Zihui venture capital Zheng Gang: China’s richest new car maker in mass production


Welcome to the wechat subscription number of “chuangshiji”: sinachungshiji
By Yang Xiaohe
Source: Tech planet (ID: tech618)
Just last night, “Iron Man” Elon Musk officially replaced Jeff Bezos as the new richest man in the world.
The founder of smart car enterprises surpasses the value of the founder of Internet e-commerce platform. “This is a new era, and this is the biggest historical opportunity in nearly 30 years.” Zheng Gang, founder of Zihui venture capital, who is now building cars in the United States, told tech planet (wechat ID: tech618) that the translocation of the richest man is a new era node.
In 2020, Tesla’s market value soared by about 700%. By the end of January 7, 2021, Tesla’s share price rose by 7%, reaching a market value of $773.5 billion. Musk, CEO of Tesla, has a net asset of $188.5 billion, which is $1.5 billion more than that of Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Musk, who has become the richest man, says “it’s strange” and “go back to work”.
Different from Musk’s calmness, it was earlier for him to be a deity in China.
In 2014, Tesla entered China, including Cao Guowei, CEO of sina, Li Xiang, President of auto home, and Zheng Gang, founder of Zihui venture capital, who has invested in Momo and hammer technology. A lot of big men in China have become fans in front of musk.
“I was very excited at that time, because you knew that electric vehicles must be the future.” Zheng Gang recalled that at the car delivery ceremony, he took the initiative to ask for a photo with musk, but he did not expect that musk would become the richest man in the world so soon.
In fact, there is no smooth road for the new car building forces. No one can foresee the current prosperity of the new car building forces. 2017-2019 is the darkest time for Tesla. During the difficult mass production process, musk came up with the idea of selling Tesla to apple, but Apple CEO cook didn’t even meet with him.
And the domestic new energy vehicle industry also fell to the bottom in 2019. The first listed new power of Internet car making is Weilai. Because the 10 billion investment of Yizhuang Guotou has not been realized, the stock price of Weilai has dropped as low as $1.19. Li Xiang, the founder of ideal automobile, also felt helpless to the pressure of its strong enemy Tesla: “Tesla runs over everyone!”
In 2020, the industry will usher in a turnaround, and the sales volume of new energy vehicles hit by the epidemic will be 1.8 million, with a year-on-year increase of about 40%. Affected by the booming production and marketing, the market value of Weilai, ideal and Xiaopeng is rising. The time has come to the beginning of 2021. Tesla’s Shanghai Super factory has begun to gain momentum. The maximum price reduction of model y is 160000, which makes the new forces of domestic car manufacturing feel the pressure of “price war”.
In 2021, will the new car industry copy the craziness of 2020? How to deal with domestic new energy vehicles when Tesla continues to reduce prices? What’s the real situation of Evergrande and Jia Yueting’s car making? Where is the technological evolution trend of the new car making forces? What’s the progress of Zheng Gang’s new energy vehicles? In response to these problems, tech star conducted an exclusive interview with Zheng Gang, founder of Zihui venture capital.
Making cars is a historic opportunity for this generation
Tech Planet: in 2020, the share prices of new car manufacturers have risen a lot. Have you bought the shares of Tesla or domestic new energy vehicles? Do you make a lot of money?
Zheng Gang: during the epidemic last year, when the global stock market fell sharply, when Tesla’s stock was more than $300, I bought some shares of Tesla and earned about 10 times. This has something to do with belief and cognition, because from the beginning to the end, I firmly believe in the pure electric vehicle industry led by Tesla. Because of the entrepreneurial relationship, I basically don’t play with stocks. To be honest, if I really want to make money and use the entrepreneurial money to buy Tesla stocks, the return on investment will be faster and more direct.
Tech Planet: how to look at the difference between making money through investment and making money through car building.
Zheng Gang: for a long time, car makers have been looked very much like by others. It’s what Zhang Ying said: “the money earned by chance is spent wisely.”. But in fact, the essence of smart money is how to put the money earned by chance into the places that others don’t understand and miss, and turn the uncertainty into the opportunity of certainty, so as to create value and make money. When it comes to the recycling of cars, there is a lot of pressure and anxiety every day. This is a process that we are ready to go through from the beginning. We are in pain and happy. That’s it.
Tech Planet: it has been reported that your first new car is a pickup truck. Will the new car be extended to SUV and sedan in the future?
