2023, who is the big winner - four dimensions to see the good news of car companies


Shi Yunyun


Just after 2023, many car companies rushed to release the annual sales data. Among them, BYD exceeded the sales target set at the beginning of the year, reaching 3.02 million; Saic Motor Group sold 1.123 million new energy vehicles in the year, hitting a record high. The cumulative annual sales volume of Geely Auto was 1.686,500, also exceeding the annual sales target; In overseas markets, Great Wall Motor and Changan Automobile also performed impressively, with annual exports reaching 310,000 and 230,000 units respectively. In addition to independent brands, joint venture brands and foreign brands such as FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC Volkswagen and Tesla have also released their market achievements in the past year. It is not difficult to see that in the 2023 "war report" released by various car companies, words such as "record high", "record" and "over-completion" frequently appear, fully demonstrating that in the context of economic recovery and market recovery, the automotive industry has entered a new stage of development, and has shown new characteristics different from the past.


The target completion rate of 1/3 car companies is hard to hand in the exam


Although most car companies have achieved the best results in history in terms of the current sales data, if the actual sales are compared with the targets set at the beginning of the year, the targets are still only a few. Of the 14 companies counted, five achieved their annual targets.


Although the highest sales of new energy vehicles in 2023 is BYD, which can be called a clean ride, but it is the ideal car that exceeds the target. Official data show that in 2023, a total of 370,000 ideal cars were delivered, an increase of 182.2%, exceeding the annual target of 300,000 vehicles, and the completion degree was as high as 125%. Even more gratifying, last month Ideal car sales exceeded the 50,000 mark for the first time, and it is no wonder that Ideal Car chairman and CEO Li Xiang said in his Weibo post on the first day of the New Year: "In 2023, in addition to thanks, we are still grateful."


Although the completion rate is less than ideal, BYD's annual sales of 3.02 million vehicles in 2023 is not only the highest level in BYD's history, but also the first time that the sales of China's own brands exceeded the sum of the north and south of the public, sitting on the throne of champion. It is worth mentioning that the achievement of 3 million vehicles also allows BYD to surpass Suzuki and become the ninth largest car company in the world.


When it comes to completion rates, there is one car company that ranks ahead of BYD, that is Geely. In 2023, Geely Auto delivered 1.686 million vehicles in the whole year, an increase of about 18%, to nearly 1.69 million, exceeding the annual sales target of 1.65 million units set at the beginning of 2023, with a completion rate of 102%. Somewhat unexpectedly, LAN Map also reached the standard in the last month, delivering 10017 new cars in the month, and a total of 50,552 for the year, an increase of 160%, a little more than the target set at the beginning of the year - 50,000 vehicles. Another company that has hit the mark is Tesla.


Of course, although many car companies have achieved sales growth, they have not completed the goal set at the beginning of the year: NIO delivered 160,000 vehicles in the year, an increase of 30.7%, but the target completion rate is only 65.3%; The annual sales volume of zero Run was 144,000 vehicles, an increase of nearly 30%, and the target completion rate was 72%; The annual sales volume of Changan Automobile was 2.55 million, and the target completion rate was 91%; Chery's cumulative sales volume in 2023 was about 1.9 million, and the group's revenue exceeded 300 billion yuan for the first time, but it did not complete the target of 2 million units set at the beginning of the year. Even GAC Aeon, whose annual sales growth was 77 per cent, second only to BYD and Tesla in total sales, missed its target completion rate by a little. Coupled with some car companies that have not released their annual sales results, on the whole, the final sales performance in 2023 is less than their expectations at the beginning of the year.


Autonomous high-end price for volume works


Brand high-end has become the development trend of new energy vehicles, however, under the increasingly fierce competition, some independent high-end brands can not carry, have to use the way of price reduction to seek sales growth.


In mid-2023, while polar Fox Alpha dropped 100,000 yuan, it also opened the first "full refund for old owners" in the industry; LAN map Chaser released a benefit, that is, the value of 72,000 yuan of optional packages limited to 0 yuan to start, the main "entry is the top"; On September 12, AITO's new M7 was officially launched, with a starting price of 249,800 yuan, which was 70,000 yuan lower than the starting price of 319,800 yuan for the M7 in July 2022. At the end of September, Denza announced that ordering Denza N7 can enjoy a deposit of 2000 yuan to deduct the subsidy of 22,000 yuan for the car, which is equivalent to a disguised price reduction of 20,000 yuan for Denza N7, and the starting price of Denza N7 after the discount is as low as 281,800 yuan; In late October, polar Krypton opened a limited-time preferential code, as the sales of polar Krypton 001 the highest price cut 37,000 yuan, the starting price directly came to 269,000 yuan.


