Beijing News shell finance Reporter Lin Zi Zhang Bing promised
The competition of new energy vehicles is becoming more and more fierce, and the horn of midfield battle has been sounded.
On January 20, the 20th day of booking, Tesla domestic model y was delivered to consumers in Beijing Tesla Yizhuang delivery center. Model y is the second model produced and delivered by Tesla Shanghai Super factory for Chinese users after model 3.
On the first day of 2021, Tesla dropped a bomb on the car market: the domestic model y started booking, and the price of the model y was significantly reduced on the basis of the previous official website. The starting price of the domestic model y long-range version was 339900 yuan, down 148100 yuan from 488000 yuan; the starting price of the performance high-performance version was 369900 yuan, down 165100 yuan from 535000 yuan.
If the domestic production of model 3 is a preview of Tesla’s breakthrough in the Chinese market, then the domestic model y will be a formal impact launched by Tesla on the new forces of car manufacturing and traditional car companies. In the Chinese market, SUV models are considered more popular by users in the industry.
After the official announcement of the price reduction of domestic model y, the news of Weilai’s unsubscribing tide came out in the market. Although Weilai denied this statement, it is undeniable that the new force of car manufacturing and even the traditional car enterprises will face a greater challenge: when the auto industry is transforming to electric and intelligent, the car enterprises with lower price and strong product strength will have a better chance to win this trillion level cake.
At present, Tesla is the leader of this track. With the help of model 3 and model y, which are more affordable, Tesla delivered nearly 500000 vehicles last year, with a market value of US $690 billion, becoming the world’s highest car company in terms of market value. But at the same time, the new forces of car manufacturing and traditional car enterprises are also seizing the time window of electrification, so as to gain the opportunity for the next stage of car travel reform.
Nowadays, the global automobile pattern is just like when apple and Android mobile phones were born more than ten years ago. No car company hopes to become Nokia, the former mobile phone overlord, and be eliminated by the times.
Tesla made in China model y at the delivery ceremony in Shanghai, January 18, 2021. Picture / IC Photo
Jianzhi SUV, domestic model Y “price reduction”
On the first day of the new year in 2021, model y dropped by more than 100000 yuan, and the market of new energy vehicles was instantly disturbed. However, Tesla does not consider itself a “price cut.”.
On January 18, Tesla replied to the Beijing News reporter, “in fact, this is not a price reduction. The made in China model y launched on the official website this time is the first time that Tesla has announced the price in the Chinese market. Previously, the models displayed on the official website of China were imported models, which were not sold in the Chinese market. Therefore, as a first-time product, model y made in China does not have a price reduction argument. ”
Tesla further said that it not only launched highly disruptive products, but also had its own unique logic and innovation in R & D, design, manufacturing, sales mode and other aspects. In each link, we use the most efficient way to operate, and on the premise of ensuring product quality, we provide consumers with more reasonable price of high-quality products. “Tesla does not do” burn money “marketing activities, but will save unnecessary costs and invest in product quality and quality.”
Although Tesla emphasizes that it is not reducing the price, it is “cheap” for consumers if the price is lower than expected. This price gap has made the domestic model y a “hot spot” in the pure electric vehicle market. Tesla’s official website in China was even paralyzed due to the overload of visits, and the offline experience stores are also crowded.
On January 13, nearly two weeks have passed since the opening of domestic Tesla Model y reservation. Beijing News reporter saw in Beijing Tesla experience store that even on weekdays, consumers came to consult model y one after another.
“There are fewer salesmen in the store today, so I can’t receive them.” A staff member in the experience center said that the order for model y now will not be delivered until April or may. “Although model y and model 3 share the same platform and share 75% of the parts, many consumers directly place orders online without seeing the real car of model y, so the delivery time has been extended.”
The staff of Tesla experience store also introduced that by analyzing the orders of model y, it was found that most of the consumers who ordered were concentrated in the third and fourth tier cities, and “consumers in Beijing are more inclined to buy model 3”. As for the price of domestic model y, the above staff members believe that “(model y) may continue to drop as model 3 did before. Maybe in the next year or two, it will drop by 10000 yuan or 20000 yuan. ”
After the price adjustment of domestic model y, the market of new energy vehicles and even traditional vehicles has been shaken. Compared with model 3, model y has more space, and SUVs are more popular in the Chinese market. From the price point of view, the price range of 339900-369900 yuan determined by model y is close to ES6, ec6 and ideal one of Weilai, and lower than the fuel vehicles of Mercedes Benz GLC, BMW X3, Audi q5l and other luxury brands, which gives consumers with car demand more choices.
