Aiways has announced it will not create a dealer network in Europe to support sales of its new U5 electric SUV, which launches in August.
The Chinese newcomer said it will instead use a network of “highly trained” partners to provide aftersales services for the new model.
Sales will be conducted via a direct-to-customer model, with the option of short- and long-term leasing.
New and second-hand Aiways vehicles will be available through the program, which is being backed by a dedicated European leasing partner – to be announced over the coming months.
The production-ready European version of the U5 will debut at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show (from March 3), where the company will also introduce its first business partners in Europe.
Alexander Klose, executive VP overseas operation at Aiways, said: “Aiways’ sales model will improve access to the all-electric U5 and make it easy to buy a car online. We are considering different types of ownership models, ranging from subscription to outright purchase – but starting with leasing.”
A new Aiways dedicated European website is being prepared that will enable prospective U5 buyers to research models, book test drives, configure vehicles and sign up to usage periods that suits their needs.
So that consumers can interact with the brand, vehicles and conduct test drives, the company is establishing ‘showrooms’ throughout Europe. Its first partnership will be with Euronics in Germany, working with the leading electronics retail chain to develop the growing market for electric vehicles.
Aftersales care in Europe, including technical support and servicing, will come from a network of established in-country specialists who have received training and guidance on the U5 and its systems. With scheduled U5 maintenance every 60,000 miles, the brand says working with local partners will be a far more effective means of servicing customer vehicles than establishing a new Aiways aftersales network throughout the region.