As the domestic epidemic prevention and control situation is getting better, the "spring breeze" of consumption recovery is blowing into the Chinese auto market.

In the two battlefields of high-end brands and the transformation of new energy vehicles, Chinese independent brands are accumulating energy.

  “In the past two months, the number of customers who came to the store to see and choose cars has increased significantly.” In the Dongfang Jiye Automobile City, Chaoyang District, Beijing, a sales consultant Liu Yandong of a 4S shop of an automobile brand said with emotion, “The atmosphere is different from last year’s deserted atmosphere. This year, the entire Auto City has become more lively. Whether it is buying or selling cars, everyone is very motivated."

  The sales data corroborated Liu Yandong's feelings.

Statistics from the China Automobile Manufacturers Association show that in February this year, the sales of passenger cars across the country increased rapidly year-on-year.

A total of 1.156 million vehicles were sold that month, an increase of 4.1 times year-on-year.

  "Compared with the same period last year, both foreign and Chinese brands have seen a relatively large increase in sales. Among them, the growth rate of American cars and French cars is more prominent, and the growth of Chinese brand cars is even more obvious." China Auto Chen Shihua, deputy secretary-general of the Industrial Association, said.

  "Although the pace of recovery is accelerating, we still need to be vigilant about the impact of the aftermath of the epidemic on the development of enterprises." Xue Xu, an associate professor at the School of Economics of Peking University, said bluntly, "Whenever major changes or difficulties occur in the overall environment, market competition will be accelerated. To widen the gap between the head and tail brands, companies can only avoid falling behind unless they re-understand and master the laws of market development."

  As Xue Xu said, the emergence of the epidemic has exacerbated the situation in China's auto market and even the global auto market that "the strong will remain strong while the weak will become weaker".

With the announcement of sales reports by major auto companies in the first quarter of this year, people may be able to discover the main theme and keywords of the development of China's auto market this year from the "leaders" of major market segments.

  There is no doubt that as the domestic epidemic prevention and control situation is getting better, the "spring breeze" of consumption recovery is blowing into the Chinese auto market.

In the two battlefields of high-end brands and the transformation of new energy vehicles, Chinese independent brands are accumulating energy.

"Quality + word of mouth" leveraging the high-end market

  "In the first two months of this year, a total of 1.362 million self-owned brand passenger vehicles were sold, an increase of 87.5% year-on-year, accounting for 42.6% of total passenger vehicle sales, and their share increased by 3.1 percentage points over the same period last year." Talking about self-owned brands In his recent performance, Chen Shihua quoted such a set of data.

  Setting the indicator of time forward, at the beginning of China's auto industry, the Chinese auto market is almost dominated by joint venture brands, and there are very few self-owned brand vehicles on the road.

In the course of more than ten years of development, self-owned brands have been labeled with various labels such as "poor quality" and "low cost performance" by some people.

  "Now the sales of independent brands can account for about half of the total market, which is inseparable from the efforts of these companies on product quality and brand image." Liu Zhichao, an automotive industry analyst, told reporters, "After decades of initial accumulation in the initial stage 'After continuous exploration, now the independent brands have clarified the focus of their efforts and ushered in the harvest time."

  Among them, the Hongqi brand is undoubtedly a representative of great reference.

Officially released data show that in the first quarter of this year, Hongqi’s cumulative sales exceeded 70,000 vehicles, an increase of 180% year-on-year.

It is worth mentioning that this is on the basis of an 88% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of last year, and Hongqi once again achieved a "continuous jump" in sales.

  Some analysts believe that the reason why Hongqi can surpass traditional luxury brands such as Cadillac and Volvo and rank among the forefront of luxury brand market sales has a huge relationship with its product and brand cooperation and deep cultivation.

  "In the past, Hongqi has always been strong in the field of official vehicles. However, with the introduction of new models such as Hongqi H5, H7, HS5, HS7, H9 and E-HS9 in recent years, Hongqi has successfully leveraged the development of private vehicles. A big market." Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the Federation of Travel Services, believes that Hongqi's triumphant advancement in the market in recent years is inseparable from the support and recognition of private consumers.

