Li also said that Tesla's price cut comes after it faced stiff competition in China, where it does not have pricing power.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
NIO's (NYSE: NIO) first phone model will be launched and delivered in the third quarter, William Li, the electric vehicle company's founder, chairman and CEO, said today.
Li mentioned the plan in a media group interview today during a forum on China's electric vehicle industry, according to multiple media reports, without providing further details.
Li confirmed in late March last year that NIO would be getting into phone making, saying the company's NIO customers wanted to see a phone that connected better with NIO cars, which prompted the company to look into the industry.
In an internal presentation at the end of November last year, Li said the decision to make the phone was based on long-term strategic thinking over a 5-10 year horizon.
In addition to mentioning a timeline for the launch of the first NIO phone, Li said in an interview with National Business Daily that Tesla doesn't have pricing power in China.
"Tesla's price cut was an action taken after facing stiff competition in the Chinese market, where it doesn't have pricing power," Li said.
Tesla has pricing power in the US market because it has a 60 to 70 percent share in the new energy vehicle (NEV) market there, Li said, adding that in China's NEV market, Tesla has only a 7 percent share.
With 60,766 retail sales in China in January-February, Tesla ranked second in the Chinese NEV market with a 7.8 percent share, according to data released last month by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
BYD retail sales in January-February were 316,417 units, ranking first in China's NEV market with a 40.8 percent share.
NIO sold 20,663 units in the same period, ranking 8th with a 2.7 percent share.
BYD clearly has pricing power, and interestingly, the man at the helm of the NEV giant also mentioned the topic earlier this week.
BYD has pricing power in the price range of RMB 100,000 ($14,560) to RMB 200,000, but the company wants to keep things steady, its chairman and president Wang Chuanfu said at a March 29 investor conference.
BYD doesn't want to make it hard for others to survive, Wang said.
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