2023.11.24 12:24
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Extreme Kr wants to engage in close combat with Tesla.

Author | Chai Xuchen "When we go to war, we either don't go or we go all out. Before the listing of (Xtreme 007), the entire supply chain had been thoroughly reviewed. Once the war starts, we will go full throttle. The entire Meishan factory is now operating at full speed." In an interview at the 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show, when asked about the internal sales expectations for the Xtreme 007, Vice President Zhu Ling said.

A 100,000-word article: The Tesla Must Win

Author: Chai Xuchen

"We either don't fight, or we fight to the death. Before the listing of 'Jike 007', the entire supply chain had been thoroughly reviewed. Once the war starts, we will go all out. The Meishan factory is now operating at full speed."

During an interview at the 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show, when asked about Jike's internal sales expectations for the "Jike 007" car, Vice President Zhu Ling said.

Compared to previous years, this year's Guangzhou Auto Show seems to be more lively. Car companies are rushing to make their moves before the end of the year, and Jike has also thrown out a new trump card in advance - the all-electric sedan "Jike 007".

With a standard 800V architecture, NVIDIA OrinX chip, Qualcomm 8295 cockpit platform, 15.05-inch central control screen, rear multi-link suspension system, silicon carbide motor, etc., Jike has spared no effort in filling the hardware configuration, with a starting pre-sale price of 229,900 yuan for the 007.

Moreover, in the area of autonomous driving, which was considered the area where Jike needed the most improvement, the 007 is also pushing forward with its own full-stack self-developed route. According to Zhu Ling, Jike's self-developed autonomous driving team has been established since the company's inception and has been preparing for three years.

It seems that with its "abundant configuration and bottom price", the 007 is aimed at grabbing the business of being the "king of all-electric sedans".

"The best-selling all-electric sedan priced above 200,000 yuan is still a car that has been on the market for nearly eight years," said Jike CEO An Conghui at the Guangzhou Auto Show, bluntly stating that the evolution of sedans in the electric era is clearly lagging behind SUVs and MPVs.

What An Conghui was referring to was the Model 3, which has been on the market since 2016 and has undergone minor updates but has not been replaced, yet it is still selling well. Compared to the successive moves made by new players, Tesla has shown a hint of "arrogance". Zhu Ling said that this situation needs to change and is also an opportunity for the market.

With the full force of Jike sprinting towards the 007, it is engaged in a fierce battle with Tesla and other new players in the price range of 250,000 yuan. The underlying implication is that Jike urgently needs to increase its sales volume and it needs a mainstream product that can become a hit to fill the gap. Although Jike's sales have stabilized and rebounded to the tens of thousands of units range in the second half of the year, the sales structure still appears somewhat "unhealthy".

Currently, Jike's strategy is to create benchmarks in the segmented market, launching coupe, MPV, and compact SUV categories with prices ranging from 200,000 to 800,000 yuan. However, the sales proportion of the initial Jike 001, which was released three years ago, still accounts for over 70% in the first ten months of this year, stubbornly resisting Jike's sales KPI. On the other hand, Jike X, which was supposed to have high sales volume, has yet to see a breakthrough.

More importantly, Jike is now moving rapidly, aiming to knock on the door of an IPO. An Conghui has made a commitment to the market and investors that "Jike will strive to achieve a sales target of 650,000 units by 2025 and become one of the top three luxury electric vehicle brands in the global market." But for now, in the first ten months of this year, Jike has delivered a total of 92,000 vehicles, still some distance away from the annual target of 140,000 vehicles.

Therefore, An Conghui once again chose his familiar territory of sedans to turn the tide.

In an interview, An Conghui frankly said, "When we rose to prominence at Geely, it was also through sedans that our sales quickly increased. In the era of traditional automobiles, Chinese people have a high understanding, recognition, and affinity for sedans. At that time, I proposed the slogan 'Whoever gets the sedan gets the world,' and even many years later, people still remember the Emgrand brand."