  "The appearance of Hongqi models is relatively atmospheric, very stable and mature, in line with the traditional Chinese aesthetics." Sun Zedong, the owner of the Hongqi car from Changchun, told reporters, "Inside, Hongqi is also equipped with many new technologies and configurations to enhance driving experience and comfort. The safety factor, this style of'internal and external' is very popular."

  With the continuous improvement of Hongqi's product quality, Hongqi has now formed a sedan family consisting of H5, H7, and H9, and an SUV family consisting of E-HS3, HS5, HS7, and E-HS9. The overall product structure has become more perfect, and In terms of price, it perfectly covers the mid-to-high-end consumer market of 150,000-700,000 yuan.

  Of course, for independent luxury brands like Hongqi, product sales and brand image are like giant's feet, and both are indispensable.

  In the past two years, Hongqi has changed its usual preaching mode in the field of automobile marketing.

Especially this year, Hongqi's series of precise, rapid and intensive innovative marketing measures have allowed people to see new possibilities for car brand building.

This all reflects the strength and potential of the experiential marketing model of the Hongqi brand in the new era and new development pattern.

  Great Wall Motors and Changan Automobile are also blooming in terms of quality and reputation.

  Data show that in February this year, Great Wall Motors sold 89,000 vehicles globally, a year-on-year increase of 788%, of which domestic and overseas sales increased by 1029% and 226% respectively.

From January to February, the cumulative sales of Great Wall Motors reached 228,000, an increase of 153% year-on-year, and 19% of the annual sales target has been completed.

  "It can be seen that while SUVs and pickups under Great Wall Motors continue to improve their product matrix, they are fully equipped with intelligent applications to provide passengers with more new driving safety experiences. The launch of new smart cars is empowering the brand to continue to grow." Liu Zhichao analyzed and said.

  While Changan Automobile won the SUV market sales champion in February this year with its boutique SUV CS75, it is also actively exploring the rejuvenation of its brand and reputation.

  "After taking brand rejuvenation as a strategy, if we want to effectively communicate to consumers, especially young consumers, we must do marketing in a way that young people are accustomed to and like." said the relevant person in charge of Changan Automobile.

  Whether it is product marketing in the cross-border e-sports industry, discussions with young people about the habit of staying up late with the topic of "night owls" on Weibo, and launching of UNI sequence young design style products, they are all actions that Changan Automobile has gradually brought closer to the lives of young people. Good illustration.

  "Different from the previous self-owned brand's strategy of'fragmentation', now the development of self-owned brands has become large-scale and systematic." When talking about the current situation of self-owned brands, Cui Dongshu said, "It can be seen that the head self-owned brands are taking shape. The positive cycle between word-of-mouth and products, through the mutual assistance of both ends, continue to achieve the goal of sales growth and brand improvement."

The market code behind the fierce battle for new energy

  "While catfish disturbs the overall living environment, it also activates the survival ability of other fish." In Xue Xu's view, a means or measure is adopted to stimulate some companies to become active and invest in the market to actively participate in competition, thereby activating the market. Companies in the same industry in China are undoubtedly a good thing for the development of the overall industry.

  In fact, this "catfish effect" is playing out in the field of new energy vehicles.

In the past year, as Tesla’s main models Model 3 and Model Y are made domestically and prices are cut, remarks such as "new car power is dead" and "new energy vehicle market may have a big end" have been raging for a while.

  However, the market's performance strongly responded to these pessimistic thoughts.

Recently, the "three new powers" of car-making-Weilai, Ideal, and Xiaopeng announced the report card for the first quarter of this year.

The three auto companies all ushered in the "strongest quarter" with a growth of several times year-on-year, among which Weilai and Xiaopeng both increased by more than 4 times year-on-year.