Cui Dongshu, Secretary General of the national passenger car market information association, believes that after the price reduction, the competitive price relationship between domestic model y and Audi Q5, Mercedes Benz GLC and BMW X3 should be significantly reversed, and the price of model y has certain advantages, which will win over the purchasing enthusiasm of more luxury car consumers. “Especially in mega cities, model y will have a better performance due to the advantages of the license plate.”
Referring to the performance of domestic model 3, the sales volume of domestic model y is more optimistic. Last year, Tesla delivered nearly 500000 vehicles in the global market, of which, in the Chinese market, it sold more than 100000 vehicles only with the domestic model 3.
CITIC Securities pointed out in the research report that the price reduction of domestic model y has exceeded the market expectation, and the price has been lower than that of BBA fuel vehicles of the same level. It is estimated that the sales volume in China in 2021 is expected to exceed 180000, and the medium and long-term steady-state sales volume is expected to exceed 400000.
Recently, Mr. Ma, who has a car purchase plan, told shell financial reporters that he had always been inclined to buy fuel vehicles because of “mileage anxiety”. However, as more and more car companies launch long-term products, he began to consider choosing new energy SUVs. “Of course, Tesla must be the first choice. Weilai and Xiaopeng are also under consideration. Weilai can still enjoy subsidies at present, and it has a certain advantage in price.”
How does Tesla play the role of “price butcher” again and deal with the new car making forces?
At the same time of launching the domestic model y, Tesla China will also take the model 3 with long endurance off the shelf. At present, only the standard endurance upgrade and the performance high-performance version are left. The price of the high-performance version has dropped from 419000 yuan to 339900 yuan, which is the same as the starting price of the domestic model y.
It is expected that the price reduction of model 3 and the launch of model y will force new car makers to follow up the price reduction. However, at present, the new forces of car making have no obvious action, and Weilai automobile and Xiaopeng automobile have made public their position respectively, not believing that Tesla’s price reduction will have a greater impact on them.
Li Bin, founder and chairman of Weilai automobile, said in an exclusive interview with Beijing news that “the price reduction strategy is not suitable for Weilai”. He further explained that the positioning and route of each enterprise are different, and what Tesla does may not be suitable for Weilai.
According to Li Bin, the pricing logic of Weilai and Tesla is different. “We do not price according to cost, but according to market. We estimate the volume and scale of the future market. We set the price according to that price.” He also said that he thought the domestic price of model y would be 275000 yuan, but the current price is higher than expected. However, with the increase of production capacity, the price of model y still has room for downward adjustment.
After the price of domestic model y was released, it was said that Weilai automobile suffered refund. In response, Qin Lihong, co-founder of the company, denied this at the press conference of Weilai’s second-hand car business on January 3, stressing that back office orders are still increasing.
On January 13, Beijing News reporter came to Weilai Center (Oriental Plaza store) on East Chang’an Street, and many consumers came to see the car.
Weilai staff said that Weilai will not have price fluctuations, “Tesla’s price reduction has been relatively large, which is not a good thing for old car owners. Before buying a car, they all hope to be cheaper, but after buying a car, when they encounter a price reduction, what will the owners think?”
The staff member said that although the selling price of Tesla is relatively low, some functions need to be purchased at a higher price. If not, the characteristics of the car itself will not be so distinctive, while the charging pile and many functions of Weilai are standard. “Tesla really has a strong brand effect. It depends on how users choose. BMW 1 series is also BMW.”.
In the face of Tesla’s radicalization, he Xiaopeng, chairman of Xiaopeng automobile, said in his circle of friends, “we are very confident in Youshang’s price reduction on New Year’s day. We didn’t even open an internal conference call. The price reduction has proved to be just a way of marketing.”
On January 16, Li Xiang, the founder, chairman and CEO of ideal car, told the Beijing news that at present, the “price reduction” of model y has no impact on ideal car, and ideal car will not follow the price reduction in the future.
The new car building forces have not had too much stress response to Tesla’s price reduction behavior. Maybe they have another consideration: their gross profit margin is lower than Tesla’s, and they lack price reduction space. According to the financial report of the third quarter of last year, the gross profit rates of Weilai, Xiaopeng and ideal are 9.7%, 4.6% and 19.8% respectively, while Tesla keeps at 25% all the year round. After the localization rate of Shanghai Super factory increases, this figure will rise further.
In the past, the price reduction can really improve Tesla’s delivery. On October 1, 2020, Tesla announced the price reduction of its domestic model 3. According to the data of the passenger Federation, its delivery volume in China in October was 12143 vehicles, which increased to 21600 vehicles in November.
