Anhui auto industry “pioneer”: sells 520,000 vehicles a year, and makes a comeback with the help of Volkswagen Weilai?

Anhui is the largest “dark horse” on the national auto map in recent years. Last year, the province’s energy vehicle output reached 252,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.4 times, ranking first in the central region and fourth in the country. In the first half of 2022, production increased by 94% year-on-year to 240,000 units, a new record high.

Hefei’s new energy vehicle industry alone has gathered 305 regulated enterprises, including BYD, Weilai, Volkswagen (Anhui), Hefei Changan, Ankai Automobile and other 6 vehicle manufacturers, as well as Guoxuan Hi-Tech, China Innovation Aviation, etc. Power battery company.

In addition, there are two independent auto brands in Anhui, Chery and Jianghuai, but their fates are very different. The sales volume of the former reached 893,930 units in the first three quarters, a year-on-year increase of 37%, and is moving towards the goal of 1.5 million units. The latter’s cumulative sales volume from January to September was 371,700 units, a year-on-year decrease of 5.91%; due to the sluggish performance of the commercial vehicle market, the company’s revenue and net profit both declined in the first half of the year.

According to public information, JAC is a brand of JAC Group, which is a comprehensive automobile enterprise group integrating the research, production, sales and service of a full range of commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and powertrains, covering the fields of automobile travel and financial services. Founded in 1964, it also owns well-known brands such as Ruifeng, Shuailing, Junling, Xingrui, Ruijiete, etc. Its products cover heavy, medium, light, mini trucks, multi-purpose commercial vehicles, MPVs, SUVs, cars, and buses. It has won the top 5 automobile brands in China and is the first comprehensive automobile group to win the China Industrial Award, the highest award in my country’s industrial field.

Its predecessor was the Chaohu Gate Machinery Repair Factory (later renamed Chaohu Auto Parts Factory), which was responsible for the maintenance of gate machinery. Relying on patchwork equipment and technical personnel and workers supported by all parties, it successfully developed a 2.5-ton machine. The first-class flat head truck – “Jianghuai brand” HF130 light truck, which is also the first vehicle in the history of Anhui’s automobiles, opened the prelude to the development of Anhui’s automobile industry.

In the early 1990s, under the leadership of the new factory director Zuo Yan’an, JAC successfully manufactured the first special chassis for passenger cars in China, rewriting the history of using truck chassis to modify passenger car chassis. And take this as a breakthrough to achieve a huge breakthrough in sales. Then, the HFC1061 light truck, which benchmarked against the world’s leading Isuzu technology at the time, was launched, becoming the most popular light truck product at the end of the last century. The HFC1045 light truck product came out, creating the domestic Chinese light truck market.

In 2011, the annual sales volume of JAC exceeded 500,000 units. The following year, Zuo Yanan, who had been at the helm of the company for more than 20 years, officially retired. He is known as the leader of China’s own brand automobiles, and has achieved a growth rate of more than 50% for 15 consecutive years during his tenure.

Compared with its success in the field of commercial vehicles, JAC did not launch its first sedan “Bin Yue” until 2007, which was called “the last sedan maker in China” by the media. Despite the rapid formation of a passenger car product line consisting of Ruiying, Binyue, Tongyue and Heyue, the performance was tepid, and the future development failed to reverse the situation of “commercial strength taking advantage of weakness”.

Five years ago, Jianghuai Automobile’s sales fell and its performance suffered losses. In order to save themselves, they lead Volkswagen on the left and Weilai on the right, and cooperate with Huawei and iFLYTEK on autonomous driving, smart cars and digital transformation. Last year, car sales totaled approximately 524,200 units, a year-on-year increase of 15.63%, of which 134,100 pure electric passenger vehicles were sold (about 93,000 units were sold by OEM Weilai), a year-on-year increase of 169.12%.

However, OEM is not a long-term solution. First of all, it is not profitable. Last year, revenue fell by 6.11% year-on-year to 40.213 billion yuan; deducted non-net profit was -1.883 billion yuan, and it has been in a state of loss for five consecutive years. Secondly, NIO is stepping up the construction of its own industrial park, with a planned production capacity of 1 million vehicles. In the future, JAC faces the risk of losing major customers.

write at the end

However, it is worth mentioning that in the face of huge losses, JAC still maintains a billion-level R&D investment every year, with a total of 7.041 billion yuan in five years. At the same time, it has obtained the heavy technology brand of BYD blade battery, and the new energy business, especially the Sihao brand, is expected to achieve new breakthroughs. There is also news that they will join hands with Huawei to build a car. With a multi-pronged approach, we will wait and see whether JAC can rise again.