The launch of the new ES6 has triggered rare reactions from several of NIO's local counterparts, highlighting the fierce competition in China's EV market.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
New model launches by local automakers rarely trigger reactions from their peers, and the new NIO ES6 is apparently one of those rare ones.
NIO officially launched the new ES6 in China last night, with its event starting at 7 pm and ending around 8:10 pm after announcing the price.
About a half hour after the event, Li Xiang, founder, chairman and CEO of Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI), said on Weibo that he had set a small goal in advance for his team to reach 20,000 monthly sales of the company's five-seat SUV, the Li L7, in October.
"Supplier partners, please trust us to keep up with capacity! " Li wrote at 8:40 pm yesterday.
Although Li did not mention NIO, he seemed to be reacting to the launch of the ES6, as the two models are seen as competitors in China, even though the ES6 is purely electric and the Li L7 is an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) that can be refueled.
In contrast to that Li Auto CEO's hint, an executive from HiPhi, another local car company, commented directly on the launch of the new ES6.
"Congratulations to NIO on the launch of the new ES6! Also sharing some information with those who follow HiPhi," HiPhi's brand and communications manager Xu Bin said on Weibo at 8:52 pm yesterday.
HiPhi is in the process of finalizing the pricing for the HiPhi Y series, with the 560 km range version expected to be set at a starting price of RMB 369,000 ($52,220), he said.
The HiPhi Y is HiPhi's third model and will be the brand's cheapest all-electric vehicle, with Xu revealing a price just RMB 1,000 higher than the starting price of the NIO ES6.
"HiPhi Y will open for delivery in July this year. If you are in a hurry to buy a car, you can go test drive the ES6, and if you are not in a hurry, you can wait for HiPhi Y," he wrote.
Compared to the comments of the two above, the words of a SAIC-GM-Wuling executive were more friendly, probably because the company is not in direct competition with NIO.
"Another new car went on sale this evening, the model costs more than RMB 300,000 and no one says it's expensive," Zhou Xing, deputy general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling's brand department, wrote on Weibo at 11:38 pm last night.
"It seems we still have to build up the brand, the product, the technology, all around," he said.
SAIC-GM-Wuling will launch a new mini EV model, the Baojun Yep, later today.
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NIO officially launches new ES6, potentially lifting key factor holding back sales