Those young people who left Weilai

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Future automobile Daily
Author | Cheng Xiaoyi
Editor | Wu Yan
In late July, on the day Wang Le left, Weilai was no longer recruited to Beijing, and more people went through the formalities than usual. The formalities went so fast that she was still reluctant to part with them. But when she got her exit certificate, she felt “free” for a moment.
Since the founder and chairman of Weilai, Li Bin, announced in an internal letter in March that the last phase-out system would be launched, the haze of layoffs has been hanging over the most well-known new car-making force, and on the minds of every employee who leaves or intends to leave. In addition to the news of the split-up of NIO Power’s independent financing of hematopoiesis and the sale of FE racing teams, there are signs that the company, which is willing to throw thousands of dollars for its users, has no money.
For a while, innumerable kinds of speculation flooded into this “only four-year-old child”, many of them questioned and sang. In order to find out the answer, we talked with the young people who left Weilai.
“Pull data, see performance, layoffs are irregular.” Wang Le told Future Automobile Daily (ID: auto-time). Some people uneasily predict that the proportion of optimization will reach about 30%. Some people feel that the proper survival of the fittest is not a good thing for the company, and others. But they almost agreed that “Li Bin is a good man”.
Friends HR is ready to dig, because “Li Binzhao’s people are very strong, Weilai’s overall quality is good”. A year or two ago, she stretched out olive branches more than once to Weilai employees, but could not dig them out at all. “They all think Weilai can succeed. Everyone wants to bet on it.”
“Starting a business is a life-long business, not to mention the money-burning business of building a car.” Wang Le left Weilai, but she always believed that it was a great company and appreciated this life experience.
It’s not a story of broken dreams, it’s about choice and new life. Some people are heading for a new future, while others continue to adhere to their ideals.
For them, there is still a long way to go.
01
“At that time, we were so ambitious that we thought Weilai was the Tesla of China.”
From Weilai to another new car-making force, I am very sad to see you all being silly and full of fantastic self-confidence. It reminds me of my first visit to Ulai. Everyone is enthusiastic and energetic, but they just don’t know what to do.
That was in 2017, when I left the traditional car giant I was tired of, and thought of Internet companies to see, it happened that Weilai boasted to be a “revolutionary”.
I was interviewed by an Internet man who pretended to know the car very well, but he was very pale in front of me. I joked that for the first time I met such a serious person who didn’t understand cars. At that time, Weilai was expanding rapidly, digging a lot of people with car background from Volkswagen, Chrysler and Guanzhi in one breath. I met many former colleagues in Weilai.
These Internet people are naive, but naive people are the most vulnerable to combat.
When Weilai held the first NIO Day at Wukesong Sports Center, the audience bought cars like mobile phones, tens of thousands of orders in a few minutes, and even the backstage order system was blown up. That craziness is hard to imagine. Investors lined up to invest in Weilai, and trustees wanted to invest in the relationship. At that time, the initiative was in Weilai’s hands, and only when the name of the institution was well-known could they invest in it.
Sometimes the rhythm of work is 996, but in a state where self-perception can change the world, it doesn’t feel hard at all. In our spare time, we chat about when our share price will surpass Tesla’s and when we will sell our car abroad. Although the freedom of wealth has not been realized in Weilai, I think Weilai was the most interesting company in the whole market at that time. It was a very interesting experience.
At that time, we were so ambitious that we thought this was Tesla of China, even surpassing Tesla.
It was a very exciting time, but unfortunately this excitement lasted only until the end of last year. After the first wave of delivery, the blue screen, out of control, poor quality and so on Tucao surged. Later, everyone panicked. Why don’t users buy it?
Objectively speaking, Weilai’s ability and strength to build a brand are comparable to none of the mainframe factories in China, which can be said to have achieved 100% in the first half.
Weilai has a saying that it is silly to be good to users, but it is more exaggerated to fall into the executive level. In the center of Shanghai, a large shop was opened, and the largest number of customers in the shop was the big uncle who blows air conditioners. Events are especially willing to spend money, so that users feel that you are not silly, and send this and that. The problem is that these activities seem lively, but they do not actually help the core business of car sales.
