BEIJING -- Chinese premium electric vehicle maker Nio, which now counts Tesla, BMW and Audi as rivals, is working on a mass-market brand that will be positioned similar to Volkswagen and Toyota.
The automaker has stepped up preparations to make mass-market products under a new brand and a "core team" had been assembled as a "first step of a strategic initiative," Nio CEO William Li said.
"The relationship between Nio and our new mass-market brand will be like that of Audi-Volkswagen and Lexus-Toyota," Li said on Thursday.
"We want to provide better product and service at prices lower than Tesla's," he said.
The new brand would not compete with Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, the popular micro electric car made by General Motors' Chinese joint venture with SAIC Motor, which starts at just $4,500, Li said.
Nio also plans to deliver three new models next year, including its first sedan.
The company, which builds three SUV models in the eastern city of Hefei, reported a 659.3 million yuan ($101.8 million) loss in the second quarter, 45 percent narrower than a year earlier.
It delivered 21,879 vehicles between April and June, up from 10,331 units in the same period last year.
To expand its product lineup, Nio unveiled its first sedan, the ET7, in January but deliveries will only start in 2022, meaning Nio will not have a new model for this year.
Li did not offer details of the three new models for next year, which include ET7, but said they would be developed on Nio's new product platform.
Nio is also expanding its production base in Hefei city.
In May, it launched its branch in Norway and plans to start selling cars in the country as it pushes to expand globally.