NIO: Rising Carmaker Technique Evaluation 2023

Rising carmaker technique analysis: NIO is deploying battery swap and sub-brands for the knockout match in 2023.

In 2022, the gross sales surged by 32.3% 12 months on 12 months, being concentrated in first-tier cities.

In 2022, NIO bought 120,134 automobiles, up by 32.3% on an annual foundation, particularly:

ES6, ET7 and EC6 have been the highest three fashions by gross sales, of which 42,319 ES6 automobiles have been bought, accounting for 35.2% of the full gross sales. As ES7, ET7 and ET5 (“775”) have been delivered, they noticed a rising share of gross sales. Amongst them, the gross sales proportion of ET7 grew quickest, as much as 19.1%.
By province, Zhejiang (26,747 models), Jiangsu (18,105 models) and Guangdong (15,626 models) ranked prime three by gross sales. 
NIO’s automobiles are largely bought in first-tier cities. In 2022, the primary three cities by gross sales have been Shanghai (15,467 models), Hangzhou (10,890 models) and Beijing (6,776 models); customers in first-tier cities swept 69.9%, down 5.9 proportion factors on the earlier 12 months. 

Technique 1: lay out the development of Energy Swap stations
To spice up gross sales in third-and fourth-tier cities, NIO has doubled down on the structure of battery swap infrastructure, and has deliberate so as to add 1,000 swap stations in 2023 as an alternative of the initially deliberate 400, of which: about 400 stations will likely be constructed at freeway service areas or intersections; one other 600 stations will likely be deployed in city areas, particularly in third- and fourth-tier cities and counties the place there’s a sure consumer base however with out battery swap stations.

NIO intends to supply extra handy Energy Swap companies, alleviate the anxiousness about vitality replenishment, and encourage potential automobile homeowners in third- and fourth-tier cities to take pleasure in NIO’s companies, in order to push up its automobile gross sales. 

NIO battery swap station
NIO battery swap station

NIO’s Energy Swap stations having iterated to the third technology (launched in December 2022) thus far not solely assist the Summon & Swap characteristic for automobiles but in addition enable for Navigate on Pilot + Summon & Swap. In March 2023, the primary third-generation Energy Swap stations will land in Nanxiang City in Jiading District, Shanghai.

In keeping with its plan, NIO will lay out greater than 2,300 Energy Swap stations (together with 700+ freeway Energy Swap stations) in 2023; in 2025, NIO will construct a 9-vertical, 9-horizontal freeway battery swap community with about 3,000 Energy Swap stations. 

Technique 2: set up sub-brands to discover the decrease finish of the market, and allow cockpit and driving integration within the fashions underneath the third model.

In 2022, NIO delivered ET7, ES7 and ET5, three fashions based mostly on the NT2 platform, and switched from NT1 (the notion system contains cameras, ultrasonic radar, and so forth.) to NT2 (the notion system provides LiDAR, and upgrades cameras to the high-definition for L4 autonomous driving).
Within the first half of 2023, NIO plans to ship 5 new NT2-based fashions and a complete of 200,000 automobiles, and develop the NT3 platform (supporting battery swap and 800V quick charging know-how, and carrying batteries made by NIO).

At current, all of the automobiles delivered by NIO are positioned as high-end fashions priced at greater than RMB300,000. NIO plans to cowl the mid-to-high-end and low-to-mid-end markets on the premise of the unique high-end model. Out there of mid-to-high-end automobiles value RMB200,000-300,000, NIO will launch “ALPS”, a NT3.0-based model. Out there of low-to-mid-end automobiles valued at RMB100,000-200,000, NIO will unveil “Firefly”, a small-sized automobile model to debut in Europe, supporting battery swap and L2+ driving help.

NIO’s EEA has developed from the distributed structure NT1 to the area centralized (5*DCU) structure NT2. Sooner or later, the cockpit and driving integration will likely be obtainable to the fashions underneath the third model “Firefly”. In February, 2023, NIO partnered with KEBODA, a supplier of automotive clever and energy-efficient elements, techniques and options. KEBODA will present cockpit and driving built-in area controller options for Firefly, overlaying autonomous driving area management, cockpit area management and gateway features.

Technique 3: part in Navigate on Pilot (NOP) and Energy Swap Help options. 

By way of the evolution of driving help features, NT1-based fashions characteristic NOP (pushed with the NIO OS 2.7.0 in October 2020), and NT2-based fashions assist NOP+ (NOP+beta was pushed in December 2022). Within the first half of 2023, NT2-based fashions will steadily introduce the NOP and Energy Swap options through OTA updates, particularly: permitting automobiles to finish the route planning for battery swap on highways; intelligently navigating automobiles to a Energy Swap station in a freeway service space; supporting automobiles to mechanically drive away from the service space after computerized battery swapping, and re-enter highways.

In contrast with NOP, NOP+ gives enhancements in each software program and {hardware}. By way of software program, NOP+ has a world unified structure and a brand-new algorithm framework. The fusion of information from automobile cameras, LiDAR and HD maps assists the system in determination and planning.  For {hardware}, the entrance view digital camera is changed by a 360° fisheye camera-based sensing system, 1,550nm LiDAR is added, and radar and ultrasonic sensor (USS) represent a two-layer sensor. As for computing platform, 4 Orin SoCs are put in on the 1,016 TOPS ADAM supercomputing platform.

By way of notion structure, NIO will replace the NOP+ notion structure to a BEV mannequin structure within the first half of 2023; in the meantime, the planning and management logics of NOP+ and NIO Pilot (NP) will likely be built-in, that’s, NOP+ will shift the present map-heavy path to the perception-heavy route.

As issues charging mode, NOP+beta is presently freed from cost in a bid to domesticate customers’ habits. The later official model might cost charges.

Technique 4: spotlight immersive cockpit expertise and construct smartphone and IVI integration.

By way of cockpit expertise, NIO’s PanoCinema Clever Cockpit comes with the usual configuration of 23 speaker models, that are laid out based on the 7.1.4 channel scheme with 20-channel 1000W energy amplifier outputs. Lively tuning algorithms and Dolby Atmos convey immersive listening expertise. 
Primarily based on XR OS, NIO’s self-developed unique automotive AR operation interface, customers can management AR and cockpit features through NOMI voice assistant, NIO Air Ring and the devoted smartphone App, when sporting AR glasses. Sooner or later, AR glasses are anticipated to be mixed with HUD or AR HUD. In keeping with the newest patent of AR glasses from NIO in January 2023, its next-generation AR glasses can understand show of car data. 
Along with AR glasses, NIO has additionally developed the cell phone enterprise. It goals to supply smartphone and IVI built-in expertise, construct a people-vehicle-smartphone closed loop, share information and make cell phones part of NIO’s automotive ecosystem. Its promoting level could also be software program, providing differentiated smartphone and IVI built-in expertise. In February 2023, NIO utilized for the trademark “NIO PHONE”. It can begin shut beta take a look at in Q2 2023, and start official launch in Q3 2023. 
In keeping with its latest 2022 monetary report, NIO was nonetheless within the crimson, with the full-year internet lack of RMB14.4371 billion, up by 259.4% 12 months on 12 months. To realize CEO Li Bin’s aim of “break even in This fall 2023 and make revenue in 2024”, NIO, which persists in long-termism, has to face a last-ditch battle in 2023.

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