From mid-June to early July, many places began to usher in high temperature weather. Although the hottest time of summer has not yet come, some people's hearts have begun to restless.

In the auto industry, the restlessness is particularly evident.

With the successive release of the Ideal L9 and AITO M7, these two topical models have not only become the talk of the car enthusiasts after dinner, but also many car companies and many industry insiders have joined the discussion one after another. The new energy vehicle market has become a hot public opinion field. .

  Car company executives "exaggerated propaganda" have traffic, but the legal risk is greater

  On June 21, at the Lixiang L9 launch conference, Li Xiang, the founder and CEO of Lixiang Automobile, announced the price of 459,800 yuan for the car on the spot, and once again clarified his positioning of the ideal L9, namely "5 million yuan." The best family SUV in the world".

At the same time, Li Xiang also pulled out the "benchmark model list" of the ideal L9 - Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Mercedes-Benz GLS Maybach, Land Rover Range Rover and BMW X7, calling on everyone to test drive comparison.

  In fact, as early as June 4th, Li Xiang updated "Important Information of Ideal L9" on Weibo, and said, "Thank you for your expectations for Ideal L9, the best family flagship SUV within 5 million? Yes? !"

  Eight days after the launch of the Ideal L9, Xpeng Motors, which is about to launch the Xpeng G9 in September, also began to "officially announce" new car information.

On June 29, He Xiaopeng, the founder of UC and chairman of Xiaopeng Motors, posted on Weibo, claiming that "the G9's high-level handling can be comparable to that of the Porsche Cayenne" and that "the NVH quietness of the whole vehicle is comparable to that of the GLS Maybach".

However, when He Xiaopeng summed up the Xiaopeng G9 in one sentence, it was "slightly conservative", saying that the car would be "the best SUV within 500,000 yuan".

  On July 4, at the launch of Huawei's summer flagship new product, the launch of AITO M7 once again sparked heated discussions.

This electric model built by Xiaokang Industrial Group and deeply empowered by Huawei is priced at 319,800-379,800 yuan.

Yu Chengdong, executive director of Huawei, CEO of Terminal BG, and CEO of Smart Car Solutions BU, said at the press conference: "How do we achieve the bullshit that we blow down? The industry's first commercial zero-gravity seat."

  Yu Chengdong's "Blown Bull" means that he publicly stated at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Auto Show held at the end of May that the Wenjie M7 will be "the first in the world that allows the boss to rest very comfortably, and the comfort level exceeds Toyota Alpha, Alpha Lexus Edition (Lexus LM)” cars can achieve “comfortable and intelligent experience that surpasses million-dollar luxury cars”.

  It is worth mentioning that, with the continuous fermentation of the remarks of some car company executives, the attention and influence of these models are also rapidly increasing.

The topic of "the best family SUV within 5 million yuan" of the Ideal L9 has been on the rise within 72 hours after the car was launched, and the number of new car reservations exceeded 30,000 units.

Asking M7 also caused a large number of media follow-up reports because of its benchmarking against Toyota Erffa and Lexus LM, and it also spread rapidly on major social platforms.

Four hours after the press conference, the number of new car reservations exceeded 20,000 units.

  Can car companies adopt this "exaggerated" promotion method in the launch conference and official publicity, and use public opinion to build influence and increase product sales?

How are the relevant laws and regulations defined for these practices?

In response to these issues, the reporter interviewed lawyer Wang Genyuan of Beijing Zhongwen (Wuhan) Law Firm.

  Wang Genyuan said that the above practices of auto companies are suspected of violating the Advertising Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

  "Whether it is a public press conference or the promotion of goods or services through online platforms, including live broadcasts, they are all regulated by advertising laws." Wang Gengen told reporters that commodity operators or service providers directly or indirectly through certain media and forms. Introduce yourself to promote the goods or services, are applicable to advertising law.

  Regarding the excessive exaggeration of product performance and quality in the external publicity terms of some car companies, Wang Genyuan said: "The words 'best' and 'complete' are suspected of violating Article 9 of the Advertising Law, and advertisements must not use the 'superlative' 'best' ' and other terms. Car operators may face the risk of being punished by market supervision and management authorities."

  According to the reporter's understanding, some well-known companies have been punished for false propaganda at the press conference.

In 2014, Luo Yonghao made publicity such as "the best mobile phone in the Eastern Hemisphere" at the Hammer mobile phone conference, which was accused of illegal advertising.

After receiving the report, Haidian Branch of Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce ordered Hammer to rectify and stop such propaganda.

  "Not only that, but this kind of publicity is also suspected of violating Article 8 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, which states that operators shall not make false or misleading statements about the performance, function, quality, sales status, user evaluations, and honors of their products. "Bragging" may lead to car operators facing complaints and reports from peers or consumers, and the market supervision department will initiate investigation procedures for the above-mentioned publicity.

