Per reporter Sun Tongtong
"We once did a survey, among all the passenger car owners in China, there are their own private parking spaces, and the private parking spaces can install charging piles, about 15%, that is, 85% of private car owners do not have parking spaces, or there are parking spaces that cannot install charging piles. If the public charging pile has not reached a particularly popular level, it is bound to bring inconvenience to these people's new energy vehicle experience, and this part of the consumer group is precisely the target of our hybrid without (charging) pile. A few days ago, Yang Dayong, executive vice president of Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., said in an interview with the "Daily Economic News" reporter.
At the 2023 Shanghai International Auto Show, the hybrid model Ford Ruijie L officially announced its price, starting at 22,98 yuan, and it is reported that orders have exceeded <>,<> units. Officially, Ford Ruijie L is equipped with Ford's latest high-horsepower E-hybrid technology, announcing Ford's official entry into the "hybrid war".
In addition, a number of products under the Ford brand also appeared at this year's Shanghai Auto Show, including the Kunlun Summit Edition of the fuel vehicle product Explorer, the upcoming domestic mid-size pickup Ford Ranger, and the SUV Ford Bronco, which will soon be introduced to China; Pure electric vehicle products: Ford Electric Horse GT Storm Retro Version, pure electric pickup F-150 Lightning, etc.
Step by step into the era of pure electricity
In 2022, domestic new energy vehicles will continue to grow explosively, with production and sales reaching 705.8 million units and 688.7 million units, respectively, up 96.9% y/y and 93.4% y/y, and a market share of 25.6%. Among them, the sales of pure electric vehicles were 536.5 million units, a year-on-year increase of 81.6%; Plug-in hybrid vehicle sales reached 151.8 million units, a y/y increase of 1.5 times.
In this context, Changan Ford did not choose the fiercely competitive pure electric and plug-in hybrid technology track, but set its sights on fuel vehicles, integrated electrification technology into them, and revitalized the existing fuel vehicle market.
"Now the team is going to the owners with (charging) piles, which must be the future, but before that, the transition period may be five years, or ten years, at least until 2030." Therefore, we pushed a hybrid technology that does not use (charging) piles, which does not require charging piles, which not only solves the problem of inconvenient installation of private piles, but also solves the problem of inconvenient charging on the road when going out for a long time, and is also a special fuel-saving technology. Yang Dayong said that Changan Ford's hybrid is a method and measure to transform oil vehicles into energy-saving vehicles, mainly to revitalize traditional fuel vehicles, which does not fully represent the trend of future electrification, but is only a medium-term solution.
According to the official introduction, due to the use of power diversion technology, the E-hybrid system ensures power performance and driving pleasure on the basis of considering fuel economy. This power diversion technology uses a planetary gear mechanism to couple the engine and generator, so as to achieve power distribution at the input of the power. The vehicle control system VCU accurately calculates the efficiency of the engine and motor, and automatically matches the power output mode, so that the entire hybrid system always runs in the range of optimal comprehensive efficiency and achieves a balance between power and fuel consumption.
"The future must be the world of electric vehicles, and no company can move against the trend." Changan Ford does not want to go too radically, because we believe that the process of new energy vehicles, or intelligent vehicles replacing fuel vehicles, is not a vertical switch like cars replacing horse-drawn carriages in the past. This process must be gentle and gradually realized, then the strategy must be phased, the steps cannot be too different, and it must be taken step by step. Therefore, Changan Ford is not the same as many of the more radical car companies. We first transition from fuel vehicles to hybrid vehicles without (charging) piles, and then the next step is hybrid with (charging) piles, and then pure electric vehicles with (charging) piles, step by step. Yang Dayong said.
"The price war has just begun"
In fact, compared with independent brands, joint venture brands lag behind in the pace of electrification transformation, and most pure electric platforms and products will be launched around 2025.
According to data from the Passenger Association of China, the wholesale penetration rate of new energy vehicle manufacturers in March this year was 3%. Among them, the penetration rate of own-brand new energy vehicles was 31.46%; The penetration rate of new energy vehicles among luxury cars is 4%; The penetration rate of mainstream joint venture brand new energy vehicles is only 36.3%.
In the new energy vehicle market, although its own brands have an absolute first-mover advantage, in Yang Dayong's view, Changan Ford's gradual realization of pure electrification is not too late.
"The replacement of fuel vehicles by new energy vehicles is a linear gradual process. It may be too early to say whether it is too late, at present, the entire industry is still in its early stages, and the price of the entire industrial chain is up and down, fluctuating greatly. As long as it is not later than the reaction speed of the entire industry chain, it can keep up with the speed of the industry. If the entire industrial chain is ready, I am afraid it will be a little late to enter at this time. Yang Dayong said.
In Yang Dayong's view, before 2030, the three technical routes of pure electric technology, plug-in hybrid technology and fuel hybrid technology will form a "three-point world" pattern in the market, accounting for 1:1:1. By 2030, the market share of new energy vehicles is expected to be about 66%, of which pure electric models have many technical problems to be solved in addition to charging problems, especially battery safety.
It is worth noting that since the beginning of this year, the "price war" in the domestic car market has intensified, and many automobile brands have been involved, which has also brought challenges to business operations.
"I think the price war has just begun, and there are still more than 150 auto companies in China, which shows that the price war is not tragic enough, and it has not yet hit the point where everyone can't get by." March is the price war of inventory cars, and after entering April, it is the price war of new cars, whether it is independent brands or joint venture brands, the price of electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles is very competitive, and I think that the price war will be more fierce in the future, which cannot be avoided. Yang Dayong said.
In Yang Dayong's view, if an enterprise does not consider its sustainable and healthy development, blindly participating in the price war will not last long. In the face of the price war, Changan Ford adopted relatively stable countermeasures, not avoiding but not radical. "We are at the basic profit point, and we dedicate resources to give back to consumers. At the same time, price reduction is not a matter of the OEM alone, but will discuss with our partners and strive to bring consumers a better cost performance. Yang Dayong said that in addition to adjusting prices, precise positioning and providing differentiated solutions are also ways for enterprises to survive in the fierce competition.