However, Tesla’s price cut did not have much impact on the new forces of car manufacturing. On the contrary, the delivery volume of “Weilai” reached new highs at the end of the year. Weilai delivered 7007 vehicles in December last year, while Xiaopeng automobile and ideal automobile delivered 5700 and 6126 vehicles in December last year, setting a new monthly delivery record.
Cui Dongshu believes that the reason why Tesla’s previous price reduction did not have a greater impact on the new car building forces is that Tesla’s main competitors are traditional luxury cars, and the new car building forces such as Weilai and Xiaopeng have some unique advantages over Tesla. The main impact of Tesla’s price reduction is on the traditional car market.
BBA feels the challenge and is expected to reduce its price in the future
Model y and pure electric vehicles of traditional luxury brands meet in a narrow pricing range, which also makes the latter feel a challenge.
On January 13, a staff member of a BMW 4S shop in Beijing told reporters that the pure electric car BMW is selling is ix3, which simulates a gasoline car and has a very similar handling feeling to a gasoline car.
According to the staff, the car has been on the market for less than two months and has a driving range of 500 km. “After 2035, it will be the world of electric vehicles. BMW is very willing to study electric vehicles ahead of time. The market reaction of this kind of vehicle is very good, and it is delivered every day.”. According to reports, the car has a cash discount of 50000 yuan, as well as big gift bags and maintenance. The staff also said that the price is not the only factor in choosing a car.
“Tesla Model y has a strong competitive relationship with this ix3, but the focus of our car is not on cost performance. Our battery is the ternary lithium battery of Ningde era, and the configuration of software service and other aspects is very good.” The staff said that BMW is very attentive to this car, and the competing products also include Mercedes Benz EQC. “Ix3 costs 100000 yuan, not for nothing.”.
As for the price, the staff member thinks that the BMW ix3 may also reduce its price in the future, but the price reduction space may not be very large. It is estimated that there will be a drop of about 10000-20000 yuan in another year or two.
On January 17, a Beijing News reporter came to the Audi 4S store on the East Road of the South Fourth Ring Road. At the weekend, many consumers came to see the car. According to the staff, there are q2l e-tron and Audi e-tron new energy vehicles on sale at present. The former sells for 220000-230000 yuan, uses lithium iron phosphate battery, and has a driving range of 270 km. At present, there are no existing vehicles and needs to be reserved.
“Audi q2l e-tron and Audi e-tron feel like gasoline cars when they drive.” according to the staff of the store, Tesla started in Silicon Valley of the United States as an electronic product. Audi has the concept of building cars for hundreds of years, and the car sets are developed separately. There is a big difference between the two. He also told reporters that many consumers will compare Tesla before buying Audi.
“Mercedes Benz is a luxury car brand with a history of more than 100 years. EQC takes a luxury route in terms of workmanship, vehicle design and interior decoration.” The sales staff of Mercedes Benz 4S store introduced the differences between Mercedes Benz EQC pure electric SUV and Tesla, Weilai and other models.
According to its introduction, the official guide price of Mercedes Benz EQC 350 4matic pure electric SUV is 499800 yuan. At present, there is a cash discount of 80000 yuan in the store, and there are cars in stock. The reporter noticed that few consumers came to consult this pure electric SUV on the same day.
According to people close to Audi e-tron and Mercedes Benz EQC business units, the admission of model y does bring a certain degree of impact to the above two models. In the future, we can not rule out reducing prices and increasing promotional incentives according to market conditions.
Behind Tesla’s successive price cuts in the Chinese market are the increase in the localization rate of Shanghai’s super factories and its ambition to occupy a larger market share (including the market share of traditional fuel vehicles). In order to cope with the impact of Tesla, domestic independent brand car companies have made great efforts in electrification and intellectualization, and began to take the differentiated route.
For example, BYD launched the “blade battery” last year, which raised the mileage and safety factor to a higher level; some independent brands began to make efforts in the high-end market, such as BAIC new energy launched the high-end brand arcfox, Dongfeng Motor launched the high-end electric vehicle brand “Landu”, and the price of the first SUV model free did not exceed 400000 yuan.
According to the statistical data of the passenger car Association, the domestic new energy vehicle market showed an obvious “dumbbell” shape last year, that is, the sales volume of high-end and low-end models increased significantly, while the sales volume in the middle end market was less due to the competition of fuel vehicles.
As subsidies for new energy vehicles will decline again this year, the middle end new energy market will face a more difficult survival crisis. In the past, the sales volume of this price range mainly depended on subsidies. Car companies sold most of their products to online car Hailing companies or related travel platforms. When subsidies decline again, the middle end market will be more difficult to sustain.
