Chinese EV maker Aiways pushes ahead with European expansion

18 March 2022


Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) maker Aiways is growing its presence in Europe, adding Croatia, Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Slovenia to its markets. The manufacturer, known for its U5 SUV, said customers in 14 European countries can now buy its electric cars.

Based in Shanghai, Aiways emphasised the expansion would help it accelerate the growth of the company in terms of digitalisation, sales, and brand awareness. This comes after the carmaker announced a financing round at the beginning of the year, which was worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

‘Much of the EU population can now buy the battery-electric Aiways U5 SUV, which is a huge achievement for a young brand that has faced unprecedent challenges over the last two years,’ said Alex Klose, vice president of overseas operations at Aiways.

‘It is also very good news for people in these smaller markets who are intrigued by EVs and have been waiting for a quality car that delivers the fun, space and innovation of electric driving at an affordable price without compromise.’

One BEV per year

Globally, Aiways plans to develop its business further, focusing in particular on new market launches, ramping up production, adding new products around sustainable mobility, as well as enhancing user experience through digital services. Going forward, the carmaker will enter other countries and introduce new products.

Aiways was founded in 2017 and was among the first Chinese EV startups with European headquarters to start selling its vehicles on the continent. Apart from the U5 SUV, which is being manufactured at a smart production facility in Shangrao, China, it will also introduce the sporty U6 SUV-coupé in Europe soon. The car has a clear focus on aerodynamics and advanced connectivity.

Both models are battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with the carmaker betting on long range, practicality, and the latest safety features. Aiways intends to release one new BEV per year in Europe. Its Chinese plant currently has an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, but the company is planning to increase this figure to 300,000 as global demand for EVs continues to rise.

‘Unique’ positioning

The European automotive industry is seeing a rising number of Asian EV makers enter the market. Among them are VinFast, Nio, and XPeng, which are all increasingly competing with traditional OEMs.

When Aiways began introducing the U5 in Europe, it strategically targeted major markets such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The carmaker is trying to stand out from other market entrants by offering European quality and technology with Chinese future-oriented AI solutions at an affordable price, according to Klose.

‘Of course, we believe in the unique positioning of our product and its potential to bring EVs to a broader audience,’ said Klose. ‘Even the most sceptical industry experts have been intrigued by the Aiways U5 SUV and have been left pleasantly surprised by the car’s performance, its attributes, and its broad appeal. We have given great attention to developing our brand and customer loyalty and have become the hardest-working Chinese automotive brand and EV startup in Europe.’