Alps is targeting the family car market priced between RMB 200,000 ($28,000) and RMB 300,000, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The first model from 's (NYSE: NIO) sub-brand codenamed Alps is an SUV, which is scheduled to hit the market and start deliveries in the second half of this year, local media outlet LatePost reported today.

Alps is targeting the family car market priced between RMB 200,000 ($28,000) and RMB 300,000, the report said.

Nio would have three brands, with the main Nio brand's major price range between RMB 300,000 and RMB 600,000, with eight models on sale, the report noted.

Its third brand, codenamed Firefly, will target the sub-RMB 200,000 market.

Nio president Qin Lihong said in a media interview that Firefly will offer a small car similar to the BMW MINI, which is scheduled to debut in the European market in 2025, according to the report.

No all-new models will begin deliveries under the Nio brand in 2024, and it will focus on sales of its current eight models. The first model from Alps will begin deliveries later this year, the report said.

Completing those nine products is one of three high priorities cited by Nio founder, chairman and CEO William Li, the LatePost report noted.

In his first internal letter in 2024, Li said Nio will be more focused on priorities in 2024, listing three high priorities for the company in 2024:

Ensure long-term investment in key technologies to guarantee technology and product leadership and on-time, high-quality delivery;

Ensure that sales and service capabilities are able to cope with fierce market competition and that sales capabilities are converted into sales as soon as possible;

Ensuring that the development of nine core products under three brands is on schedule.

Nio confirmed in August 2021 that it would enter the mass market through a sub-brand and in subsequent communications said that it had two sub-brands with internal codenames Alps and Firefly.

On August 29, 2023, Li said in an analyst call following Nio's announcement of its second-quarter financial results that development of the Alps model was going very well, with the first pilot test vehicle having rolled off the production line and a second model already in development.

On December 5, Li said on a call after Nio announced its third-quarter results that Alps had completed pilot production of its VB (Validation Build) prototype and had enough time to optimize and improve it.

On December 26, Tencent News cited a person familiar with the matter as saying that the Alps sub-brand was expected to launch in the first quarter.

The Tencent News report didn't provide any further details, though it appeared to be referring only to the brand's debut.

In China's auto industry, many carmakers typically launch new brands with a launch event to introduce the brand first, followed by the introduction of their first model a few months later.

($1 = RMB 7.1646)

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