Why do Norwegians who are not poor in money prefer Chinese electric vehicles?

Source of this article: Times Finance Author: He Qing

Editor’s note:

The wave of electrification is sweeping, and new changes are brewing in the global auto industry. The special topic of “New Energy Vehicle Geography” of Times Finance will focus on the field of new energy vehicles and the industrial chain, and explore a global city with new energy potential.

The plane landed in Oslo, the capital of Norway. From the airport to the southwest of the airport to the most prosperous Karl Johans Avenue, the first overseas Weilai Center is located at the golden crossroad of Karl Johans Avenue; in the Oslo Palace business district, Lantu Auto’s first overseas flagship store opened in June this year; Xpeng Motors’ first direct-operated experience store in Norway is located on Bjørvika Street in central Oslo…

NIO HOUSE on Karl Johans Boulevard. Image source: Weilai’s official Weibo

As the oldest capital in Scandinavia, Oslo is Norway’s capital and largest city, as well as Norway’s political, economic, cultural and commercial center.

Picasso (pseudonym), who is studying in Norway, is willing to collect the domestic brand electric cars in this city. In his sharing, Hongqi E-HS9 can be encountered at Oslo Airport or in the parking space on the street; the electric SUV and pure electric sports car displayed in NIO’s “Cow House” attract Norwegians to stop; next to the Munch Museum Some car owners drive the Xiaopeng P7 Pengyi version; there are Super Dobby BYD Tang and MG ZSEV on the road; Norwegian fathers will drive the Hongqi E-HS9 to send their children to school…

“You can come across many domestic brand electric cars in a circle in the center of Oslo. Norwegians are very rich and have a high degree of acceptance of electric cars.” Picasso told Times Finance.

A red flag car driving on the streets of Oslo. Image credit: Photo by Picasso

Norway, a small European country with a population of just over 5 million, occupies one third of its land in the Arctic Circle, making it the most northerly country in the world. The long and winding coastline, countless coastal islands, steep and magnificent fjords… In the writings of the famous Norwegian dramatist Ibsen, Norway is described as “the country of fjords hypnotized by water”.

Haruki Murakami and The Beatles took turns to build the world’s imagination of Norway. In the 8th century AD, the adventure of the Vikings started from here; and today, the vision of Chinese new energy car companies to go overseas to Europe and become a global car company also starts from Norway.

Norway, known as the “Green Capital of Europe”, is the country with the highest penetration rate of electric vehicles in the world, and Norway leads the world in the acceptance of new energy vehicles. In September this year, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in Norway reached 89.1%, and the cumulative penetration rate in 2022 reached 87.8%, basically achieving the goal of electrification.

Norway, the northernmost Nordic country in the world is emitting a magnetic attraction effect. The destination of domestic new energy vehicles became more and more clear. Their promotional videos began to circulate mysterious aurora, deep fjords, majestic mountains, countless islands and reefs… Finally, they shouted the sentence— — “Hello, Norway.”

The “European Dream” begins in Norway

“What better place to start our European dream than Norway?” In August 2021, BYD, together with the local Norwegian distributor RSA, delivered the first batch of BYD Tang EVs to users, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. Say.

At almost the same time, in July 2021, a huge freighter was moored at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port, the sea was rippling, and rows of NIO ES8s were “line upon row”, waiting to be shipped across the ocean to Norway.

Why Norway?

“Norway’s environment-friendly culture and high recognition of new energy vehicles provide a good market foundation for going overseas,” said Lu Fang, CEO of Lantu Motors.

Norway, which combines the right time, the right place, and the people, seems to be the “place of choice” for new energy vehicles.

Although nearly half of Norway’s territory lies within the Arctic Circle. However, due to the influence of the southwest warm and humid air from the North Atlantic and the warm North Atlantic current from the lower latitudes, Norway’s climate is unexpectedly mild. Norway is not as cold as imagined in the Arctic Circle. Most of the regions have a temperate maritime climate, which is more friendly to electric vehicles.

In terms of policy, in Norway, consumers do not need to pay purchase tax or import tax when purchasing or leasing electric vehicles; while purchasing fuel vehicles needs to pay 25% value-added tax and emission fees. In addition, electric vehicles also have comprehensive government subsidies in terms of charging fees, parking fees, tolls, etc., and can even use bus-only lanes during rush hours.

