will have heavyweight product and model launches at this year's Nio Day event, the company's president, Qin Lihong, said in an audio program.

(A Nio Eve concept car on display at the April 2021 Shanghai auto show. Image credit: CnEVPost)

William Li, founder, chairman, and CEO of Nio (NYSE: NIO), said a few months ago that the Nio brand would not have any new product launches next year, which reduced expectations for the Nio Day event at the end of the year.

However, the latest revelation from the EV company's co-founder and president, Qin Lihong, has renewed anticipation for the upcoming annual event.

"On this year's Nio Day, we will have heavyweight product and model to be unveiled that you can look forward to," Qin said in a program aired on Nio Radio.

Nio Radio is an exclusive radio program for Nio owners, and Qin mentioned the plan in an interview with a Shenzhen-based anchor on the first day of the Guangzhou auto show on November 17, but did not provide more details.

On August 13, a vote by Nio community users resulted in Xi'an, Shaanxi province in northwest China, becoming the host city for Nio Day 2023.

A date for the event has not yet been set, though it is usually in December. When Nio initiated the process of selecting the host city, it required that candidate cities to have a venue available for 14 consecutive days from December 1 to December 31, 2023, and that the event's host day be set on a Saturday.

Notably, Li said in an analyst call after the EV maker announced its second-quarter earnings on August 29 that the Nio brand will not have new product launches next year, but will have regular model refreshes.

The first model of Nio's mass-market brand, Alps, will be released in the second half of next year, and development of the model was well underway, with the first pilot test vehicle already off the line, Li said at the time.

A second Alps model was already in development, and the brand would not have a large number of models and will place more emphasis on sales of each car, Li said previously.

There is no clue on the new model or models that Nio may unveil at Nio Day 2023, but Telescope, a video channel created by a former Nio employee, speculated in a video yesterday that the company may unveil a super-luxury sedan to take on the Mercedes Maybach.

However, deliveries of the ultra-luxury sedan may not begin until 2025, according to the video.

In fact, about a year ago it was reported that Nio was building an ultra-luxury sedan to rival the Mercedes Maybach S-Class.

Nio was going to build its own "Mercedes-Maybach" model, and the project was already in the design phase, with the model to be a luxury sedan priced at the 1 million yuan ($140,000) level, local automotive media outlet Auto Home reported on December 14, 2022, citing an insider close to the company as saying.

The sedan will be operated under the Nio brand, not a sub-brand, and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class, the source said.

If things go well, the model could be released as early as 2024 and sold globally, the source added, according to the Auto Home report.

Since then, however, there have been no follow-up reports.

($1 = RMB 7.1823)

NIO reportedly working on ultra-luxury sedan to take on Mercedes-Maybach S-Class