's head of smart driving products and experiences says Onvo is set to will have surprises in smart driving.

(A spy shot of the first model of Nio's Onvo sub-brand.)

Nio (NYSE: NIO) is making a major hiring push for Onvo (Ledao in China), the sub-brand internally codenamed Alps, and for the first time the brand's name is featured in official posters.

Kevin, who is verified on Weibo as Nio's senior director of human resources, posted nine posters on Weibo yesterday, recruiting for positions for the new Onvo brand.

Positions include head of marketing, store manager, social media operations, social media communications, and head of live streaming, some of which are based in Shanghai, where Nio's global headquarters is located, and others are based in multiple cities.

The posters make direct reference to "Nio's new brand Onvo Ledao," the first mention of the sub-brand in the electric vehicle (EV) maker's publicly available official materials.

Harry Wong, Nio's head of smart driving product and experience, retweeted the job ad on Weibo today, saying that Onvo will have surprises in smart driving.

CnEVPost reported on March 10 that Nio was looking to hire talents, including store managers, for its mass-market sub-brand, but at the time it only referred to the brand as "New Strategic Business," and the ads were only posted on Nio's website.

Three days later, on March 13, uncamouflaged spy shots of Onvo's first model, the L60, were widely circulated on Chinese social media, revealing the brand's Chinese and English names.

Nio confirmed the Onvo name during a media Q&A after its long-life battery strategy launch in Beijing on March 14, saying the brand's official launch is expected in early-mid May.

After the name was revealed, Nio took the opportunity to begin initial marketing for the brand, and on March 21, the company's founder, chairman and CEO William Li showed off the interior of Onvo's first model in a short video.

On the smart driving capabilities of the Onvo L60, Wong didn't reveal any more information today. However, according to a previous media report, Onvo's models will remove LiDAR and use only one Orin chip to cut costs.

Currently, the Nio main-brand's models come standard with one roof-mounted LiDAR and four Nvidia Orin X chips.

The adoption of a single Orin chip and the removal of LiDAR will make the smart driving solution of the Alps sub-brand significantly different from that of the Nio brand, local media outlet HiEV said in a January 17 report.

Alps' first model will have a starting price of between RMB 200,000 ($27,600) and RMB 250,000, with the goal of having navigation-assisted driving in urban areas at the time of delivery, the report said.

Lower-cost smart driving solutions give Alps a chance to disrupt the market, the report noted.

($1 = RMB 7.2348)

Nio's William Li shows interior space of Onvo sub-brand's 1st model in short video

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