Bin Li, CEO of Chinese electric vehicle start-up NIO Inc., celebrates after ringing a bell as NIO stock begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) at the NYSE in New York, September 12, 2018.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
BEIJING — Chinese electric car start-up Nio announced Thursday it plans to begin deliveries in Norway in September, for the company’s first entry into a market outside China.
Nio plans to first launch its ES8 SUV to the new market this year, followed by its ET7 sedan in 2022. The company anticipates expanding its local staff of 15 people to 50 by the end of the year.
The Norway venture will begin with a flagship “Nio House” store in Oslo that’s slated to open in the third quarter. Four smaller showrooms are set to open in other parts of Norway next year.
More than half the new cars sold in Norway last year were battery-powered electric vehicles, according to the Norwegian Road Federation. The 54.3% proportion marked a rapid increase from 42% the prior year.
Electric vehicles have dominated new passenger car sales in Norway for the last three years, with Volkswagen‘s Audi e-tron leading last year, Tesla‘s Model 3 in 2019 and Nissan‘s Leaf in 2018, according to the federation.
Later this year, Xpeng hopes to see how customers in northern Europe respond to its P7 electric sedan, Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng said on the sidelines of the the Shanghai auto show last month. He is recruiting new staff and plans to set up a company in the region, before looking at western and eastern Europe.