Article by reporter Wu Bofeng/photo by our reporter

  Once upon a time, the intelligent networking of new car brands can be said to be a "master key" to capture the hearts of consumers.

But recently, the presence of new car brands seems to be gradually weakening.

At present, the sales data of major auto companies in the first month of 2023 has been released.

From the perspective of market performance, except for one new car brand that achieved monthly sales of over 10,000, the market performance of other new car brands such as Weilai Automobile and Nezha Automobile collectively "stalled", and sales showed a year-on-year decline.

  It is no accident that many new car brands performed poorly in the market.

Many consumers have questioned this: Why is the new car brand "not popular"?

  Development has entered a bottleneck period

  "Although new energy vehicles have lost the support of national subsidy policies this year, considering the overall product strength of new energy vehicles and the acceptance of the consumer market, it is expected that the new energy vehicle market will still maintain a relatively rapid growth rate in 2023." The development of the new energy vehicle market this year is optimistic.

  As soon as the words fell, the new energy vehicle market in January was not as hot as people imagined.

On February 3, the latest automobile production and sales data released by the National Passenger Car Market Information Association (hereinafter referred to as the Passenger Association) showed that in January, the national new energy passenger car sales were around 410,000, a month-on-month decrease of 45%. The recent sales of passenger car manufacturers have bottomed out.

Obviously, entering the new year, the new energy vehicles, which have been placed high expectations by all parties in the market, did not start smoothly.

  In this regard, Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the Passenger Federation, said in an interview with a reporter from "China Consumer News" that after the withdrawal of state subsidies for new energy vehicles, the national new energy passenger vehicle consumer market in January was adjusted immediately. After the switch, the key adjustment period for the market to adapt and gradually recover.

"In response to the cancellation of the subsidy policy, some new energy car companies introduced a time-limited price guarantee plan at the end of last year, which to a certain extent overdrawn the new energy car market at the beginning of this year." Cui Dongshu analyzed.

  The decline in sales of new energy vehicles will bear the brunt of the impact on new car brands with a fully electrified product lineup.

In the domestic auto market, thanks to its early layout advantages, "Wei Xiaoli" was once a representative of independent new car brands, and its market performance determines the overall development speed of new car brands to a certain extent.

  The reporter noticed that in January, except for the monthly sales of Ideal Automobile, which exceeded the 10,000-unit mark, neither Weilai Automobile nor Xiaopeng Automobile reached 10,000 units.

Specifically, the single-month deliveries of Weilai Automobile and Xiaopeng Automobile in January were 8,506 and 5,218 vehicles, respectively, a year-on-year decrease of 11.9% and 59.6%, respectively, and the declines were very obvious.

In addition, new car brands such as Nezha Automobile, Sailisi, and Leapao are also unable to escape the fate of declining sales, with varying degrees of decline.

Taking Leap Motors as an example, its delivery volume in January dropped to 1,139 units, a year-on-year decrease of 85.9% and a month-on-month decrease of 86.6%.

For a while, the decline became the main theme of the market performance of new car brands.

  In the eyes of many people, the overall poor performance of new car brands in January can be attributed to the switch of subsidy policies.

But in fact, since 2022, new car brands have begun to show signs of stagnation.

According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in 2022, the sales volume of the new energy vehicle market will increase by 93.4% year-on-year.

In contrast, the sales growth of most new car brands in the market is lower than the market average growth rate.

  In 2022, the annual sales volume of Weilai Automobile will be 122,500 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 34%; the annual sales volume of Xiaopeng Automobile will be 120,800 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 23%;

Among them, after Xiaopeng Motors won the sales champion of the new car brand in 2021, it called out the goal of "guaranteeing 250,000 annual sales in 2022", but the final goal completion rate was less than 50%.

It is worth mentioning that the annual sales of Aiways Automobile, Skyworth Automobile, and Evergrande New Energy are less than 1,000 vehicles.

In the context of the rapid growth of the new energy vehicle market, market competition has become increasingly fierce, and many new car brands have gradually lost their former glory.

  Cui Dongshu said that in the past two years, although the automobile consumer market has long expected and prepared for the result of the withdrawal of state subsidies for new energy vehicles, when new energy vehicles truly enter the market development, the consumer market still needs a process of adaptation.

In addition, it also has a lot to do with its own reasons.

  Price cuts are on the way

  "If you choose to buy a car in the near future, the terminal sales price of the vehicle will be more favorable than when you saw the car before. We can meet and discuss the specific price." On February 4, the sales consultant of NIO Beijing Changying Tianjie Exhibition Store called A reporter from "China Consumer Daily" shared the latest price cut news for its models.

  Compared with the reporter's investigation and interview half a month ago, the discount rate of the same model is now as high as 30,000 yuan.

