Previous reports said Firefly models would be built at 's F4 plant in Chuzhou.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Nio (NYSE: NIO) has set up a parts subsidiary in Chuzhou, Anhui province, a city previously rumored to be the factory location for its sub-brand codenamed Firefly.

The subsidiary, called Chuzhou Guangqi Auto Parts Co Ltd (滁州光启汽车零部件有限公司in Chinese), was formally incorporated on December 21 with a registered capital of RMB 500 million ($70 million), according to data provider Tianyancha.

Its legal representative is Qin Lihong, who is also Nio's co-founder and president.

The company's registered address is No. 155 Quanjiao Road, Chuzhou, Anhui, and the industry it belongs to is automobile manufacturing.

Its business scope includes research and development, manufacturing and sales of automotive parts, manufacturing and sales of molds, and import and export of technology and goods.

The company is wholly owned by Nio Technology (Anhui) Co Ltd, as shown in its shareholding structure.

Nio currently sells only Nio-branded models, which are manufactured at two factories in Hefei, Anhui province.

The plants originally belonged to Nio's automotive partner, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC), which the EV maker announced earlier this month that it would spend RMB 3.16 billion to acquire after regulatory filings showed it obtained independent automotive production status.

Nio is also building a sub-brand internally codenamed Alps, which is expected to target the RMB 200,000-300,000 market, and the Firefly sub-brand, which is expected to target the sub-RMB 200,000 market, according to previous reports from local media.

The Firefly model will debut in Europe and is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2024, Qin said at an event with Nio vehicle owners on January 26.

On February 21, local media outlet Cailian, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that the Firefly project's models will be produced at the F4 plant in Chuzhou.

On July 21, AutoPix reported that Nio's factory for the Firefly project was located in Chuzhou, Anhui province, which was formerly the factory of defunct carmaker Leopard.

On December 15, Reuters reported that Nio will launch the Firefly brand in Europe in 2025.

The Alps sub-brand, which is more expensive than Firefly, is moving faster.

The Alps project has recently completed trial production of VB (Validation Build) prototypes, and there's still plenty of time to optimize and improve it, Nio founder, chairman, and CEO William Li said in a December 5 earnings call.

The Alps models will not share a sales network with the Nio brand, but will share a portion of the service network and service centers, Li said at the time.

There is very little information about the F3 plant at the moment. On December 15, local media outlet Yicai, citing an insider, reported that Nio had previously planned the F3 plant, but it has been suspended indefinitely as a battery factory.

Li said on the December 5 call that for manufacturing batteries in-house, Nio doesn't see the possibility of the business helping to improve gross margins in three years, so the company has opted for other approaches.

On December 6, Reuters reported that Nio plans to spin off its battery manufacturing unit, a split that could take place as early as the end of this year, after which the battery unit will seek outside investors.

($1 = RMB 7.1451)

Nio to launch Firefly brand in Europe in 2025

(A Tianyancha page shows the main information about the Nio-affiliated company, Guangqi.)