Autonomous MPVs are trapped in high-end siege

“No one in this world can remember the second place, then we will be the first.” In April, Zhao Changjiang, general manager of Denza’s sales division, looked at the Denza D9 with complacency. Shortly after that, Lu Fang, CEO of Lantu Motors, also announced the entry of Lantu Dreamers with the phrase “Leading MPVs into a new era of electrification and intelligence”, stirring up the slightly dull MPV market. In China, the market structure established by GL8 and Wuling Hongguang at both high and low ends is a unique landscape of China’s auto industry. Although it is not “beautiful”, it is in line with national conditions. Since this year, with the high-profile entry of high-end MPVs of independent brands, the MPV market has undergone some changes. However, these products are positioned at high-end users and are far away from ordinary consumers. The market pattern seems to have not changed, and these products have also fallen into High-end “siege”.

1

Independent high-end MPV “Dumpling”

From BYD Song MAX to Geely Jiaji, from Buick GL6 to Volkswagen Prestige, from Kia Jiahua to GAC Toyota Saina, MPVs that have emerged in recent years each have different brand missions, but they have the same goal in terms of market goals— – Trying to rediscover the big demand in the niche market and subvert the inherent traditional pattern.

It is a pity that most of the products that were “menacing” in the past have gradually become quiet in the airtight market environment. Since this year, independent brands have started the “Dumpling” mode in the high-end MPV market, and a variety of models have been listed on the market. Taking the recent example, two models of Lantu Dreamer and Denza D9 have been launched, and the product positioning and price range have broken through the price ceiling of independent brands.

Lantu Dreamer and Dengshi D9 blew the horn of the charge, and Ji Krypton, Wei Pai, BYD, and Hongqi swarmed up. Different from the previous “defensive” differentiated competition of independent brands and the layout of the low-end market, the independent brand has changed its passive and cautious in the past, plunged into the core area of ​​the high-end MPV market, and launched a direct challenge to GL8 without hesitation. .

“With the aging of the population and the withdrawal of the one-child policy, the family structure has changed from a family of three to a family of many. Under this trend, many car companies have formed a trend of deploying high-end MPV market. The high-end MPV market can maintain a good growth with the entry of many independent brands.” Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the National Passenger Vehicle Market Information Joint Association, said about the end of many independent brands of high-end MPVs.

2

Autonomous MPV undertakes the important task of upward breakthrough

In the treacherous market, subversive stories are being staged one after another, and the once dull MPV market will naturally not be satisfied with the status quo. Sandian’s core technology, intelligent solutions, channel service system… The original industrial chain is being continuously reshaped, showing unparalleled innovation and revolution, and it is repeatedly turbulent in the MPV market.

High-end MPVs have always been the world of imported cars or joint venture cars, but this year, Lantu first launched the Dreamer, and then the Denza brand made a high-profile comeback with the high-end MPV D9. At the same time, FAW Hongqi, Wei brand, and Jikr will all launch high-end MPVs. The common feature of these models is that they are oriented towards the new energy vehicle market. They have a body size of more than 5 meters, a long axle torque of more than 3 meters, and have multiple power versions such as pure electric and plug-in hybrid. The minimum price is often 30 million or more.

“Under the general trend of intelligence and electrification, it is very meaningful for independent brands to seize the high-end MPV market. This is actually evident from the fact that BYD has come from behind in recent months. With certain technical precipitation, who can Whoever seizes the market first and keeps moving forward is likely to become a leader or even a leader in the electrification change. Therefore, this is definitely an opportunity.” Ms. Lv, who is in charge of product planning in a self-owned brand car company, said. the reporter said.

At this time, independent brands have entered the high-end MPV market on a large scale, obviously seeing such an opportunity. Due to the large size of the model, the MPV carries a large number of people, has a large load, has stronger power, and has a relatively high driving quality. In the past, independent brands were inferior to multinational car companies in terms of internal combustion engine technology. Even if they created products with similar product forms, the fuel consumption was too high and the driving quality was not good enough to pose a threat to multinational car companies.

Under the wave of electrification, more and more independent brands have gone through the hybrid route of deep integration of electromechanical, through series-parallel hybrid and large-capacity batteries, the shortcomings of engines, transmissions, NVH and other aspects no longer become impossible Overcome the use of motor assistance, making better fuel economy and stronger power output possible.

Electrification has brought MPV competition into a new stage, and it has also given independent brands a rare opportunity to defeat multinational car companies, which also provides a prerequisite for independent brands to hit the high-end MPV market. In this regard, SAIC MAXUS, which has been working in the MPV field for many years, expounded its own judgment. A relevant person from SAIC MAXUS told reporters: “In recent years, the pattern of China’s MPV market has undergone rapid differentiation: business and household attributes have become more and more obvious, while mid-to-high-end MPVs have attracted more attention, and electrified products are competing fiercely. The sub-market is also developing in the direction of high-end, electrification and refinement.”

However, starting from the high-end, major brands do not seem to think too much about the popular needs of ordinary consumers, but focus on a specific market, which may be business needs, or just meet some form of bulk purchases. From this point of view, in this wave of offensive in the MPV market of independent brands, have you tried too hard on the road of pursuing high-end? Are there any hidden worries behind the booming scene of self-owned brand MPVs?

3

Independent high-end MPV may not be born at the right time

The market changes every year, and the target consumer group also fluctuates. There is a practical example beside the reporter. The reporter’s friend Xiao Zhang is in sales in a listed company. He paid 100,000 yuan as a year-end bonus last year, plus his one-year balance of salary, a total of 300,000 yuan. If the income is stable , originally planned to replace himself with a car this year, and planned to have a second child at the same time, but this year he suddenly found that all walks of life around him were still greatly affected by the epidemic, and even his own income was affected. He predicts that the year-end bonus at the end of the year may become a “stupid dream”, and Xiao Zhang has to re-examine his plan.

In such a big environment in the past two years, Xiao Zhang’s experience is by no means an exception.

With fewer potential customers, who will pay for these new cars? Some people may say that since the economic situation is greatly affected by the epidemic, the former high-consumption groups should reduce their consumption levels, and they just “fill” this vacancy. But from the actual situation, even so, the rich are still rich, and their target consumer goods will not drop from Porsche to Wuling Hongguang MINIEV because of less money today. Only some middle-class consumers will change their spending plans because of the economic slowdown.

The situation of independent high-end MPVs is highly related to the economic ability of consumers. It is precisely because the target groups targeted by its products are more vulnerable to the influence of the general environment, especially after being hit by the epidemic, they are currently in a state of “reclusion”, and they will suspend The car purchase plan, and even suspend the birth arrangement of the second and third children. These consumers tend to keep their old cars well-maintained and keep driving, rather than choosing to buy a new car.

300,000 yuan is a watershed for automobiles. Nowadays, many independent high-end MPVs are stuck on this line, indicating that they have certain expectations for their product positioning. If self-owned brands rely on continuous high-end development, they may be able to produce one or two successful cases, but it is more likely to produce a large number of cases of “pulling the seedlings and helping them grow”. Changes and remodeling of the brand and product image formed over the years require more solid development, rather than one or two high-end products that can be achieved overnight.

What should be seen behind the massive increase in products is that the flocking of high-end MPVs of various independent brands seems to be similar to the wave of new car-making forces in previous years. After the brutal competition in the market, if there are a few models that can truly Survival and being recognized by the market are already the greatest success. For most high-end MPVs of independent brands, can they afford such an expensive tuition fee? Will it become a burden that drags down the main brand? These are all questions to ponder.