EV Makers Jostle for Space in Chinese ‘Experience’ Stores to Lure Buyers

February 10, 2021 3:15 PM EST

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With electric vehicle (“EV”) makers, established automotive firms and battery companies compete to capture a piece of the young but swiftly growing EV market, China has emerged as the place to be. Chinese consumers are ditching their internal-combustion-engine (“ICE”) cars for electric vehicles at an unprecedented rate, turning mainland China into the largest EV market on the globe. To lure even more buyers, China-based companies such as NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors, international brands such as Genesis and Mercedes, and market leader Tesla have all opened numerous “experience stores” in prime retail establishments.

Designed to market the benefits of environmentally friendly vehicles straight to the consumers, these branded experience stores offer everything from food, refreshments and libraries to test drives for potential buyers. According to Vivian Zhu, director of JLL’s Shanghai retail team, EV makers have pitched tents in more than 47 of the 93 shopping malls JLL tracks in Shanghai. Malls such as Chamtime Square and Shanghai Global Harbor have five different EV experience&

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