The coverage of charging piles in Norway also far exceeds that of other countries. At the end of 2020, the number of charging piles in Norway reached 18,500, and there are 35 charging piles for every 10,000 Norwegian residents.

More radically, Norway plans to become the first country to ban the sale of conventional gasoline vehicles in 2025. As early as 2020, 54.3% of Norwegian car sales were electric vehicles, the only country in Europe where electric vehicles accounted for more than 50% of the new car market.

Most importantly, this is the bridgehead for leaping into Europe. In the era of great navigation of domestic new energy vehicles, new energy vehicles made a strategic decision of “landing in Norway first, and then entering Europe”.

When BYD’s first batch of 100 Tang EVs assembled in Shanghai Port in June last year and officially set sail for Norway, BYD said: This shipment marks the official layout of BYD’s new energy passenger vehicle business in the European market, and Norway has become BYD’s entry into European pure electric vehicles. The first stop in the passenger car market, starting a new journey of electric travel.

According to Marklines data, BYD will deliver 1,066 BYD Tangs in Norway in 2021; 1,332 BYD Tangs have been delivered from January to August this year, ranking tenth in Norway in sales of a single NEV model.

Image source: BYD official Weibo

It is not only the BYD Tang EV that has crossed the ocean to reach Norway, from the SAIC MG ZS EV and Xpeng G3i SUV that were the first to run; to the official announcement of the “Norway Strategy” by NIO, and FAW-Hongqi announcing that the Hongqi E-HS9 will enter Norway; In June this year, Lantu FREE officially debuted in Norway, and established the first Lantu Auto overseas flagship store in Oslo… Norway is a fertile land for new energy.

It is worth mentioning that the price of Chinese brands in Norway is generally higher than that in China. The research report of CITIC Securities pointed out that the price of most exported models in Norway is higher than that in China, about 100,000 yuan. According to media reports, the local price of Tang EV is NOK 599,900, or about RMB 423,000 (converted at the exchange rate on October 27), which is about 100,000 more expensive than that in China. At present, the domestic guide price of Tang EV is 279,800 yuan to 339,800 yuan.

“If you don’t look at the license plate, it doesn’t look like you are in China!” A Chinese living in Oslo sighed on social media. In the picture, it seems that two Weilai and Hongqi electric cars are the protagonists of the picture.

The joys and sorrows of landing on the beach

According to the research report of CITIC Securities, in Norway, the “bridgehead”, Chinese car companies have achieved unprecedented achievements in the European market in the past era of fuel vehicles.

From January to July 2022, the number of EV registrations of Chinese brands in Norway has reached 5,726, a year-on-year increase of 204%. At the same time, the proportion of EV registrations of Chinese brands in Norway will increase rapidly in 2022, reaching 10.6% in the second quarter of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 6.9%. Among the Chinese brands going to Norway, MG is in a leading position by virtue of its advantages in entering the market earlier and brand power; BYD’s registration volume has also reached a high level; NIO’s registration volume is growing rapidly, with the first seven in 2022. Monthly registrations have increased by 175% compared to the full year of 2021.

In the third quarter earnings call of NIO in 2021, Li Bin, chairman of NIO, once said: “After the opening of NIO HOUSE in Norway, a quarter of the users who have tested it will place an order.”

“Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers have built several showrooms in Oslo, the capital of Norway, and they are also the only car showrooms on the main streets of Oslo.” Anjof, head of the Norwegian Innovation Agency China, said in an interview with China Business News. . He thinks this is a very interesting development trend.

In fact, compared with European countries such as Germany with BBA, Norway has no local electric vehicle brand, so Norwegian car owners have no obvious obsession and preference for local brands. Norway is more of a natural electric car “fighting arena”. The new domestic forces and the electric models of the European host BBA and the electric vehicles of Japan and South Korea stand on this arena together.

According to INSIDE EVs data, in 2021, the electric vehicle sales list in the Norwegian market will still be led by Tesla and Volkswagen, of which Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID. sales are among the top three. Ford Mustang Mach-E, Audi e-tron and Skoda enyaq iv ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, with sales of 6,160, 5,745 and 5,711 units respectively. Among Chinese new energy brands, Polestar 2 and MG ZSEV ranked among the top ten with sales of 4,103 units and 2,538 units.

