In the first quarter of 2021, NIU sold 149,649 e-scooters, representing a 272.6% year-over-year growth. The number of e-scooters sold in China market reached 144,654, representing a 321.5% year-over-year growth.
The number of e-scooter sold in the international markets reached 4,995, a decrease of 14.5% year-over-year. The volume is compared on a year-over-year basis instead of on a quarter-over-quarter basis due to strong seasonality in e-scooter market.
The growth in China market was mainly driven by retail network expansion and branding and marketing activities. Niu launched the “Year of the Niu” branding campaign during the past Chinese New Year, as the year of 2021 happens to be the year of Ox, or the year of NIU in Chinese.
The total units of G0 sold during the first quarter represented approximately 39.5% of the total China market volume. Excluding G0, the number of e-scooters sold in China market reached 87,467, representing a 154.9% year-over-year growth.
The G0 model has a lower sales price and gross margin compared with other models, and a high proportion of sales volume from this model has negative impacts on the revenues per scooter and overall gross margin for the first quarter of 2021.
The decrease in the international markets was mainly caused by COVID-19, especially the recent rebound and lockdowns in Europe, and by a more challenging environment for international shipping.
As of March 31st, 2021, Niu had backlog orders of 5,437 units that were not fulfilled within the first quarter of 2021.
On April 6th, 2021, Niu launched 4 new products, under GOVA series: F0, F2, F4, and C0 models, in the e-scooter category mainly for China market and 1 new product in the kick-scooter category mainly for international markets.
It also announced upgrades of various smart functions and components on existing MQi and UQi series products to offer better riding experience.