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How can Weilai withdraw from the cooperation of Changan New Energy?
Sep 11,2020 15:07CST
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: Changan Wei came to the end of cooperation. On August 30, Changan Automobile revealed in its semi-annual report that it had increased its investment in Changan Lailai New Energy Automobile Technology Co., Ltd. (referred to as "Changan Weilai"), and held a total of 95.38% of the equity. Next, Changan Automobile will acquire Changan Wei through the establishment of a new wholly-owned subsidiary Chongqing Changan Automotive Software Technology Co., Ltd. It is estimated that Weilai may hold a 4.62% small stake in Changan Lai only as an investor.

At present, neither side has responded more to this change. However, from the perspective of shareholding ratio, the cooperation between Changan and Weilai has deteriorated. Cooperation with Weilai has been an important part of Changan's layout of new energy, and it has even been reported that Changan plans to use this project to promote the landing of medium-and high-end electric car brands. Now that the cooperation between the two sides has failed, what is the next step on the road of new energy in Chang'an? In the face of the transformation of the new four modernizations of the automobile, how does Chang'an think about it?

Hit it off and go their separate ways

The cooperation between Chang'an and Weilai can be traced back to four years ago. As early as April 2016, Changan Automobile appeared on the background board at the partner meeting held by Xilai Automobile.

In April 2017, the two sides formally signed a strategic cooperation agreement, saying that they would carry out all-round cooperation around the intelligent network and the new energy industry chain, and integrate the advantages of both sides in platform, technology, management, manufacturing and marketing. create a platform for automotive products and marketing services.

A year later, Changan Weilai, a joint venture company established by the two sides, landed in Nanjing, covering the design and development of new energy vehicles and parts, automobile sales and related after-sales service. The two sides each contributed 49 million yuan and held 50% of the shares.

At that time, Li Bin, founder of Weilai Automobile, said that the strategic cooperation between Changan and Weilai was an innovation of mechanism and mode, and that the headquarters of the joint venture company located in Jiangning, Nanjing, would help products enter a more popular market.

For the cooperation of traditional car companies, Weilai has always maintained an open mind. This can be reflected in its power to question the establishment of contract manufacturing cooperation with Jianghuai Automobile and the launch of the HYCAN co-creation brand with Guangzhou Automobile.

The logic of Xilai is clear. He defines himself not only as a carmaker, but as a technology company, which means that its business model is not just car sales, but a "hardware + software + service" combination model.

According to the development trend, automotive products may only be a terminal device in the future, and the software and after-sales service that serve as the entry point of traffic will be a bigger market. Based on this judgment, Ulai is undoubtedly willing to form a wide range of alliances in order to form a certain scale of terminal sales and establish a user ecology.

Guang Qi Wei Lai has made the logic very clear. On August 19, Liao Bing, founder of Guangqi Kilai, said in a public speech that the business model of traditional mainframe factories and new energy manufacturers still focused on the sale of pure automobile hardware. but this is far from enough to meet the more and more complex needs of car users for intelligent travel services. Guang Qi Wei to create a new "hardware + AI OS+ ecological service member" business model.

Liao Bing also announced at the scene the BOM list of HYCAN 007s, including the full cost of all hardware manufacturing and testing, manufacturing and logistics links of the HYCAN 007s, and announced that the comprehensive profit of the hardware would not be more than 1 per cent. Thus it can be seen that GAC has begun to explore a model that does not rely on hardware to make money.

If you look at the traditional car companies represented by Chang'an, electrification is a must, but starting from scratch, in terms of resource investment, it almost takes 10 billion yuan to start, not a small sum of money. Zhu Huarong once said in public, "instead of exploring alone, it is better to find a knowledgeable partner."

Li Bin once recalled that shortly after its establishment, Zhu Huarong invited Li Bin to "have a chat" and took Li Bin to visit Changan's company in Beijing to discuss the possibility of cooperation. As for the cooperation with Weilai, Zhu Huarong likens it to "looking for the selected love partner after a long time." It can be seen that the initial cooperation between the two sides hit it off.

In the follow-up promotion, the project of Changan Weilai has not been achieved for a long time, but it has been overtaken by Guangqi Wei, which has reached cooperation after that. What is the crux of this? neither side intends to take the lead in speaking out at present. If we sort out the logic of Changan's layout of new energy, we may be able to see one or two.

High-end new energy brands may be on the brink.

Chang'an Automobile has always been "entangled" with electrification. "entanglement" is not a derogatory term, but the common mentality of most traditional car companies facing the transformation of electrification. This is mainly because the development of new energy vehicles in China once relied on subsidies instead of fully following the market-oriented logic. The product strategy of automobile companies is bound to take into account consumer acceptance, although electrification is an inevitable step, but how to go, there is no doubt that we still need to be careful.

The new energy layout of Changan Automobile is mainly around the "Shangri-La Plan". It plans to invest 100 billion yuan in the upper and lower reaches of the industrial chain to develop three special platforms for new energy by 2020, and to launch 33 new energy products by 2025. And stop producing traditional fuel models.

At present, Chang'an is promoting its goal through energy conservation and new energy. On the one hand, Changan Automobile vigorously promotes energy-saving technology. Through four years of research and development, Chang'an has built a modular engine research and development platform for the next generation of emission and fuel consumption standards-BlueKing NE power platform, which is compatible with 48V light hybrid, HEV hybrid, PHEV plug hybrid, REEV add program hybrid and other designs.