Were it not for the rotten car, Weilai would really have a chance.
Most of the first car owners in Weilai had two cars at home, which they bought to play with. But if we really want to come up with a walker, what we are concerned about will be very comprehensive and pragmatic. Ulai Xuesla does not learn the core battery management, as if you follow the bully, do not learn from others, learn from others to drink and pick up girls, a test will be foolish. The coffee in NIO House has more flowers. What’s the use?
For Weilai’s internal “fighting wit and fighting bravery”, we have a word called “811”. There are 10 entrepreneurs out of 100, 80 onlookers, 10 troublemakers, lies and office politics. To put it bluntly, this is called layman leadership expert. The attitudes of the top management to many things determine the genetics of the whole company.
Sometimes I feel very sad about Li Bin. He knows what the problem is, but he’s an Internet company and doesn’t know how to solve it.
Li Bin is a good man. Weilai gives employees one grade more space and pay than many traditional host factories. Each employee has a travel fund of 3,400 yuan per year, which is dedicated to the special purpose. It is almost as good to employees as a fool. As an enterprise, Weilai is a good company for its employees. But the whole business model is unsuccessful, the product is unsuccessful, this can not be done.
Later, Weilai had no money, no one could find anyone to look for investment institutions, and the welfare became worse. First, the restriction on domestic tourism was imposed. By the end of last year, the Tourism Fund had been cancelled. What we are discussing is that we are going to lay off employees this month. Do we have any money to pay next month?

In the second half of last year, many enterprises in all walks of life went crazy to dig for the people who came here. Even Starbucks was digging for them, and they thought that Weilai was a treasure. During that time, many of Weilai’s colleagues left, some went to the Internet industry, some returned to the mainframe factory, Xiaopeng, the future, Tesla, Achievement, the management of these major new automobile-making forces, and many of my former colleagues in Weilai.
I think it’s a pity. If you change companies, you will find that they are still copying, and they are very clumsy. But I still advise the people in my team that they can leave early because the market is not good, otherwise they will have to grab jobs with those who have been laid off by other companies. Weilai is not bad. Many companies in the market do not lay off their employees and directly owe you salary until you can’t stand leaving.
There is a saying in the industry that “Weilai has no future, and the future has no future.” I think it’s quite right. In the new forces of car-making, none of my personal favorites. Every family is very high, but by the end of this year it’s time to shuffle the cards. I believe Weilai will survive, but it is likely to be acquired.
02
“A generation will eventually grow old, but there will always be young people.”
Do you watch “Summer of the Band”? When Weilai came, we occasionally watched the program together. I watched it cry several times.
Those older musicians, the songs they sing are our stories, our times. I used to say that it would be better after 2000, but I didn’t expect that the quality of life would be better after 2000, but I wasn’t happier.
In fact, at my age, money is not so important, the key is really want to do something. In my last job, I went to work on time every day in a big Internet factory, and handed in the demand on time. I felt very bored. I didn’t want to make a screw like that, so I resigned naked. Weilai in 2016 is just a small, unknown company, but I met Zhuangli, former vice president of Weilai Software Development (China).
She’s my interviewer, serious and serious, but when I open my mouth, I can feel that she’s a very professional person. At that time, she said that Weilai will go public in the future, we can do something different together, which is also in line with my career planning at that time. So I followed her heart and soul.
She’s a “terrible” boss, but she’s also a good boss. She is very strict with her work, but any good opportunities or benefits will actively help us fight for. Although I don’t usually have much private contact, I can feel that she is sincere to us.
However, working in Weilai is not as good as you think. I went to work before 11 o’clock and sat in front of the computer day after day. And my department has no voice, and I feel like a tool and a puppet being pushed along.
There is a popular phrase called “PPT makes cars”. Weilai also has this problem. Because of the redundancy of personnel and overlapping business, people want to take advantage of the work, and people who do PPT beautifully are more popular than people who work hard.