According to Marklines data, from January to August this year, BYD delivered a total of 1,332 vehicles in Norway, Hongqi delivered 1,149 vehicles, Weilai delivered a total of 646 vehicles, and Xiaopeng delivered 526 vehicles.

Although domestic electric vehicles have occupied a certain share in the Norwegian market, the competition in the Norwegian electric vehicle market has gradually intensified and the market concentration has decreased. In the face of electrified products from strong brands such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the competitive pressure of domestic electric vehicles cannot be underestimated.

“We are now planting seeds, and we can’t ask to grow into a towering tree immediately. This is not in line with objective laws, but we attach importance to how this seed is cultivated, and we hope it will be a seed of word of mouth.” Li Bin expressed his expectations when Weilai entered the Norwegian market.

For Chinese new energy car companies, after testing the waters in Norway, they must go out of Scandinavia and enter the European market.

Unlike Norway, countries in continental Europe such as Germany, France, and Italy are traditional powerhouses in the automobile industry, and the competition is more intense. In addition, it is difficult for EU countries to implement the 10% import tariff reduction policy like Norway, and the increase in cost will bring certain pressure on Chinese new energy vehicle brands.

The relevant person in charge of BYD told Times Finance that the expansion of the European market is full of challenges, and market differentiation, cultural differentiation and even language differentiation should not be underestimated. .

Image source: Lantu Motors official Weibo looking for the next Norway

Although the road is long and difficult, the road is coming.

More than a year after entering Norway, on October 7, NIO landed in Germany, the “hometown” of BBA, and held “NIO Berlin 2022” in Berlin, announcing that its products, system-wide services and innovative business models will be available in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. The market has landed, and the pace of NIO entering Europe is getting faster and faster.

At the Paris Auto Show in the same month, Chinese car companies represented by BYD and Great Wall Motors even entered the “C position”. Mocha PHEV (Coffee 01) announced that it will sell for 55,900-59,900 euros (equivalent to RMB 390,000-420,000). The price of the Mocha PHEV is officially listed in the European market, and the starting price of the Mocha PHEV in Europe is nearly 100,000 RMB higher than that in China.

Not long ago, on September 28, BYD held an online press conference, announcing the release of three models BYD HAN, BYD TANG and BYD ATTO3 for European countries including Germany, corresponding to the domestic BYD Tang, BYD Han and BYD respectively. Meta PLUS.

“Europe is the birthplace of automobiles and has a strong spirit of innovation. Last year, in Norway, the country with the highest penetration rate of electric vehicles, BYD’s Tang EV was recognized by local consumers, which gave us great encouragement. This year, we began to consider Bring more electric vehicles to Europe and grow together with the local market.” Wang Chuanfu said.

Starting from Norway, Chinese new energy vehicle brands are drawing a broad blueprint for going overseas to Europe.

Just recently, Geely’s Lynk & Co announced its latest overseas record. In the past September, it exported 6,493 complete vehicles in a single month. In the Dutch market, Lynk & Co 01 PHEV sold 801 units per month in the Netherlands, a year-on-year increase of 44.1%, ranking second in the Dutch new car sales list, surpassing Tesla Model Y (559 units) and other new energy models. As early as 2020, Lynk & Co released the “European Plan” to open offline experience stores in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, etc.

Gu Hongdi, vice chairman and president of Xiaopeng, said in an interview that Xiaopeng expects to enter the Swedish, Danish and Dutch markets in 2022, and the future goal is that half of the deliveries will come from China and half from overseas.

From Norway to Europe, new energy brands are using a series of big moves to convey their attitude and strength. “Chinese brands are expected to go out of Norway and expand to the European market through the influence gained in the Norwegian market, consumer recognition and innovative sales experience.” CITIC Securities Research Report pointed out.

In this era of new energy vehicles, it remains to be seen whether China’s electric vehicles can break through the siege and gain a foothold in Europe by virtue of their own strength. But in any case, the tide never stops at the port, and batches of domestic electric vehicles go out to sea, and they slowly leave the port with the ro-ro wheel, sailing and sailing towards the vision of a global car company.