New energy vehicle “midfield battle” starts
Nowadays, the competition of new energy vehicles is becoming more and more fierce, and the bugle of midfield battle has been sounded.
Cui Dongshu pointed out that the current competition pattern of new energy vehicles is mainly the international automobile enterprises represented by Tesla, the new automobile manufacturing forces represented by Weilai automobile, Xiaopeng automobile and ideal automobile, the joint ventures such as Volkswagen, BMW and Benz, and the independent brands represented by GAC, SAIC and BYD. He believes that at present, SAIC Wuling, Tesla and BYD are in the first camp, while Weilai and others are in the second to third camp.
Zhong Shi, a senior analyst in the automotive industry, believes that the current competitive pattern of domestic new energy vehicles is that Tesla takes advantage of the localization advantage of Shanghai Super factory to reshape the domestic automotive market from high-end, high and middle end to middle end, from brand advantage, product advantage to price advantage. The production and sales volume of medium and high-end models of self owned brand electric vehicles is still hovering at a lower scale with an annual output of tens of thousands of vehicles. The only outstanding one is Wuling Hongguang miniev, but it is counter attacking from the low-end market.
“It needs to be admitted that the price reduction of model y will have an impact on the whole auto market.” Xu Haidong, deputy chief engineer of China Automobile Industry Association, told reporters that Tesla’s move will not only compete with new energy vehicle companies, but also with low-end luxury brands. It will not only grab customers of new energy vehicles, but also some customers of low-end luxury brands, such as potential buyers of models with a price of 200000-300000 yuan. Xu Haidong believes that compared with independent brands, Tesla Model y has a greater impact on joint venture brands.
With the increasingly fierce competition of new energy vehicles, what are the factors that determine the status of automobile enterprises?
In the view of industry insiders, in addition to hard indicators such as mileage, driving experience and interior decoration, price, automatic driving and service are also important scoring items to win public praise.
With the rapid landing of Tesla in China and the gradual improvement of its localization rate, its supply chain will inevitably overlap with Chinese local car companies. At that time, the hardware factors that determine the competitiveness of car companies’ products will be reduced, and the software factors such as automatic driving technology and Internet of vehicles system will become the competition direction.
In terms of automatic driving, Mr. Zhong said that in the next few years, the competitiveness of intelligent electric vehicles should first lay a solid foundation for electric vehicles. Otherwise, the electric technology is not mature and the brand image will not be established by adding various intelligent and interconnected application technologies.
However, Cui Dongshu also pointed out that at present, automatic driving ability can not be an important indicator to evaluate the development of new energy vehicle enterprises and new energy vehicles, because the current new energy vehicles are more electric than intelligent. “At present, automatic driving technology is meaningless to most of us, and technologies such as automatic parking and cruise control have been realized in traditional cars.”
In terms of price, Mr. Zhong believes that product price always has a great influence on sales. In view of the current market capacity of electric vehicles, it is difficult to increase sales even if there is a big price war. Moreover, these car companies still want to go up in the brand, so they are not willing to use price reduction to stimulate sales.
Many people in the industry are optimistic that although Tesla’s price cut will bring pain, in the long run, it will force market competition and stimulate industrial development.
Fu Yuwu, honorary chairman of China Society of automotive engineering and China Automotive Talent Research Association, said that executives of horizon, a famous chip company in China, once talked about that the company’s chip design and intelligent concept may be 3-5 years behind Tesla’s. Fu Yuwu believes that understanding Tesla is not a bad thing for China’s auto industry to grow from big to strong, master the core technology and make up for the weakness of the industrial chain.
Cui Dongshu also said that Tesla’s price reduction will drive the whole front-end and Tesla’s supporting products to obtain high sales volume and high growth. In this case, there will be technology spillover of industry chain similar to mobile phones, which will bring good opportunities for other enterprises to manufacture high-end electric vehicles.
“If the new forces of car manufacturing do not follow the development trend of the industry, they will face a relatively passive situation,” Cui Dongshu said. The technology trend is recognized by consumers through the common embodiment of price and product.
On January 17, during the forum of China electric vehicle 100 people’s Congress (2021), Leixin, the CBO of Landu automobile, said in an interview that the development of Tesla has produced a very good drive for the whole global new energy vehicle industry. Only by cooperating with excellent enterprises can the market advance faster.
In addition, service has become an important factor to determine the competitive position. For example, the Bass model launched by Weilai can not only solve the problem of slow charging, but also reduce the price of all models. In order to meet the charging needs of car owners, Tesla has deployed overcharge piles in a large area in the Chinese market, and even opened a charging pile factory in Shanghai.