Automobile industry: Find the focus, answer the hard work volume


Zhang Zhongyue

Xiongguan road is really like iron, and now step over from the beginning. Every year is a new beginning, through the extremely fierce 2023, into the challenging and promising 2024, China's automobile companies should think about how to continue the high-quality development of the automobile industry.


Break the "volume" with differentiated competitiveness


Why is the life of Chinese cars in 2023 not moist, and even a little bitter? Zhang Yongwei, vice chairman and secretary general of the China Electric Vehicle 100 Association, lamented that "selling cars does not make money" has become a puzzle in the industry, and issued three questions: "The first question, why do such good cars in China sell so cheap?" This kind of car costs at least twice as much abroad; The second question is, why are these enterprises still doing business without making money? And he worked hard;


The third question, everyone is very concerned about, so many models, so many companies can exist in the future?"


In the view of Zhang Hong, a member of the Expert committee of the China Automobile Circulation Association, China is already the world's largest automobile production and sales country, and at the same time, China has changed from an incremental market to a stock market. So far, in order to let the car into the urban and rural thousands of households, the industry has worked hard to increase the production of cars. However, in recent years, the market demand for automobiles has continued to strengthen, and the competition has become increasingly fierce. In this environment, the pursuit of car quality and innovative performance to meet the needs of consumers.


Car companies need to launch differentiated products according to the diversification of market demand, and no longer pursue simple quantitative development, which is one of the judgment criteria to measure whether the high-quality development of the automobile industry. In short, the automobile market is already a seller's market, the product homogenization phenomenon is more prominent, the "volume" does not move the value can only "volume" price.


"The price war that began at the beginning of 2023 has not stopped for a whole year. We believe that the price war 'roll' may only be temporary, in the future we will need to 'roll' technology, products and services." In the view of the relevant person in charge of the brand department of a head car company, the choice of products is becoming larger and larger, and the price is no longer the only choice, which may bring short-term results. Therefore, after the technology and products have been better improved, the corresponding pricing power should be mastered by the enterprise, which is also the point that the enterprise is now more important.


Many companies have begun to focus on enhancing the core competitiveness of products, such as at the M9 conference, Huawei's managing director, Terminal BG CEO, and Chairman of intelligent vehicle Solution BU Yu Chengdong said that the M9 will begin large-scale delivery in February, and AEB capabilities will be enhanced again. According to reports, the M9 can turn on the AEB function at 4 ~ 150km/h to maximize the safety of vehicles and pedestrians. In the face of stationary vehicles and pedestrians, the automatic stopping speed reaches up to 120km/h, which has been greatly improved compared with the previous.


In addition, the M9 is also equipped with ESA Emergency Steering Assist for the first time, which automatically controls steering to help drivers avoid collisions. It is worth mentioning that in the case of reversing the vehicle, the rear-facing active safety capability has also been improved again, even if you step on the accelerator to reverse, the rear-facing AEB will immediately stop when it detects something. Why give the example of AEB? It is precisely because the function of AEB has been significantly improved and has become more practical and useful, which has made its products more competitive and differentiated.


Take market demand as industry orientation


If you want high-quality development, you must insist on doing something and not doing something. Zhang Hong believes that automobile companies must adhere to the market-oriented, adhere to in-depth and detailed market research, product planning must adhere to meet market demand as the first element. Change the research and development concept of simply pursuing cars as the ultimate challenge to human beings, abandon the narrow concept of research and development only to meet the pursuit of researchers, and adhere to the concept of technological innovation, green and low-carbon, quality and cost performance are to meet consumer demand. Any research and development results, if can not meet the market demand, have no vitality and can not stand the test of time.


The reality is also the case, the current automobile market is a competitive market, consumer demand is diversified, only understand the market demand, in order to better meet the needs of consumers, improve market share. In order to better meet market demand, automobile companies not only need to do market research, understand consumer needs and preferences, as well as competitors' products and prices and other information. At the same time, automobile companies also need to continue to innovate, introduce new products and technologies that meet market demand, improve product quality and added value, and enhance brand image and reputation.


In addition, automobile companies also need to strengthen cooperation with suppliers, dealers and other partners, establish a stable supply chain and sales channels, improve production and sales efficiency, reduce costs and risks. Because the needs and interests of partners can not be ignored.


In the case of the rapid development of Chinese automobile overseas market, the demand of overseas market also needs to be paid attention to. Among the many Chinese auto companies, Chery is one of the more successful companies in overseas markets. When summarizing Chery's overseas market experience, the person in charge of the relevant department of Chery said that, first of all, Chery's foreign partners began to make corresponding selection very early, and high-quality channels were built relatively early; Secondly, it has national confidence in foreign countries. The terminal price of Chery cars in overseas markets is much higher than that in China. Good quality and brand can support higher prices, and Chery has made effective practices in this regard. Finally, the individual needs of different countries to be met, the same Jetway X70, get the Middle East version and the Russian version is actually not the same. According to the user needs, geographical environment, price tolerance in different regions of the world, Chery has done a comprehensive and in-depth research, and the products can meet the local needs.


Create a clean and positive competitive environment


The development of any industry requires a clean and positive competitive environment. Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary-general of the China Electric Vehicle 100 Association, said: "We should use our behavior and thinking on how to create higher quality, more objective, more meaningful products and things, and this' volume 'is desirable." If it is to do some non-gentleman behavior, to enhance the so-called competitiveness, it can not be 'rolled', we must 'roll' good, not 'roll' bad."


Objectively speaking, the current grandiose and even vicious competition in the automobile industry is some serious, "far ahead, steady, the first, the only, the best" has become the common language of car executives, and often on the social platform, "throw shoes" to each other. Admittedly, some places may be ahead, but not by that much, and some are playing word games, setting various restrictions, to get N number one, but in fact, they are just kidding themselves.


In addition, on the major platforms, the water army of some car companies also appears in the comments area of competitors at any time, carrying out wanton smears and rumors, so that some car companies are unable to bear the disturbance and choose to take up legal weapons to defend their rights.


It has to be said that the current competitive environment has indeed changed. On the one hand, it is really necessary to resolutely resist unfair competition. Every participant in the automobile industry must have a sense of the bottom line, adhere to long-term values, and refuse to be impetuous. On the other hand, it is also necessary to adapt to the current competitive environment, especially the executives of some traditional car companies, can not only complete those step-by-step work, to keep up with the trend of The Times.
Some analysts believe that in the future, car companies will be divided into three classes: the third class, will build cars; The second class, will build cars + with car mobile phone


Internet enterprises; First, will build a car + with car mobile phone Internet + "first hand" will give a speech. The emotional value of automobile products used to mainly come from the design of the product itself, and later must be added to the emotional and emotional value given by the communication of automobile companies. Although such an analysis is somewhat subjective, it has to be admitted that the requirements for enterprises and core teams will be higher, the survival of the fittest, and those who will not fight under the new normal will be ruthlessly eliminated.


In 2024, it will not be easier than 2023, but it will be more hopeful than 2023, and I hope that the entire Chinese auto industry will bathe in the sunshine.


China Automotive News, January 9, 2024