- ABOUT US _ Drive is an Automotive Design Consultancy building long term relationships with design-driven companies worldwide, designing products that enhance their brand's DNA and position in the market place.
Established automotive manufacturers including VW, Ford and General Motors are now setting out their plans to be electric vehicle brands, numerous Chinese companies such as Byton and Nio are staking their claims to become established global OEMs in the future while recent news suggests start-ups such as Canoo and Fisker (again) are finding getting traction can be problematic.
So it got me wondering whether further down the road it will be the Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Niu Technologies everybody’s talking about.
Niu Technologies was founded in 2014, with the goal of designing a stylish, smart-tech electric scooter (e-moped) and selling it to consumers in China, a market that was ready to be disrupted with lithium powered electric technology. They also developed the “Smart Niu” app that relays scooter performance as well as being a Security Alert Theft Protection system where you are warned if the scooter is tampered with when left.
Today, NIU is one of the world’s leading provider of smart urban mobility solutions, with over 600,000 electric mopeds sold worldwide over the last year, having adopted an omni-channel retail model, integrating online channels with their network of Flagship Stores, Premium Stores and Dealers, from Los Angeles to Paris. This sales growth has a lot to do with the coinciding of events, climate change awareness encouraging the reduction of fossil fuels usage, the need to reduce traffic congestion and Covid discouraging the use of public transport and sharing of rental transport.
The different series of products they provide address the needs of different segments of modern urban residents and resolve the demands of different scenarios of urban travel, while being united through a common design language that emphasizes style, freedom and technology.
New electric vehicle manufacturers need to cultivate brand loyalty and NIU are already doing this. Through their global presence Niu have the advantage should they look to disrupt the micro-mobility market further by introducing a small urban ‘car’ to their range, using the knowledge they have gleaned through their current customers.
Building on the brand awareness, with their dealership network in place, Niu are already in a very strong position compared to most of the ‘new’ car brands to be accepted by potential car purchasers. As an already profitable business and established NASDAQ listed company in its own right, there is a lot of reasons they should feel confident about the future.
Clearly developing a vehicle presents different challenges to an e-scooter, but as companies such as Opel and Peugeot have proved, starting with two wheels can lead to very successful car brands.
Neither I or Drive have any affiliation or working relationship with Niu Technologies
Image Credits – Niu Store courtesy of www.niu.com – Concept Car courtesy of Drive