Reporter Gong Mengze

  As the first product of SAIC Audi, the importance of the A7L is self-evident.

But unfortunately, the Audi A7L sold only 316 units in January, which is not as good as the imported Audi A7.

  Regarding the poor sales of the first blockbuster model in the first month, SAIC Audi stated that "the A7L is still in the climbing stage, and only the 3.0T version has been delivered. In addition, there are only 120 stores in the country, resulting in lower sales than expected." explanation of.

However, by February, SAIC Audi A7L sales continued to be sluggish, with sales of only 258 units, which exposed the embarrassing situation of SAIC Audi and the positioning of A7L products.

  The first show of the domestic A7L is cold

  SAIC Audi's product layout is under attack

  Since the launch of the A7 in 2011, this imported C-class car has been hailed as "the most beautiful Audi car".

As the brand's first model and a luxury flagship model, SAIC Audi made a compromise between appearance and practicality, and decided to turn the Audi A7 hatchback semi-sport coupe into a regular sedan business sedan .

  Obviously, the longer body and larger space have significantly enhanced the business attributes of the vehicle.

It is generally believed in the industry that SAIC Audi wants to enter the market with an "identity" that is comfortable, administrative, and sporty, because the purely niche sports coupe is not suitable for the original intention of the highest flagship model.

However, at least 2 months after the launch, the A7L's performance was not satisfactory, and SAIC Audi's adventurous attempts based on research and product logic did not arouse a positive response from the market.

  First of all, in terms of brand positioning, SAIC Audi has always emphasized the slogan of "in China, for China".

In the view of SAIC Audi, after staggering the competition with FAW Audi, the product base from niche market segments and the models specially supplied to China are reasonable after localization adjustment, and there is also a consumer market.

  But in fact, due to the limited R&D capabilities of OEMs, SAIC, as a "caulker" of Volkswagen's global models in domestic models, is not fully covered. Compared, the gap between product strength and word of mouth is not small.

  Secondly, in terms of product matrix, SAIC Audi's product blueprint is too narrow, which has also become a natural weakness.

The "Securities Daily" reporter noticed that at present Audi Q2L, Q3, Q5L, A3, A4, A6 and other mainstream models have been incorporated into FAW Audi.

Even if it wants to boost sales through electric versions, coupe and other high-end models that have not yet been made in China, it is also the first to be established by the "Audi-FAW New Energy Joint Venture" established by FAW and Audi.

  In terms of model configuration and price, the price ranges of SAIC Audi A7L and FAW Audi A6L are 459,700 yuan-777,700 yuan and 419,800 yuan-656,000 yuan respectively; in terms of power, taking the 2.0T model as an example, the paper Behind the price difference of 10,000-40,000 yuan on the surface, the Audi A6L terminal has a minimum starting price of only 334,900 yuan, and its 3.0T V6 model can get the lowest price of 448,800 yuan in China, which is even lower than that of the A7L. starting price.

At the same time, with the rumored return of the imported Audi A7 Sportback 3.0T version, the layout of the A7L with two power combinations and as many as 11 models has been attacked, and sales are unlikely to rise in the short term.

  "North and South Audi" join forces in China

  SAIC Audi urgently needs to open self-rescue mode

  For SAIC, Cadillac has been the only second-tier luxury brand for many years, and it has been committed to the shadow of the mainstream luxury camp of BBA. Under the background of the group strategy of high-end joint ventures, "South Audi" has become a must-play.

  For Audi, in the cooperation with FAW, Audi only holds 10% of the shares. With the opening of the domestic equity ratio, Audi and SAIC can achieve a 50:50 equity ratio in the future.

More importantly, the pattern of BBA is changing.

  Looking at the BBA delivery report card in 2021, BMW is in the lead, delivering 2.52 million new cars globally in 2021, an increase of 8.4% year-on-year; followed by Mercedes-Benz with a total sales of 2.33 million vehicles, although not as good as BMW, it did not hinder Mercedes-Benz Become the most profitable business among the 3.

According to Mercedes-Benz's financial report, the group's turnover in 2021 will be 168 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 9%; net profit will rise from 4 billion euros in 2020 to 14.2 billion euros (excluding Daimler's truck and bus business).

  Audi also achieved steady growth in 2021, with both operating profit and net cash flow hitting record highs.

However, the establishment of SAIC Audi and the record of its first car did not surprise the market too much.

  Zhang Xiuyang, director of the China Passenger Vehicle Industry Alliance, said that in order to ensure the "smooth production" of SAIC-Audi, the tripartite agreement ensures the interests and emotions of FAW-Audi's existing investors to the greatest extent, and also avoids the risk of channel interest competition.

However, under this model, from the absence of the new electric platform of PPE, to the Audi A7L whose price positioning has been criticized, to the concept car of the ID. It didn't bring much business opportunities.

  "Affected by the dealers' interest network, the grid-connected operation structure has brought more systematic difficulties to SAIC Audi, making it subject to FAW Audi to a certain extent. Although SAIC is also striving for its own control initiative through innovation "Zhang Xiuyang believes that the short-term effect will not be obvious, and with the strong entry of cross-border capital such as Apple and Xiaomi to build cars, Audi's market will continue to be eroded.

  At the beginning of this year, Jia Mingdi, general manager of SAIC Audi's marketing business, said: "I hope the sales volume of SAIC Audi will exceed 50,000 units in the first year (2022)." He said that SAIC Audi hopes to help Audi brand return to the Chinese market. To No.1, I also hope that SAIC Audi will become a benchmark in all aspects such as experience and service to users.

In order to achieve the goal of 50,000 vehicles, SAIC Audi plans to launch three products: the key models A7L, Q5 e-tron, and a full-size SUV to be launched in the second half of the year.

Judging from the current sales situation and trend, SAIC Audi really needs to hurry up, otherwise it will be difficult to do so.

(Securities Daily)