This may be determined by the style of company leaders. Sometimes, I feel tired for Li Bin because he is too responsible and has all kinds of management. From the company’s future prospects to product details, even the font and size of the poster have to be self-timed. The people below do not have decision-making power and dare not make judgments, as long as they listen to the boss to implement it. But in fact, we all want to do our best to do a good job.
Li Bin is very charismatic, but he is not suitable for car building and car selling.
Weilai spent hundreds of millions of yuan on user operations and stores, saying that the Frank point is to flatter users, but did not want to use this money to polish products. In fact, users don’t care how well you flatter them. They care about product strength, car quality and safety.
The reason why new cars are so difficult is because the accumulation of technology is very important. Traditional automobile enterprises have studied for decades. The model has been very mature. How many years has it been newly built? Unlike 3C digital products, cars can be bought for thousands of dollars to try. More than 400,000 yuan for an electric car, most people have difficulty in this financial resources, just to taste the fresh car. After staying in Weilai for a long time, I even think that electric cars are a false proposition. Can you tell me where an electric car is better than a fuel car? I’m not going to buy an electric car myself.
I came because Chuang Li joined Weiwei and eventually left because of Chuang Li.
After Chuang Li left, Weilai’s R&D Department fell into a situation of no leader. The core of technology is gone. Later, although the leaders responsible for R&D have also done technology, they mainly think about products, regardless of practicability. It’s a pity that Weilai’s system is not working well all the time, but it won’t be any better in the future because nobody really understands it.
Leaving Weilai, I want to do something I like.
Although I am not young, I always feel that I have many possibilities. In fact, I never liked computers when I was young. I always wanted to learn literature. Unfortunately, I have forgotten to write articles for many years. Now I’d like to try a sales position and experience a different life.
There are still infinite possibilities in life, just like the words of the hedgehog band left behind by Johnny before her departure, “A generation will eventually grow old, but someone will always be young.”
03
“There are some things you can’t copy, that’s the core competitiveness of the enterprise.”
After a year in office, I resolutely reduced my salary and returned to the Internet industry.
From getting the offer to officially offering to leave, I thought about it for five months, but still seized the last chance. Weilai is not a state-owned enterprise. What should we do when we are old and unemployed? After all, there are few new car makers, or Internet companies have more opportunities.
The last company I worked in had a chaotic team. It was Chuang Li who dug me up. Colleagues are familiar with the people, the treatment, options are also good, the company listed in Beijing to pay a down payment for a house should not be a problem. But I don’t have any feelings about car making, and I don’t plan to stay in Ulai for a long time. I just want to find a job to earn money to support my family.
Actually, I never thought options were important. Isn’t that just for the sake of circle? At that time, everyone in Weilai owned stocks and basically had options before 2017. I was not the founder or senior, and having options did not mean that I could realize wealth freedom. Finally, I ran away before Wei came on the market.

Weilai doesn’t feel like a start-up company. It’s big and has a clear rank. I go to Shanghai on business is also the company to manage all the itineraries, tickets booked by the company, staying in five-star hotels, 250 yuan a day for meals, as well as transportation subsidies, treatment can be comparable to the Internet factory. At that time, the car was still in the shadows, so the work was very leisure, no one cared when to go or when to leave, just finish the work, the atmosphere is very similar to foreign enterprises.
But after a few weeks, I began to feel crisis. What I’m doing in Weiwei has no technical content, and the demand for products is not clear. On one occasion, the product patted its head and asked me to make a model for predicting the idle time of the user, which destination and time period the user would drive to and where, and then the user could use the automatic subscription function to place an order and automatically add power. I can understand his appeal, and I know that if the car is made, it will surely sell well, but at present people’s behavior can not be predicted, which can not be achieved at all.
There is a gap between the idea of a product and what technology can achieve. Many of the people in charge of the products in Weilai come from traditional automobile companies. They don’t know the Internet or machine learning. They are idealistic. Many things are based on their imagination. It’s difficult to explain why they can’t do them.