  According to the provisions of Article 20 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, business operators violate the provisions of Article 8 of this Law to make false or misleading commercial advertisements for their products, or help other business operators to conduct false or misleading commercial promotions by organizing false transactions, etc. Those who misunderstand commercial propaganda shall be ordered by the supervision and inspection department to stop the illegal act, and a fine of not less than 200,000 yuan but not more than 1 million yuan shall be imposed; if the circumstances are serious, a fine of not less than 1 million yuan but not more than 2 million yuan shall be imposed, and the business license may be revoked.

  Don’t let outrageous remarks hurt brand reputation for the sake of “storytelling”

  Among the above hotly debated automotive products, the AITO M7 is relatively special.

The car was jointly built by Jinconcelles and Huawei, which is a subsidiary of Xiaokang Industrial Group. Huawei is an "incremental component provider for intelligent connected vehicles" and participates in product definition and quality control. and channel sales.

  It is worth mentioning that, as the owner of the AITO brand and the manufacturer of the model, Xiaokang Industrial Group has always been hidden behind the scenes although it is the "protagonist"; while Huawei, as a "deep cross-border partner", has always stood in the spotlight. .

  Wang Gengen said that in this case, Kim Consialis is an advertiser under the Advertising Law, while Huawei is an advertiser under the Advertising Law.

If they publish exaggerated information or even false advertisements, they must bear corresponding legal responsibilities.

"However, because the specific cooperation model between the two is unclear, it is impossible to accurately judge the responsibilities that each should bear."

  Wang Gengen told reporters that due to the overlapping of the departments that manage the advertising behaviors and unfair competition behaviors of businesses, the market supervision and management departments are the main departments, and the relevant departments such as government cultural tourism, urban management, asset supervision and so on are also responsible for The power to investigate and punish businesses that violate the Advertising Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

  Words such as "best" and "completely surpass" are misleading and even deceiving consumers to a certain extent, while the founders or other executives, as business managers, their remarks are official behaviors, and even represent the entire company.

  Wang Gengen said: "If consumers believe their exaggerated propaganda and buy related models, and their legitimate rights and interests are infringed, they can sue the court and ask the car dealer to bear the responsibility for compensation. If the court finds that these propaganda constitute false propaganda, according to consumers According to Article 55 of the Protection of Rights and Interests Law, auto dealers will be sentenced to 'refund one and compensate three'."

  Zhang Xiang, dean of the New Energy Vehicle Research Institute of Jiangxi New Energy Technology Vocational College, told reporters that the Advertising Law exists to regulate advertising activities, protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, and promote the healthy development of the advertising industry.

However, in the field of new energy vehicles, in order to build brand awareness, promote product sales, or attract investment, some car companies often make some borderline behaviors.

  He believes that after years of development, traditional auto companies have formed a fixed model, and have learned a lot of experience and lessons in the development.

For example, the word "best" is rarely seen in the publicity of traditional car companies. On the contrary, it is very common in the publicity of new energy car companies.

  Wang Guoxin, a senior auto industry analyst, said that for some new car-making forces, "speaking without surprise" is an effective means to attract consumers' attention.

"The way new energy vehicle companies build brands is different from that of traditional car companies. Traditional car companies usually build a brand in a step-by-step way, while some new energy car companies hope to make quick progress, which is also related to the current changes in the consumer market. ."

  At the same time, Wang Guoxin believes that an ordinary brand claims that it has surpassed the ultra-luxury brand, which is a "Tianji horse racing" strategy.

"For example, if there is a configuration that can be compared with ultra-luxury brands, car companies will expand this part of their advantages and play word games with consumers to confuse concepts."

  An industry insider told reporters that new energy vehicle companies usually have more urgent financing needs, and they need to rely on "storytelling" to win the favor of investors.

"Every listed company has its own professional legal team, and they know the drawbacks and risks of such publicity, but why should they adopt such a promotion method? This is also related to the current exaggeration of the new energy vehicle industry."

  He said that the lack of technological innovation, the high homogeneity of product performance, and the lack of unique core technologies are the root causes of the "hypothetical wind" in the industry.

In order to maintain market competitiveness, some new energy car companies have to turn to stacking materials, stacking configuration, and specific luxury, and then raise the price, use exaggerated marketing to gain attention and maintain brand exposure.

  Zhang Xiang believes that new car forces are usually regarded as possessing "Internet genes", and people are more tolerant of them.

However, some common practices in the mobile phone and Internet industries cannot be simply grafted into the automotive industry, and need to be solidly produced.

"There are some achievements or breakthroughs in technology that should be encouraged, but they should not be over-marketed to deliberately mislead consumers."

  "The state has been emphasizing technological independence and technological innovation, and has also given great support to new energy vehicle companies, but at present it is still necessary to regulate and rectify the industry. We should advocate the spirit of hard work, so that we can really devote ourselves to the development of cutting-edge technology vehicles. The company has a sense of belonging, and we also expect Chinese car companies to come up with internationally renowned technology patents to truly lead the development of global new energy vehicles. At that time, the entire Chinese new energy vehicle industry will take off.” Zhang Xiang said.

  China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily trainee reporter Wang Zhiyuan Source: China Youth Daily

  July 07, 2022 Version 11

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