Zheng Gang: pick ups are also passenger cars. They are mainstream models in the U.S. market. Our benchmarking company is only a little ahead of us at present. There is a huge market space. At the end of next year, we will first mass produce an SUV in China, which will be compared with model y. this time, the price reduction of model y has caused a great shock to the market. I believe our new cars will also have a big shock from all sides.
Tech Planet: Recently, the highest price reduction of domestic model y is 160000. Tesla has taken the initiative to compete for the cost advantage. What do you think of the impact on the new energy vehicle market?
Zheng Gang: I think that whether it’s brand competition, manufacturing technology competition, or auto driving / intelligent competition, cost performance, after-sales and user use costs, there are many aspects that can form differentiated competition. At present, the competition of pure electric vehicles is far from the level of price war. Compared with the price reduction of other electric vehicles, it is too early to deduce the conclusion of price war. Last year, pure electric vehicles accounted for less than 5% of the overall market. There was still a lot of room for differentiation. There was a lot of room for growth and stock development. Price was not the only factor affecting the pattern.
Tech Planet: Tesla’s price cut is so sharp that it may drop even this year. Can domestic new energy vehicles hold up?
Zheng Gang: no problem at all. The market is too big. Users have many factors to consider in choosing new energy vehicles, such as service, quality, interior, endurance, safety, etc. Tesla has a minimalist interior style, which many Chinese people don’t like.

Although I still drive Tesla, what do you say I like about it? It must not be the interior. I have lived in the United States for so many years before, and I know why Americans can accept the cool style of Tesla. However, because I am still Chinese, I still don’t like his interior. I prefer the interior of domestic new energy vehicles, such as Weilai, Xiaopeng, ideal and BYD. So I think the competitiveness of the new force of domestic car manufacturing is still very strong. On the road of intellectualization and humanization, although there is a long way to go, it is far from the conclusion that it can not be carried.
The understanding of products, the understanding of users and the requirements of after-sales service, I think our local enterprises must have advantages. It is difficult to make clear the pattern of domestic new energy vehicle industry within 10 to 15 years.
Tech Planet: Recently, Foxconn invested in Bayern, which almost went bankrupt. What do you think of the remaining opportunities in the domestic new energy vehicle market? How many do you think can accommodate at most?
Zheng Gang: I don’t think it’s a problem to accommodate 15-20, because the market is too big and growing at a high speed. Second, new energy vehicles now have a high threshold for entrepreneurship, but I think it is much lower than before.
From the 1960s to the 1990s, there was no new automobile company in the traditional American automobile industry. However, after the appearance of Tesla, new brands of new energy vehicles have sprung up in China and the United States. Although there are some negative reports in the media, it’s normal for thousands of troops to rush in when the disruptive change caused by the killarpp of pure electric vehicles comes. As a result, there are all kinds of people. Look at the various industries swept by the early mobile Internet, which one is not this phenomenon? After that, the market will go through its own waves, leaving some very competitive enterprises. From the perspective of industrial chain cooperation, how difficult it was for Tesla to do everything by itself at the beginning. Now the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain are growing and expanding rapidly. The result of clear division of labor and maturity is to make it easier. But simple things are not easy to do. What the market needs is people with the ability to integrate resources to participate in the opportunities brought about by the great changes of the century.
Therefore, there will be big Mac enterprises in the future, and there will also be many personalized car manufacturers.
Tech Planet: do you still believe that there will be enterprises entering the new energy industry this year, which is the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity in the past 10 years?
Zheng Gang: there will be. Next year and the next. I think it’s one of the biggest opportunities in 30 years. I have another point of view, that is, the emergence of new energy vehicles has broken the century old brand pyramid structure of the automobile industry established by traditional vehicles. There will still be brands, but the competitive elements of the brand are redistributed and redefined. If the traditional BBA do not realize this, it is really hopeless. It is precisely because of this that a great opportunity is given to the new forces of car building.
How good are the new domestic car makers
Tech Planet: Tesla’s Shanghai Super factory has a significant effect on capacity improvement. Xiaopeng has its own factories in Guangzhou and Weilai in Hefei. Do you think super factory will be a trend?
Zheng Gang: I think if it is to reach a certain scale, you must want to have your own factory, so that you can control the whole life cycle of products. If it is OEM, you can do it in the short term, but you will encounter different problems in the long term.
Tech Planet: where is your new car base?
Zheng Gang: first of all, our words will be in China. Now, we may be able to determine it soon.
Tech Planet: how to evaluate Evergrande and Jia Yueting’s car making? Do you think they have a good chance?
