NIO: Developing a Business Model in China
(8 pages of text)
By 2018, NIO Inc. was more than just a car company. By providing high-performance smart electric vehicles and the ultimate user experience, NIO had shown its commitment to creating a pleasant lifestyle for its users and creating a worldwide “user brand.” Based on mobile Internet thinking, NIO created its own unique business model with the user experience at its core.
Unlike Tesla Inc., NIO took only four years from its inception to its launch, while Tesla spent about seven years to achieve this. While NIO and Tesla were often equated, NIO’s founder, Ben Li, specifically differentiated NIO from Tesla with his powerful statement that “becoming the world’s most user-satisfied company is more important than revenue.” To achieve this great value proposal, NIO had to develop its own business model.
The case is intended for senior undergraduate-, graduate-, and executive-level courses in strategy and marketing. It is designed to help students understand the development of NIO’s strategy by reviewing an in-depth analysis of its business model and strategic plan, thereby demonstrating how best to choose and adapt business models in a new market environment. Through the analysis and discussion of the case, students will learn to master analytical tools, such as PEST (political, environmental, social, and technical), SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), Porter’s five-forces framework, and a business-model canvas, to conduct strategic analysis and assessment, leading to further in-depth thinking. After working through the case and completing the assignment questions, students will be able to
- analyze how NIO had responded to the context of the time and the macro environment of the market;
- assess the innovations of NIO’s business model;
- explain the meaning and effect of NIO’s strategic plan; and
- analyze how NIO could adjust its business model to meet the challenges it faces.
China, Large, 2018
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