It is worth mentioning that 14 years ago, in the era when joint ventures were thriving in the domestic automobile market, the Emgrand, led by An Conghui, became an overnight sensation, breaking through the 300,000 mark in 2020 and establishing Geely's position in the entire industry.

Jike, which cannot sit still, has made a bold move with the release of the 007. Fortunately, the 007 has taken the first step to success, with 20,000 orders placed in just two days at the Guangzhou Auto Show.

However, in the current "price war for everyone" environment, can this car maintain its popularity before it is officially delivered early next year? And how will An Conghui balance the positioning of the 007 and the 001, as well as the relationship with the X price range? What other "big moves" does Jike have up its sleeve? Which way will the balance between profit and sales tip?

Below is the transcript of the conversation between Wall Street News and Jike CEO An Conghui, Vice Presidents Lin Jinwen and Zhu Ling (edited):

Q: When was the Jike 007 project initiated, and why did you decide to make this car? Were you targeting the Model 3 at that time?

Zhu Ling: The 007 project was initiated three years ago, and the idea was very simple at that time. Jike had already laid out three of the most challenging niche markets: hunting-style coupes, MPVs, and compact luxury SUVs. The next step was to enter the mainstream market.

At that time, we also developed a new generation platform, and the first car on that platform was a sedan. So far, the best-selling car in China is still a car from eight years ago, and this situation needs to change. It is also an opportunity.

We didn't take anyone as a benchmark, but the Model 3 is indeed the best-selling car in this market, and its intelligence and handling have been recognized by the Chinese market. However, there are many aspects that have not met the expectations of Chinese consumers, such as space and comfort. Therefore, we have the opportunity and ability to create an electric sedan that is more suitable for the Chinese market, so we made the Jike 007.

Q: What are the sales expectations and production capacity preparations for the 007?

Zhu Ling: If we are going to fight, we either don't fight at all or fight to the death. By releasing such a sincere product and price today, we actually have expectations of what it will achieve.

Before this, the entire supply chain has been thoroughly reviewed, including mobilizing all upstream and downstream resources. Mr. Zhao, who is present here today, is in charge of production and manufacturing, so once the battle begins, we will go all out. The Meishan factory is already operating at full speed.

Q: Xiaomi and Huawei are also launching new cars like this. In the future, Jike will have three cars in the 200,000-300,000 RMB price range. How will Jike exert its efforts? An Conghui: The 200,000-300,000 price range is definitely the largest segment in the market. When we rose to prominence at Geely, it was also through sedans that our sales rapidly increased. In the era of traditional automobiles, Chinese people had a high understanding, recognition, and affinity for sedans. At that time, I proposed the slogan "He who gets the sedan gets the world," and even many years later, people still remember the Emgrand brand.

In the era of new energy vehicles, sedans still represent a significant market. We have made significant changes and breakthroughs in terms of styling, performance, and configuration in the MPV and SUV segments.

Firstly, we believe that there should be a breakthrough in the largest mainstream sedan market. Secondly, competition will be more intense in the 200,000-300,000 sedan market where the Lynk & Co 007 is positioned.

We believe that Lynk & Co will have absolute competitiveness in this market in the future. Entering this niche market places high demands on all aspects of the company, whether it be design or cost challenges. Lynk & Co has a clear product plan for each niche market and will continue to exert efforts in the future.

Q: How long do you think it will take for the price war to improve?

Lin Jinwen: The price war is not limited to this year; it is just particularly intense this year. As long as there are enough players in the industry, it will be vibrant, but eventually, the number of players will gradually decrease.

Firstly, there is no doubt that the beneficiaries of the price war are the users. It drives progress in technology, cost control, user services, and product quality for all players in the industry. To engage in a price war, one must have the ability to do so.

Secondly, the best products must be provided within the range that users can accept. It is not just about lowering prices but also about having stronger product capabilities.

Thirdly, survival of the fittest is a common phenomenon in any industry. In the end, there will definitely not be as many brands as there are today. Therefore, in the next 2-3 years, vibrancy will be the norm. All products and brands participating in the competition must have the ability to be vibrant and sustainable. If not, they will be quickly eliminated.