For example, we need to make a data model. The product says that I will take nine cars to test on the road tomorrow. But that’s too little. It takes at least a few months to collect data. For example, he thinks it’s OK to sell 1 million cars and take out 10,000 car test data, but how can the 10,000 car data cover 1 million cars? They always say that when we have data, our competitors have already made it, and that’s a missed opportunity. But in fact, they don’t understand the Internet.
In fact, at that time, most Internet users were not very receptive to the new car building. They felt that the technology was not good enough. Many people went to Weilai for Chuang Li. When I interviewed some candidates, I also found that high-quality talents still prefer Baidu and Ali, which are big factories. It is unlikely that they will come.
Personally, I don’t like new cars very much. What are its advantages over traditional cars? I don’t think so. The new car maker is also a digger of traditional car companies, but the core technology can not be digged away.
It is impossible for a car company to follow its parameters. If the new energy car can be made in the future, it is also made by the traditional car companies, and it is not feasible to build cars on the Internet. There are some things that you can’t copy, and those things that you can’t copy are the core competitiveness that sustain the company.
So when I leave, I can’t expect to follow my boss all my life. I still need to have my own plan. What if the boss goes abroad one day or has other ideas? I can’t follow her all the time. It is reasonable that many people who leave Weilai voluntarily return to the Internet. What can you do without going back to the Internet?
04
“I think I can change the world, but I can’t eat my dream.”
In three years, I went to three new car companies, from Tesla to Weilai. If I hadn’t given up, I would have been able to get the ideal high-paying job for automobiles, but I would rather change my industry and start from scratch.
In 2016, out of the worship of Musk, I went to Tesla as a salesman as soon as I graduated. Tesla doesn’t have overtime pay. The Commission for selling an 800,000 yuan car is only 200 yuan, but we often work overtime spontaneously from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Many of Tesla’s employees do not lack money at home. We are not for money, but for dreams.
It’s silly to say that, but then we really felt we could change the world.
Nevertheless, dreams can’t be eaten, and hard work can’t be rewarded with corresponding psychological imbalance. But I didn’t give up the new car-making outlet where capital keeps coming in. Instead, I rolled around and joined Weilai.
Weilai is a company that is very willing to spend money to make friends with users. Many people think that NIO House is a dry burner, but Weilai never feels expensive. The annual rent of NIO House in Wangfujing is 80 million yuan, but the company feels that the spread effect brought by this store is beyond its value, and it can also provide high-quality service for its owners.
My job as a consultant is to help the owner solve the problem in an all-round way. We will try our best to solve any complaints of Weilai users, even if it is just to make you happy.
Every time we sell a car, we will build an exclusive Wechat Cluster for the owner. There are more than a dozen people in the group, from Weilai Consultant, Delivery Officer, Charging and Electricity Officer, Maintenance Officer, Manager and City Supervisor, etc., involving all the people before and after the sale. If the owner has something to do, the group will give feedback quickly.
This means that as many cars as you sell, there will be as many Wechat groups. Weilai consultants can get a service bonus of 100 yuan per group per month. If 300 cars have been sold, the fixed income will be 30,000 yuan per month, plus a base salary and a commission of nearly 50,000 yuan. We don’t need to sell cars anymore, just chat with the owner.
But the job is also very tiring. Weilai Consultant is the first contact point in the group. Others will not respond to the information voluntarily. We have to deal with the size and size of the matter, and we have to stand by 24 hours, and return to the owner’s demand in seconds. Think about it. Suppose you have to talk to 20 or even 50 people every day to say goodnight. Can you be busy?
Since this year, the company’s layoffs have spread to charging, power-up, maintenance and other departments. After the layoffs, the staff is not enough, resulting in the service can not keep up. Users complain one after another, but ultimately they can only accept the reality. What can we do if we are too busy? The company can’t go bankrupt. If the brand goes bankrupt, there will be no one to serve.
Among the three car companies, I still like Weilai. Although I have no direct contact with Li Bin, he will personally come over for offline activities and actively solve problems online. I think he’s a good boss who is willing to do practical things, brave and resourceful. It is also because of him that Weilai has done a good job in the new forces of car-making, and has innovated on the basis of imitating Tesla.
