The China-based EV company tries to keep its momentum with Shanghai Auto Show announcements.
Coming off of a warm reception in 2018, NIO is planning some announcements this month at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including what looks like a concept car that previews an upcoming sedan.
NIO announced this week it would show a new concept at the Shanghai Auto Show, which begins April 16, while releasing a teaser that looks like anything but an SUV – more likely, it’s a concept of the rumored ET7 sedan. There’s a certain Tesla Model 3 silhouette going on, but that and the electric propulsion is likely where the similarities will end. Reports say that the production version of the ET7 will include Level 4 semi-autonomous driving capability, hinting that NIO thinks that will be practical by the time the production version rolls out. The company said in 2017 it wanted to launch a Level 4-capable vehicle in the U.S. in 2020, but automakers have been backing off of ambitious claims like that so who knows at this point.
Other vehicles on the NIO stand at Shanghai will be the EP9 supercar, the ES6 and ES8 SUVs and the EVE concept from the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show. The company says it will also showcase NIO Power, a system of charging stations, battery swap facilities and mobile charging vans to keep its vehicles powered up.
Despite a slumping new car market in China, NIO has been able to hold its own. Sales of the ES8 are on track to hit 20,000 units and the ES6 goes on sale in June, which is likely to capitalize on the toehold the company has been able to manage so far. Depending on how Tesla manages to get the Model 3 to more customers in China as the year progresses, NIO could have a good 2019.
Author: Zac Estrada