's Firefly project will offer smaller models and is expected to target the market with a price tag of less than RMB 200,000 yuan.

(Image credit: @德卤爱开车 on Weibo)

As Nio (NYSE: NIO) begins to ramp up its marketing for its Onvo (Ledo) sub-brand, new spy shots of its other sub-brand, codenamed Firefly, have been circulating on social media, sparking quite a bit of discussion.

Car blogger @德卤爱开车 shared two spy shots on Weibo today, saying that the model is from Nio's sub-brand codenamed Firefly.

The model looks kind of cute while driving on the road, the blogger said, adding that the battery swap-enabled compact car might not be too far away from launch.

The Nio management first confirmed in August 2021 that the company would enter the lower-priced mass market through a sub-brand.

The company in its subsequent communication mentioned that it would have a brand codenamed Alps for the mainstream mass market and a brand codenamed Firefly for the lower priced market.

The sub-brand codenamed Alps is Onvo, known as Ledao in China, and Nio management said last month that the company would officially launch the Onvo brand in early to mid-May.

Onvo's first model, the L60, will be a competitor to 's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model Y, targeting a market that is expected to be priced between 200,000 yuan ($27,650) and 300,000 yuan.

The Firefly project is expected to target the market priced within RMB 200,000. The Nio main brand focuses on the premium market priced above RMB 300,000.

On January 26, 2023, Nio co-founder and president Qin Lihong said that in addition to Alps, Nio's sub-brand codenamed Firefly was in the planning stage and will be delivered to European consumers first.

On December 15, Reuters cited Qin as saying Nio would launch the Firefly brand in Europe in 2025, offering smaller models.

($1 = RMB 7.2338)

Nio to launch Firefly brand in Europe in 2025