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People wearing face masks look at a NIO ES6 EV car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, or Auto China show, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Beijing, China September 27, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang (REUTERS)
People wearing face masks look at a NIO ES6 EV car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, or Auto China show, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Beijing, China September 27, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang (REUTERS)

Electric-SUV maker Nio to add aedans as Tesla rivalry heats up

Nio Inc. plans to launch one vehicle each year. Its next Nio Day event, where it typically unveils new models, is slated for January

Chinese electric-SUV maker Nio Inc. is expanding into sedans, intensifying its rivalry with Tesla Inc. and its popular Model 3 in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market.

“We are going to launch a sedan soon, and are currently developing another one," Chief Executive Officer William Li said on a conference call on Wednesday following Nio’s third-quarter earnings. “So the next two products in line will both be sedans."

The Shanghai-based manufacturer has said it plans to launch one vehicle each year. Its next Nio Day event, where it typically unveils new models, is slated for January.

Tesla leads Nio in China sales, helped by the Model 3 sedan, and Elon Musk’s company is set to bring out the Model Y compact SUV in a direct challenge to Nio in that product segment. The Model Y launch will help the entire EV market grow, and the new vehicle will also compete against Tesla’s own Model 3, Li said. “We have our own advantages," he said.

Nio, which only sells in China, said it plans to enter the European market as soon as the second half of 2021. The company will stick to premium vehicles in the new market, Chief Financial Officer Steven Feng said.

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