The original of this report is written by Wu Yueming, View the source URL, and was translated into English by me.
Cited facts and figures are most likely not up-to-date and have changed over the last year – this post is mainly meant for historic reasons/entertainment and completeness.
There’s another post about a tour taken in 2015 here.
How to get around traffic congestion? Riding two rounds on electric scooters on the road, and gradually you’ll become a green, new urban commuter.
Nearly 14 million users, over 100 million accumulated kilometers riding data, 2000 national [i.e. China] outlets, 13 authorized flagship stores, 28000 m² self-built factory space to produce 90,000 units like the world’s top motorcycle and car manufacturers… and those numbers came from a start-up which is less than 2 years old: The NIU electric scooter.
What scientific and technological “genes” make the NIU electric scooter so intelligent and special? To answer this, this reporter went to the NIUs factory in Changzhou, and took a secret tour.
How the NIU is “born”
Niu Technology is a technology company, founded in September 2014, aiming for both technical and design innovation, its first generation of NIU scooters, the N1 and M1 series have earned the first reward of the Chinese Communist Party.
As the world’s leading smart electric scooter -at least those with an “Internet gene”- NIU did not just added an extra of technology into its blood, but also launched a strong online strategy, even in the most traditional supply chain. But they also combined characteristics of information technology, automation, the Internet and traditional manufacturing skills, focusing on increasing production capacity, so that these start-up companies became the industry’s most efficient operation of the economy.
We learned that the Changzhou factory, covers an area of about 16,000 square meters, has four complete production lines, respectively, three overhead conveyors and a manual line. The monthly production capacity is 90,000 units. Supported by monitoring equipment with perfect testing and testing capabilities.
The factory staff consists of a total of 342 people, of which 193 are front-line staff and 149 non-line staff. In addition, NIU has a research and development center in Shanghai where all product development and design is done.
NIUs Factory distribution area
He Weihua told us that the current NIU on the 1st and third overhead conveyor line is the production for the domestic market, and the second overhead conveyor line is for overseas market units. Although the units for domestic and foreign markets are produced separately the quality standards of the two production lines are exactly the same.
Factory production line
A watering test is underway
All NIU scooters are going through 16 steps, that is, incoming – inspection – storage – out of the library – parts assembly – electrical components assembly – electrical performance test – appearance of the assembly – appearance inspection – off the assembly line – Vehicle road test – Serial code write – vehicle test – tally packaging – shipping and finally put into the market.
Quest for the NIU “technology gene”
Talking about the NIUs technology and its genes, you have to mention the NIU spirit. This spirit is embodied in the “Ox Head” logo. Th fat triangular structure represents the Ox’s forehead, the fine(er) lettering symbolize positive energy and modest spirit.
In fact, for NIU as a technology start-up and just being in existence for 2 years, solving the traditional electric scooter issues it is not the easiest thing to do. Today, the NIU people are using its goal as a guide: Provide a convenient, safe, environmentally friendly travel solution for a global clientele.
NIU tires workshop
Located in Changzhou City, NIUs factory has a set of advanced equipment to reach this goal: production – quality control – logistics – after sale, all using the most advanced systems.
In addition to their own skills and equipment, all parts suppliers are carefully selected and matched, multiple levels of screening are in place to meet the needs of users, so that they can be assured of outstanding quality:
Workshop debugging area
- Bosch – The world’s best light motor supplier
- Jiade Machinery – Outstanding supplier of world brand motorcycle frame
- Panasonic and LG – International famous lithium battery brand
- Warwick – The world’s top mold supplier
- Hang special – Domestic brand car brake supplier
- Lattice Power – the original Philips car lights business unit headlamps supplier
and so on…
Line, both hands on the line
NIU as one of the young brands in the electric scooter industry has no lack of innovation.
In order to make the global user experience more convenient, NIU electrics offers online sales and at the same time, the complete product line is also fully available in the “4S” authorized experience shops.
At present, NIU announced to open 13 flagship stores in 10 cities, which will offer services like test drives, help-desk, after-sales service, community parties , NIU novice teaching, road rescue and many other services.
NIU workshop parts storage area
Other than the usual “bread and butter” type of electric scooter shops, NIU flagship stores will just offer the NIU electric scooter brand.
Factory workers are assembling NIU scooters
As the co-founder of NIU Technology, Zhang Yibo, said “in the beginning the potential customer could only look at the scooter online and after the purchase he had to wait at home for the scooter delivery. Now he can have a store experience which will bring more people into contact with the NIUs, find a one-stop solution to the opportunity to allow the customer to enjoy the same professional after-sales service. “He said that the 13 flagship shops are only the beginning – in the future this model will be quickly copied throughout the country.”
A parts rack
In addition, NIU Electrics is constantly optimizing their products and services through the user riding data collection and analysis.
Global development strategy set sail
According to the news from NIU technology, as of October 13, 2016 19:22, 10 million drivers accumulated a total mileage of over 100 million kilometers. Among them, the longest mileage of a single driver was 25,780 km!
Lots of N1 commemorative edition [Chinese version – the EU version does not sport the stripes]
100 million kilometers… this does not only show the reliability of the NIU scooters but also demonstrates the characteristics of an Internet company: Provide users with more comprehensive and thoughtful service through the collected user data and its analysis.
NIUs factory display area
This year in August, NIU officially released its overseas strategy, the first step is to enter the German market. In a short period of time, NIU not only achieved the EU e-mark certification, but was also invited by the International Auto Show, Frankfurt (IAA). Also in this strategy, NIU was brought into line with the European standard by the upgraded model N1S.
Cowan Technology COO Li Yan said: “Europe is the ideal overseas market, NIUs quality requirements have reached the EU standards, while Europe is promoting environmentally friendly personal transportation”
We learned that the NIUs expansion to Europe is the first stop for globalization, next will be the US market, and then they plan to continue to extend to other countries around the world – always keeping the idea of NIU: Provide secure city transportation, convenient, stylish, eco-friendly, innovative, efficient and new ways of personal transportation implemented in reality .