The reporter learned that Weilai's 2022 ES8, ES6 and EC6 models are about to usher in a new generation, and there are still a small number of show cars and stock cars available for sale. Waiting for car purchase discounts.

  Such a picture was another scene at the beginning of this year.

Since January 1 this year, affected by the withdrawal of state subsidies for new energy vehicles from the market, major car companies have set off a wave of price increases.

And only less than a month later, many car companies have recently announced the implementation of "price reduction" plans for their models.

This rise and fall reflects the increasingly fierce market competition in the new energy vehicle market.

On January 6, Tesla announced price cuts for all domestic models, including Model 3 and Model Y, which dropped to the lowest prices ever.

In this context, many new car brands that have just announced price increases are in a dilemma.

  Zhang Hong, secretary-general of the New Energy Branch of the China Automobile Dealers Association, said in an interview with a reporter from China Consumer News that due to the increasingly fierce competition in the new energy vehicle market, other mainstream car companies have brought certain benefits to him in terms of technology research and development and market performance. pressure.

In order to achieve the established annual sales growth target, Tesla chose to cut prices at a special time node to reap better price adjustment effects.

  Recently, many car companies have cut prices for their new energy models.

Xiaopeng Motors announced that Xiaopeng Motors has launched a new price system for G3i, P5, and P7.

It is reported that the overall price reduction of Xiaopeng Motors this time is 20,000 to 36,000 yuan.

Among them, the lowest price of Xiaopeng G3i dropped from 168,900 yuan to 148,900 yuan.

Subsequently, Sailisi Motors announced that the Wenjie series models adopt a new price system, and the price reduction range of the models is between 28,800 yuan and 30,000 yuan.

In addition, many new car brands such as Leap Motor and Nezha Auto have also launched price reduction promotion plans.

  So, can price cuts really save the market performance of new car brands?

  Novelty declines rapidly

  For a long time, new car brands have attracted people's attention as a foothold for brand market competition differentiation by virtue of their inherent intelligent technology advantages.

At that time, there was an argument circulating in the industry that the "last straw" that overwhelmed traditional car companies was not new energy, but intelligence.

It is not difficult to see how important role intelligence plays in the automotive market.

  As the transformation of the "new four modernizations" in the auto market continues to accelerate, traditional auto companies have accelerated their digital transformation to maintain their competitive advantage in order to meet the needs of the consumer market.

Affected by this factor, traditional car companies are quickly making up for their deficiencies in the field of intelligence, and greatly narrowing the gap in product strength with new car brands.

In a sense, intelligence is not only the unique advantage of new car brands, but has become a common feature of all major car companies.

  Song Jian, a professor at the School of Vehicles and Vehicles at Tsinghua University, said in an interview with a reporter from China Consumer News that in the early stages of the development of new energy vehicles, the emergence of intelligent networking has changed the functions of vehicles, giving people a sense of technology and digital functions. The consumer groups have brought unprecedented freshness, and many consumers are willing to pay for it.

However, with the passage of time, intelligence has gradually evolved into a "standard" function of vehicles, and the previous novelty has become commonplace, and the differentiation advantages of new car brands will also weaken.

  At present, in the automobile market, whether it is a miniature passenger car with a price of less than 50,000 yuan or a pickup truck whose main function is to carry goods, they have all entered the era of intelligence, and people are no strangers to the experience of human-computer interaction.

  As a consumer of new energy vehicles, Li Weimiao from Hexi District, Tianjin, is deeply touched by this.

She told the "China Consumer Daily" reporter: "Because I bought a mini-car produced by a traditional car company, I didn't have much hope for the vehicle's networking functions, but the smart car-machine system equipped on the vehicle , rear parking radar and other intelligent functions are completely beyond my imagination."

  Previously, many traditional car companies lacked a market layout in the intelligent field, resulting in a lack of comprehensive product strength.

However, when the structure of the automobile market has quietly changed, traditional car companies are scrambling to embrace intelligence, hoping to accelerate their electrification process through intelligence.

  The reporter noticed that in terms of the functions of new cars launched in January, whether it is a fuel car or a new energy car produced by a traditional car company, intelligence is one of the main selling points, and there is not much difference from the new car brand.

  While traditional car companies have significantly improved the level of intelligence, the advantages of new car brands have also been reduced.

Song Jian believes that in the long run, intelligence is by no means the unique advantage of a certain car company or a new car brand. When intelligence becomes an important factor in the development of the auto market, the decline in the attractiveness of new car brands to the consumer market is also true. normal.

When people's freshness about intelligence weakens, how new car brands can find new differentiated advantages is the key to whether they can gain consumer recognition again.