- Aiways’ U5 SUV achieves four-figure sales in its first full year in Europe – more than any other Chinese EV startup
- Aiways meets evolving customer demand with progressive, affordable all-electric U5 SUV and modern sales approach
- Aiways expands presence to nine major European markets; more to follow soon
- Aiways expects to surpass 3,000 European deliveries before year end
- Electric U6 SUV-Coupéto join Aiways line-up in 2022 and boost sales in second year
- Aiways to launch one new model per calendar year in Europe
Shanghai/Munich, November 24, 2021 – Shanghai based personal mobility provider Aiways is celebrating its first full year of customer sales in Europe, which has seen the Chinese startup disrupt the EV market and take on established brands across major European markets.
When Aiways became the first Chinese startup to launch an electric vehicle in Europe last October, some industry experts looked on skeptically. But this has proven to be a great advantage for the young EV brand. Uninhibited by expectation or heritage, the fledgling company has been able to steadily build its European presence with the Aiways U5, a unique all-electric SUV vehicle that offers class-leading interior space, customer focused practicality and 400km range on a single charge – all for a truly competitive price. Thanks to the strength of its product and unorthodox sales strategy, Aiways has managed to embed itself into the European conscience despite the global challenges faced by the automotive industry this past year including the pandemic, chip shortages and port congestion.
Over the past 12 months, the Aiways U5 has gone on sale in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark and Italy – with Switzerland, Spain and Portugal to follow by the start of 2022. The Aiways U5 SUV has proven to be a successful first model for the brand, not only because of its many attributes but also because of the way it has been launched in each market. Depending on country specifics, Aiways sells the U5 exclusively online, through a network of established dealers – or a mixture of both. This hybrid model of direct-to-customer sales and physical retail spaces has allowed Aiways to rapidly reach a wide customer base and build public awareness for the new brand.
By the beginning of November 2021, sales of the Aiways U5 SUV had reached a respectable four figure sum across Europe, making it the first and most successful Chinese EV startup to sell cars on the continent.
Dr. Alexander Klose, Executive Vice President of Overseas Operations at Aiways, commented: “Looking back at our first year of customer sales in Europe, we are delighted with the success of our U5 SUV. In our first year we have built strong relationships with customers and our sales partners and will continue to make EV ownership inclusive and accessible to all. China has been expanding its automaking capabilities over recent years and many traditional OEMs now recognise the value that Chinese build quality and high-tech manufacturing techniques can add to their business.”
“There is growing customer demand for EVs across Europe, and sales of the Aiways U5 have been ramping up. Our solid distribution network has given us an advantage over many of our competitors who are still struggling to establish a presence. We look forward to growing our European market share in the coming years, especially with the launch of our new U6 SUV-Coupé early next year.”
The Aiways U5 was first launched in Germany in October 2020 and has since become Aiways’ strongest market in terms of sales. In Germany, the Aiways U5 is sold via the electronics retailer Euronics, who markets the vehicles via its vast network of physical outlets. German customers have been effusive in their praise for the U5 and remain loyal to the Aiways brand they have come to know over the past year. Aftersales and servicing is provided across Germany via a collaboration with A.T.U, which expertly supports the country’s customer base.
Awareness of the Aiways brand in Germany was given a boost during two long-distance drive events this summer which attracted positive coverage from the German media who are traditionally very supportive of their domestic automotive industry. Three Aiways U5s successfully completed the prestigious E-Cannonball in September, while the same three U5s were driven 1,000 km across Germany in the ED1000 endurance drive, holding their own against many traditional OEMs.
A recent partnership with German car subscription service Finn.Auto delivered great success for Aiways as the U5 sold out immediately after being made available via the subscription scheme.
The Aiways U5 went on sale in the Netherlands in November 2020. The all-electric SUV is sold online and distributed by Aiways Distributie Nederland, and has gathered an extensive following of faithful customers impressed by the vehicle’s ease of use, space and performance.
After Dutch customers have conducted their research online, test drive bookings are coordinated via Aiways’ national maintenance partner Profile. This convenient online experience boosts appeal of the Aiways brand and makes the customer journey both personal and easy.