On the other hand, Changan Automobile wants to attract social capital and industrial chain resources to make new energy vehicles, and cooperation with Weilai was once a part of this strategy.

In May 2018, Chongqing Changan New Energy Automotive Technology Co., Ltd., an independent new energy subsidiary of Changan, was established. Changan plans to package its new energy-related assets into the newly established company. and plans to introduce social capital.

At about the same time, Changan also reached a strategic cooperation with BYD, and the two sides planned to set up a joint venture in Liangjiang New area of Chongqing to produce and sell power batteries. In addition, the two sides also announced that they will carry out technical cooperation in the fields of new energy vehicles, intelligent network connection, self-driving and so on.

Judging from the situation at that time, Changan Automobile hoped to introduce more social capital into the carrier through its new energy subsidiary, and at the same time cooperated with enterprises such as Xilai and BYD, which made efforts earlier in the field of electric vehicles, to jointly promote the landing of the "Shangri-La Project".

The financing process of Changan New Energy is not as smooth as expected. In October 2018, Changan New Energy was listed on the Shanghai United property Exchange, with a plan to sell 51% of its shares and introduce no less than three strategic investors. The capital introduction plan will not be officially launched until the end of 2019.

In December 2019, Changan Automobile announced that Changan New Energy has introduced four strategic investors, and after the capital increase and share expansion is completed, the equity held by Changan Automobile will be diluted from 100% to 48.95%. The four strategic investors are: Nanjing Runke, Changxin Fund, Liangjiang Fund and Southern Industrial Fund.

After the introduction of new capital, Changan New Energy has not released a follow-up plan. However, with the electrification of power, the time of Changan Automobile is very tight.

Compared with the six major domestic automobile groups, BAIC's new energy sector has been listed independently, and a joint venture between high-end electric car brand ARCFOX; Guangzhou Automobile and Weilai has established a new energy brand HYCAN, and the first production car, HYCAN 007, has been listed; even Dongfeng Motor, which was previously "insensitive" to new energy, has recently launched the high-end electric car brand Lantu.

Will Changan Automobile also launch a high-end new energy brand? This is not without trace. In April 2018, Changan Automobile released its third entrepreneurial strategy and reorganized its brands to form a four-brand system composed of Changan Automobile, Auchan Automobile, Kacheng Automobile and medium-and high-end brands. According to the statement of Changan Automobile at that time, the middle and high-end brands will be jointly built by Changan Automobile and its partners, which lays the groundwork for its follow-up development.

Nowadays, almost all Chinese car brands are developing new energy on the one hand and devoting themselves to the upward road of the brand on the other hand. Changan Automobile has no action and is afraid to be left behind. Changan's mid-and high-end new energy brands may be on the brink.

Focus on advantages and develop intelligent network connection

Facing the trend of the new four modernizations of the automobile: electric, intelligent, networked and shared, each enterprise has its own planning and emphasis. From the point of view of the layout, Changan Automobile invests more in the field of intelligent network connection, and is slightly weaker in the layout of electrification and shared travel.

With regard to the overall planning of Intelligent Network Alliance, Chang'an, through the Beidou Tianshu plan, announced that it will no longer produce new non-Internet cars by 2020, achieve 100% networking, 100% equipped with driving assistance systems, and achieve 100% voice control by 2025. L4 intelligent driving products will be on the market.

As early as April 2016, Chang'an launched a 2000 km super self-driving experience. Taking Chongqing as the starting point, it took five days to arrive in Beijing through Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Shijiazhuang and other places. It has become the first automobile company in China to realize long-distance self-driving.

In March this year, Changan Automobile announced that the UNI-T with L3 self-driving would achieve domestic mass production. The car's on-board brain relies on the cooperation between Changan and Horizon, which jointly developed the "Intelligent cockpit NPU Computing platform" and equipped with the first gauge-grade AI chip Horizon II.

Changan Automobile revealed in the financial report that its L3 self-driving has mastered more than 30 key core technologies and is rapidly promoting engineering development; L4 self-driving is demonstrating operation under the open road scene of Xiantao data Valley in Chongqing.

In terms of vehicle system, Chang'an and Tencent set up a joint venture "Indus couplet". In April 2019, Indus Union released the TINNOVE OS system, which has been updated to TINNOVE OS version 3.0 so far. Compared with the previous version of, TINNOVE OS 3.0, it has better performance and hardware adaptability while strengthening the basic capabilities such as account and data.

In the layout of the sharing field, Chang'an is mainly carried out with the help of Changan travel and T3 travel platforms. Compared with Geely, SAIC, BAIC, Great Wall and other car companies in the field of shared travel layout, Changan Automobile belongs to the middle position, neither particularly prominent nor left behind.

Judging from the previously released information, Changan Travel plans to complete the operation of 10,000 vehicles in 2018 and plans to reach 40 cities and 50,000 vehicles by 2020. T3, a joint venture with FAW and Dongfeng, has entered 8 cities, including Nanjing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Changchun, Tianjin and Changsha. At present, Changan has not released more data.


Through the above layout, it is not difficult to see that Changan Automobile faces the layout of the new four modernizations, and the core strategy is to share risks and costs through industrial chain cooperation. From the point of view of the specific progress in various fields, the intelligent network connection layout is in the leading position, while the electrified and shared layout is in the following state. From the current trend of the domestic automobile market, the power of high-end, electric, intelligent has been irreversible, the overall layout of Changan Automobile is advancing steadily, there is no problem with the strategy, but it is necessary to speed up the action.

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