  "Obviously, the emergence of the'catfish' of Tesla has stimulated the potential of China's new energy automobile industry, especially new car players. Their planning and layout have accelerated, and the pace of growth can be seen with the naked eye." Cui Dongshu said.

  On April 1, Weilai released data showing that in March, Weilai delivered 7,257 new cars, a record high, a year-on-year increase of 373.4% and a month-on-month increase of 30.1%.

Weilai delivered a total of 20,060 vehicles in the first quarter, reaching a single-season delivery of more than 20,000 vehicles for the first time, a year-on-year increase of 422.7% and a month-on-month increase of 15.6%.

  At the same time, the three Weilai SUV models on sale all showed a hot sales trend. Among them, Weilai ES8 delivered 1,529 units; Weilai ES6 delivered 3152 units; and coupe SUV Weilai EC6 delivered 2,576 units.

As of March 31, NIO’s cumulative delivery volume has reached 95,700, and the 100,000th production vehicle rolled off the assembly line on April 7.

  In addition to new car sales, NIO has also accelerated its industry-wide layout. In March, NIO added 5 power replacement stations and 9 overcharge stations across the country. A total of 196 power stations, 139 overcharge stations and 1,826 were built. At the root destination charging station, users have exchanged electricity more than 2 million times in total.

  Xiaopeng Motors also announced its first quarter results. In March, the delivery volume was 5,102 vehicles. In the first quarter, the delivery volume increased by 487% to 13,300 vehicles, the best quarterly delivery performance in history.

The gap between Ideal Automobile and Xiaopeng Automobile is very small. In March, Ideal Automobile delivered 4,900 units, an increase of 238.6% year-on-year; in the first quarter, a total of 12,500 vehicles were delivered, an increase of 334.4% year-on-year.

  It is worth noting that, according to Xiaopeng Motors, in order to meet the growing market demand, Xiaopeng Motors will further expand its product lineup this year.

The P7 Pengyi version, which focuses on the high-end coupe market, has been delivered at the end of March. The G3 and P7 lithium iron phosphate batteries launched on March 3 are scheduled to be delivered in April and May this year.

In the second quarter of this year, Xiaopeng Motors will also start selling a third new mass-produced model, and plans to start delivery in the fourth quarter of this year.

  "As the general direction of the future automobile development, the competition of new energy vehicles is not only fierce, but may continue for a very long time." According to Fu Yuwu, the honorary chairman of the Chinese Society of Automotive Engineering and the honorary chairman of the China Automobile Talent Research Association , The potential and possibility of the new energy vehicle market is still huge.

  In this case, if you want to improve the quality of the development of the new energy automobile industry and avoid being eliminated by the market, it is not only necessary to accelerate the development of new car-building forces, but also to carry out long-lasting and deep cultivation in key technologies and strategies.

  "The recent rapid development of China's electric vehicle market presents a new situation of rapid rise with self-owned brands as the core." Cui Dongshu analyzed, "Under this situation, whether it is Hongqi, Weilai, Ideal or Xiaopeng, they all show up. The trend of'new luxury development' is of great significance to the public in enhancing brand confidence and boosting consumption."

  In Cui Dongshu’s view, domestic high-end new energy vehicles should seize this opportunity to develop the concept of "new luxury" on the brand and product side. This will not only enhance consumer confidence in independent brands, but also promote new consumer demand for electrification. The improvement of experience can also enable more independent models to make breakthroughs, gain more recognition from consumers, and promote better and faster development of independent brands.

  Cui Dongshu suggested that leading companies in the new energy vehicle market continue to make efforts in core three-electric technologies and increase R&D investment to break the shackles and constraints brought about by the "chip shortage", and use high-end intelligent products to enhance and improve consumers’ Attitudes and impressions of new energy vehicle products.

  "At the same time, auto companies should also focus on user experience and service experience, and actively promote word-of-mouth marketing similar to'respected service' and'intimate service' to bring more benefits and meticulous care to consumers." Cui Dongshu said.

  China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily reporter Zhang Zhenqi Source: China Youth Daily