companies that will move into the base to expand the local auto industry and build a domestic first-class new energy auto parts industry cluster, according to the article.

On May 10, 2022, Hefei's economic development zone signed a cooperation agreement with NIO for NeoPark phase II and key parts and components supporting projects, the city's government said in an article.

The 1,860 mu (1.24 km2) project will include NIO's new mid-to-high-end brand of vehicle products and is scheduled to be completed and put into production in 2024, according to the article.

The new brand will compete with car companies including and Volkswagen, the article noted, adding that its core team is built and the first products are already in key development stages.

The article did not reveal further details, but from what is known, it seems that the project is for NIO's ALPS project.

Last August, local media outlet Yicai reported that NIO was planning a third brand, the first product of which would be an entry-level electric sedan in the RMB 100,000 range.