Unfortunately, Weilai has not found a sustainable profit model. It’s impossible to make money by selling cars, because sales are too small; it’s unreliable to rely on services, because the cost is too high. Everyone is pushing Weilai for success. It has no choice but to cut expenses and sell more cars. This is also the fuse of this year’s layoffs and spontaneous recalls.

I left Weilai because I lost confidence in the automotive sales industry. Although I am valuable in this industry, it is difficult to find other opportunities when I go out. Even if five or ten years later I was promoted to the rank of director or even VP, what would I do if the industry collapsed or the company went bankrupt?
I haven’t taken the initiative to find a job yet, because I don’t know which industry I should look for. I want to learn the real skills in the next company to make myself more valuable and scarce, even if the salary is not high. But I hope that in three years, I can go to Tencent confidently, instead of worrying about Tencent rejecting me and not seeing me.
It’s also my fault. If I hadn’t left Tesla, I would be fine now.
05
“If Li Bin does other things, I’m willing to follow him with all my might.”
After joining Weilai, I have been working very closely with Li Bin for a long time. I witnessed with my own eyes that Li Bin actually paid a lot for Weilai.
In order to devote most of his energy to Weilai headquarters in Shanghai, he resigned his post as CEO of Changche and went back to Beijing to look after his children from two weekends to one day a week or even two weeks before returning home. On one occasion, his wife hosted an event in Hangzhou and asked him to have dinner in Shanghai. They all went to the restaurant to order good food. Finally, Li Bin failed to make an appointment because of the meeting. Another year and a year later, the company colleagues worried that he was too tight, must pull him to Northeast skiing to relax. But there was a slight problem with the company’s pre-order system. As a result, he came back after only half a day’s vacation.
He said to be silly to the user good, really very sincere.
I remember a car show where he delayed his previous appointment for an interview and seven or eight mainstream media waited for him for more than an hour. I looked for him everywhere and found him outside the exhibition hall dealing with the user queuing for a box lunch. Because he feels that this experience is not good enough to solve the problem of eating for users, he has been maintaining order outside and must be solved before leaving.
Weilai ES8 will decline even more in winter. He went to four provinces in the north this Spring Festival, one by one, to learn the real feedback from users, hoping to seek their understanding.
Over the past three years, Li Bin has grown old visibly, from “little fresh meat” to “old bacon”, with his face plummeting, but his optimism and appeal are still there.
Once everyone was in the conference room discussing the problems facing the company. Everyone was very frustrated, but when he pushed the door in, he felt that the whole room was lit up. His voice was very loud. At that time, people felt that the difficulties at hand were nothing. We should jump out and continue to work hard towards our ultimate mission and regain confidence. He does have extraordinary abilities to motivate others.
But entrepreneurship is too difficult, it can be said that nine deaths, automobile is the most difficult of all entrepreneurship projects. The setbacks Tesla and Musk have experienced have always been there.
Like a cook, when you actually cook that dish, you will find that the actual cooking process is very difficult. Compared with Lexin automobile in that year, the public opinion environment that Weilai faced was not good. The media and the public tend to be cautious, conservative and even negative about the failure of Le Video cars. It not only has to go through every obstacle in the development of enterprises, but also has to shoulder external doubts.
So I always say that these people who have suffered too much should be given more patience and time, instead of judging them by their current results.
I never thought I would join the company before I came to Weiwei. I used to work in a traditional host factory. I came to Weilai for an interview with a totally communicative mentality. I was just curious about the difference in concept and style of action between Internet car building and traditional host factory. But in that interview, I was touched by three very sincere answers from line leaders, department heads and HR. Before I got out of the company after the interview, the headhunter told me that I was ready to offer. In Weilai, I have learned a lot from Li Bin and company culture.
I am a very curious person, leaving Weilai is also to want to go to new fields, try what others have not done. But if Li Bin does other things in the future, I will still be willing to follow him and help him realize his ideal.
(At the request of the respondents, all the characters in this article are aliases except Li Bin and Chuang Li)