Zheng Gang: I know something about Evergrande. I have been to Jia Yueting’s factory several times. Jia Yueting’s car is very good and forward-looking from the product point of view, but the key is that he didn’t play well in this matter. He spared no expense in order to build the car, which is very respectable.
Tech Planet: battery technology is one of the core competitiveness of new energy vehicles. How to evaluate the blade battery?
Zheng Gang: first, the emergence of blade battery is an important innovation, which enables LiFePO4 to have a longer market life, and its comprehensive cost performance is very high. However, what I know is that the blade battery technology is very difficult at this stage, with great challenges and unable to be produced on a large scale, resulting in a serious shortage of production capacity; the prospect of recent breakthroughs is not so optimistic. Recently, I heard that they modularized blade batteries. This “degree of innovation” is not so subversive. Of course, we support all kinds of innovations in the field of new cars.
Tech Planet: Weilai will launch a car on January 9. Are you optimistic about this market?
Zheng Gang: there is a big market for any ground running car to be electric, not to mention that Weilai now wants to enter the mainstream passenger car field of more than 200000 yuan. I estimate that Weilai’s new car will cost about 300000 yuan.
It is said that the new car claims to have a driving range of more than 800 kilometers, which will cause great concern in the market.
Tech Planet: what role will new domestic car manufacturers play in the world in the future? Will musk be the next richest man in China?
Zheng Gang: I think China is destined to be a big consumer of new energy vehicles in the world, more likely to be a superpower supplying the global market. In the future, 80% of the world’s pure electric vehicles will be made in China. Not only because of the cost advantage, but also because of the market advantage, policy advantage and talent advantage. Therefore, there will be the next Tesla and musk in China, and the market competition will be more and more wonderful.
“New Rome” will not follow the old market positioning
Tech Planet: it is said that the market structure of new energy vehicles will be divided into three parts: Tesla dominates the city, BYD dominates the countryside, and the new force of car making is also one pole.
Zheng Gang: now what we are fighting for is the market share of fuel vehicles. Now everyone is doing their own thing. New energy vehicles only account for 5% of the whole market. There are unlimited possibilities for future market changes.
Tech Planet: according to the public opinion, Tesla does not want to be a BBA (Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi), but the next Volkswagen, and the three car makers still want to maintain the BBA’s positioning. What do you think of the positioning of new car makers in the future?

Zheng Gang: we can’t look at Tesla’s products and positioning from a traditional perspective. Now many people are mistaken. In the early days of model s, it was $120000 in the United States. Many people in the United States compared it with the Mercedes Benz S600. Later, the model X was 700000 in China, and then many people went to traditional models such as Audi Q7 for benchmarking. Tesla’s price reduction disrupted the benchmarking system.
Tesla has not positioned its car as a car of a certain brand from the beginning to the end. You have to understand Elon Musk. What he wants to do is change the world. Can being a luxury car change the world? The way to change the world is to let everyone drive an electric car. That’s the way to change the world. If you understand this, you can understand Tesla’s various operations.
The brand of traditional automobile industry for 100 years has been fragmented. It doesn’t matter who is the (New) Mercedes Benz, who is the (New) BMW, or who is driving for rural farmers. In the future, electric vehicles will not be positioned according to this system.
Tech Planet: a new pattern should be formulated by a new leader?
Zheng Gang: Yes, then the so-called brand, the so-called pyramid, the so-called system and coverage are not applicable. Now is the era of intelligence. The electric car has gone beyond the hardware itself. The way you get information and the new way of life are closely related to the new car. This is the greater significance brought by the intelligent car.
Tech Planet: what do you think the competition for new cars in China will be like this year? Can you make a simple prediction.
Zheng Gang: 2020 is the first year of new cars, and 2021 is a year of explosive development. Originally, we think that electric vehicles will replace fuel vehicles to enter the family on a large scale. The time node may be 2025. I think it can be achieved in 2023 or even 2022. This gives a huge opportunity to the new car building forces that have a firm foothold at present. The capital market gives them such a high valuation. I think it is speculation that they can seize the market opportunities in the next three to five years, while traditional cars have no ability to resist.
Of course, there are still some problems. For example, it is difficult and slow to charge new energy vehicles at the present stage, but there are no solutions. We have made a lot of attempts ourselves. In the aspect of charging, we have carried out independent innovation and created new business models to change the problem of charging difficulty. This is also a secret project of ours. Once it is successful, it may bring benefits To promote the development of the whole new energy vehicle industry.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)