Although the industry believes that the simple price competition strategy is not a long-term solution, although the short-term sharp price reduction has brought a surge in sales, but in the long run, for the car companies themselves, the brand, the market and other aspects will form harm. The person even bluntly said that compared with the damage to brand value brought by price cuts, the benefits brought by the pursuit of sales in a short period of time may be even less worth mentioning. But objectively speaking, price for volume does work.


The official data that has been released shows that the cumulative delivery of polar Krypton in 2023 reached 118,000 vehicles, an increase of 65%; Polar Fox annual sales of 30,000 units, an increase of 138%; Zhiji finally jumped over the 10,000 mark in December, reaching 10,412, and the total annual sales of 38,253 vehicles, an increase of 665%. Of course, such good results are not necessarily attributed to the "price reduction", and the company's product creation and competitiveness are closely related, but the price reduction does play a role in pushing it to a certain extent.


Cao Guangping, an independent researcher of new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, pointed out that car companies should mainly work hard in technological innovation, technological cost reduction and technological application, after the "price war", rely on management transformation to turn the "price war" into a "technological war", "innovation war" and "hematopoietic war" to achieve the final victory. Only to fight product propaganda war, service consumption war, configuration stacking war will not play a fundamental role.


Second-tier new forces ask the world, zero run is a "dark horse"


In the 2023 sales list, there are some automobile companies that are not currently ranked too high, but with full "momentum", which are worth attention and expectation.
On December 24, 2023, Zero Run cars ushered in the eighth anniversary, and the cumulative delivery exceeded 300,000 vehicles. The company delivered 18,618 vehicles in December, up 119 per cent from a year earlier, according to official data. The total delivery of 140,000 vehicles in the year, an increase of more than 29%, has surpassed Xiaopeng Motor. The reason may be more due to the release of a number of extender-range models in 2023, and the sales of the C series gradually let the zero run get rid of its dependence on low-end models. Facing the future, after the establishment of cooperation with Stellantis Group, the curtain of zero running cars "going to sea" has also been opened.
At the end of 2023, the new energy vehicle market rushed out of a "dark horse" - ask the world. A total of 24,468 new cars were delivered in December, bringing the total for the year to 94,380. It is regrettable that most of the more than 90,000 cars are contributed in the last three months, especially the new M7 sales are soaring.


On January 1, Deep Blue Automobile announced the latest data, the delivery of 18,338 vehicles in December last year; In 2023, 136,912 vehicles were sold. Up to now, the cumulative delivery of Deep Blue SL03 has exceeded 100,000 vehicles, and the cumulative delivery of Deep Blue S7 has exceeded 50,000 vehicles. According to Deng Chenghao, vice president of Changan Automobile and CEO of Shenlan Automobile, the actual delivery of Shenlan S7 has reached nearly 60,000 units. Although Deep Blue did not complete the goal set at the beginning of the year, since 2023 is almost the year of Deep Blue's inspiration, it is not easy to achieve such results. It is worth noting that the first overseas store of the Deep Blue brand has recently opened in Thailand, and its globalization process is also accelerating.


From the trend and changes of the new forces of car manufacturing in recent years, it can be seen that the new energy vehicle market pattern has not been completely fixed, and the strong second-line new forces with "lasting strength" are fully hopeful of exceeding the current "first-line", and now some new forces may also be "left behind" because of mistakes or lack of competitiveness. Who the "winner" will be in 2024 is far from certain.


The slow transformation of joint venture brands does not mean that they live poorly


In these two years, the industry has a common feeling: the days of joint venture brands are getting more and more "difficult", but in fact, there are not a few joint venture brands that perform well in the market in 2023.


Among them, Toyota claims to be the only mainstream Japanese joint venture brand to achieve positive growth. In 2023, FAW Toyota's new car retail volume was 800,000, hybrid models achieved 27% year-on-year growth, and new energy vehicles grew 187% year-on-year. According to data released by FAW-Volkswagen, the terminal sales volume in 2023 was 1.91 million units (including imported Audi cars), an increase of 4.8%. Its three major brands have achieved year-on-year growth, of which, the Volkswagen brand terminal sales of 1.05 million, a slight increase; The Audi brand sold 698,200 vehicles, an increase of 9.8%. The Jetta grew by more than double digits, reaching 10.3% and selling 162,000 units for the year. In 2023, SAIC Volkswagen took ID.3 as the key anchor point, and the sales volume of ID. family was overwhelming, selling for six consecutive months, selling 109,700 vehicles for the year, and the cumulative sales volume exceeded 220,000 vehicles.


Although the joint venture brand electric transformation is slower, but still have some advantages, such as they are more competitive in the fuel vehicle market, more profitable, can continue to "blood transfusion" for the new energy vehicle sector; Multinational car companies have been established for a longer time, have a deep technical foundation and heritage, and can not be underestimated after truly making force in the field of new energy and intelligent network connection. Therefore, independent brands still need to strengthen their existing advantages and consolidate their market position.


China Automotive News, January 12, 2024