Paris is home to Aiways’ French distributor Car East France, based in the unique Villa M in the heart of the capital. Since going on sale in January this year, hundreds of Aiways U5s have found homes with French customers. Aiways plans to recruit distributors in six of France’s largest cities to sell vehicles via a blend of virtual and physical outlets. Aftersales support in France is ably provided by vehicle maintenance experts Feu Vert supported by a home maintenance service from Go Mecano.
This summer, an Aiways U5 won the annual Riviera Electric Challenge which saw 37 vehicles from 11 established brands take on the 200km endurance drive. Aiways was the only Chinese manufacturer to enter the all-electric challenge, and the Aiways U5 SUV outperformed the competition to secure the top spot with French former rally driver Bernard Darniche behind the wheel alongside teammate Philippe Dupuy.
The Aiways U5 SUV went on sale in Belgium at the same time as in France. Since then, the popularity of the model has grown, and Aiways has collaborated exclusively with sales partner Cardoen to manage distribution. This partnership has increased commercial opportunities for the brand across Belgium where 16 offline showrooms support online sales.
Cardoen, as the sole partner in Belgium, is in control of the customer sales journey from initial enquiry through to sale and aftersales. They are currently working on a new website designed to raise awareness of the brand among private and corporate customers.
In March 2021, Aiways launched in Denmark in partnership with well-established Andersen Motors. As in other locations, sales are handled online, and a network of 11 agents covering most of the country offer test drives and expert advice on EVs, and Aiways has already achieved a 1% market share in just seven months since launch. In Denmark, the ‘Premium’ version of U5 is the best-seller: over 90% of U5 customers chose this trim level.
Andersen Motors will also be the export partner for Sweden when Aiways enters the market in 2022.
When the Aiways U5 SUV was introduced to the Italian market in October 2021 via Koelliker Group, customer reactions were extremely positive, especially in relation to the vehicle design. Ongoing feedback has been very complimentary, with praise for the U5’s styling, modern look and innovative technology. Prospective buyers who have already driven the U5 comment positively on the vehicle’s driving performance, exceptional levels of comfort for all passengers and intuitive onboard tech features.
Dealer interest in the Aiways U5 SUV is accelerating across Italy as many new enquiries are coming from potential partners keen to join the growing Aiways distribution network.
With the successful launch of the Aiways U5 SUV into six European markets in its first year, Aiways is looking ahead to further growth. By the end of 2021, Aiways expects to have sold 3,000 units in Europe bolstered by the additional of three new markets – Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.
Looking ahead to 2022
During Q1 next year, Aiways will introduce its second all-electric model, the U6 SUV-Coupé. The U6 will offer zero-emission mobility to a new generation of drivers who seek an environmentally conscious vehicle without having to compromise on style or practicality.
Aiways aims to achieve 5-digit sales in Europe during its second year by expanding the lineup and adding new markets. As consumer demand increases alongside brand awareness, so too will the opportunities with leasing and fleet companies who wish to offer emission-free mobility choices.
“We are a young brand at the beginning of our journey into Europe. It’s an exciting time for us as a company and the automotive industry as a whole, which is seeing a huge shift towards EVs. We are growing rapidly and continue to expand our workforce across the company, especially in sales and marketing as our brand develops. Our youthful approach to mobility in terms of our vehicle design, technology and our accessible online sales makes Aiways an effortless choice for modern-day mobility,” Klose added.
Founded in 2017, Aiways is a Shanghai-based personal mobility provider with its European HQ in Munich, Germany. It was the first Chinese startup to introduce an electric vehicle to the European market with the launch of the U5 in 2020 – a battery-electric SUV with impressive range, style, and quality. Aiways continues its expansion in Europe and beyond: order books are open in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Israel, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy – with more markets to follow. The U5 is produced at Aiways smart production facility in Shangrao – one of the most modern car production facilities in China. With an initial production capacity of 150,000 units per annum, Aiways can increase this number to 300,000 units when global EV demand rises. Aiways’ next model for Europe will be the U6 electric coupé. With a focus on class-leading aerodynamics, intelligent technology, and sporty design, the U6 investigates the exciting future of the Aiways brand.
You can find all Aiways press releases and press kits, as well as a wide selection of high resolution, downloadable photographs, and video footage on the media website: http://media.ai-ways.eu/.
Aiways media contacts
Bernd Abel, Aiways Automobile Europe GmbH
James Parsons, PFPR Communications
+44 (0)7725 257792