Of course, price is not the only key factor in measuring a product or brand. In the automotive industry, different reference points and targets exist in different eras. Even if the basic architecture is the same, the research and development, technology used, and other aspects are different. In this case, the ability to provide users with competitive prices is a comprehensive reflection of a company's strength.

Zhu Ling: Lynk & Co does not want to engage in a price war, but we are never afraid of it. If a price war breaks out, at most, we will endure it while others bleed.

Q: Seeing that Lynk & Co's gross profit margin is 12.3%, does this mean that the gross profit margin will continue to increase in the future?

An Conghui: It can be said that we are filled with anticipation because our foundation and overall strength are beginning to explode and manifest. The scale effect of the entire Lynk & Co family is starting to show. I have great confidence and a solid foundation for today's pricing. With the application of more Lynk & Co family platforms in the future, combined with continuous technological leadership, the manifestation of the scale effect will be even better and stronger.

Q: How do you solve, overcome, and achieve the contradiction of needing a large space while also considering long endurance and large batteries? Zhu Ling: Technology and architectural capabilities. No other car can fit a 100-degree battery pack in such a wheelbase space and still maintain such a high utilization rate.

We say that Jike is professional in making cars because it is not just about putting together a shell, a design, and a motor. It requires technology, not just courage and determination. Making sedans is actually more difficult than SUVs because you have to consider more things in a relatively limited space. It really tests the technical foundation and accumulation.

Jike is making electric cars based on Geely's 30 years of car manufacturing experience. The 007 model truly has no shortcomings. If you like sedans in this market, it can be said to be the only choice.

Q: What technologies from the 001FR are used in the 007?

Zhu Ling: We have a platform-based architecture internally. The 800V technology is universal, and many technologies such as batteries, the 8295 chip, autonomous driving, satellite, and chassis architecture are shared, although the prices and usage may vary. But the cabin aspect is basically universal.

The FR is our flagship model, and many technologies are global debuts, but they still need to be applied to ordinary cars to be used by more consumers.

Q: When did the full-stack self-developed capability start? Will the cooperation with Mobileye continue, or will there be a switch?

Zhu Ling: Cooperation with Mobileye is one of our two routes, and it will continue, especially in overseas markets. The full-stack self-developed capability has been established since the first day of Jike's establishment, and the entire organizational structure has been set up. So it has been dormant for 3 years, and after the first product was launched, Jike's intelligent driving system "Startling the World". This time, it was launched simultaneously with NZP.

Q: What impact will the 007 have on the 001 orders?

An Conghui: First of all, when planning the products, the 001 and 007 are targeted at different sub-markets. There may be a slight overlap, but it will not affect the sales of the 001.

Q: How do you view the relationship between Jike 007 and Jike X?

Lin Jinwen: Jike X and 007 are not actually targeting the same user groups. More than 80% of Jike X users are second cars in the family, while 007 is aimed at a larger scale of first-time buyers, family users, and young people.

Zhu Ling: Jike X is priced at around 200,000 yuan, and its product strength is unmatched. At this price point, you can't find a 4-seater version like this, with zero-gravity seats, adjustable sliding, and folding functions, etc. It is more of a lifestyle choice. 007 is more of a well-balanced sedan product, so there is no contradiction.

007 is for the mainstream market, while X is for the boutique small car market. At the same time, there will be a large number of users overseas. X has gained strong momentum overseas, and many cars have been sold by foreign dealers.

Q: The vast architecture will be shared by many sister companies. How will you respond or plan the products to avoid competition? An Conghui: First of all, within the entire holding group, whether it is joint ventures or our own brands, we have clear planning and positioning. We have a Brand Strategy Committee, and in fact, consensus can be reached among different brands. Different brands have different positioning to meet the needs of different market segments and users.

In fact, there is no conflict in terms of price range between each brand, or the conflict is very minimal. Secondly, Haohan is an infrastructure, and each brand develops its own products based on its positioning, users, and specific market segments.