In the afternoon of Aug. 19, in response to the news that the media released about the creation of Yulai Automobile Return Branch and the closure of Silicon Valley Office, Yulai Automobile clarified through open channels, all of which were untrue reports. Weilai has no plans to go back to the company and the Silicon Valley office has been in a normal state of operation.
Under the pressure of public opinion, the new car-making force known as China Sla has been struggling to move forward. From the mass production crisis, financial constraints, layoffs to technological strength, business model, product safety, overwhelming doubts, the future is full of difficulties.
Not only that, but the first retired executive was welcomed by the new force of young car makers.
In mid-August, it was reported that Zheng Xiancong, co-founder and executive vice president of Weilai, retired. Li Bin, chairman of Weilai Automobile confirmed the news in an internal email. Li Bin said that after his retirement, Zheng Xiancong will continue to serve as his personal consultant, support the company in the supply chain and partnership, and continue to serve as chairman of Weilai Driving Technology, and continue to guide Weilai Driving Technology strategically. Development.
According to public information, Zheng Xiancong is the co-founder and executive vice president of Weilai. He worked at Ford for many years in his early years. He was previously vice president of Fiat China Global Purchasing Center and general manager of Guangzhou Automobile Fiat. Zheng Xiancong, who has been working in the automotive industry for many years, is one of the senior executives with rich experience in vehicle manufacturing in Weilai.
Chinas automotive industry is in a period of adjustment. While saying goodbye to years of high growth, the differentiation of enterprises is also intensifying, and there is a elimination competition going on inside. Although the new and old momentum switching brings some opportunities to the new forces of automobile manufacturing, whether the decline of new energy subsidies or the entry of multinational automobile companies such as Tesla into China, the new forces have been subjected to multiple attacks.
On August 15, Xiaopeng announced its fifth anniversary. In 2014, it is regarded as the first year of the birth of new Chinese automobile-making forces. Dozens of new automobile-making forces, such as Xiaopeng, Weilai, Weima, Che and Home, were founded in 2014 and 2015. Unconsciously, the first new car-making forces have been starting their own businesses for five years.
Over the past five years, although new car-making forces are turning their PPT into real products, the real challenges facing new Internet car-making forces are far more than they imagined when they started their businesses.
Chinas new car-making forces are looking for a way out on the road of entrepreneurship. Most enterprises are still working hard for the first car to enter the market. Some people are looking for new financing, others are listed on the market with their sword fingers, and more enterprises will be eliminated in the road of car-making.
Somebody came in and somebody left.
Previously, the industrys evaluation of most of the new forces in the Internet automobile industry was often considered to have the innovative spirit of the Internet, but lacked the awe of traditional manufacturing industries. Over the past period, a large number of senior executives of traditional automobile companies have been paid high salaries to take up important positions by new automobile manufacturers, but the main force of most new automobile manufacturers is still young blood. Even many people know little about the automobile industry before, just based on the enthusiasm of entrepreneurship and personal worship of the companys founders.
Over the past few years, it has been five years since the new forces of car-making recruited and expanded their ranks. This trend has changed this year. Since this year, the news of layoffs has come from many new auto-making forces such as Weilai and Singularity.
On March 22 this year, Weilai Automobile officially announced its layoff plan. In an internal letter issued by the founder and chairman of Weilai Automobile, Li Bin, said that after the rapid development, there have been some situations in Weilai, such as duplication of department settings, unclear tasks, unclear responsibilities and insufficient workload in some positions. These are the management efficiency optimization tasks that Weilai needs to solve this year. Business. He said that in the first half of this year, the total number of people will be controlled within 9,500, optimizing about 3%.
However, Weilais personnel optimization efforts are greater than previously expected.
In response to the layoffs, Qin Lihong, president of Weilai Automobile, said: This year Weilai has been doing partial optimization to improve operational efficiency, which is what we should do at this stage. In addition, he said that the total number of employees in Weilai at that time was more than 8,800.
This also means that the staff optimization of Ulai Automobile has approached 10%, rather than 3% of the previous plan. On August 16, Li Bin also responded to the downsizing of Weilai Automobile at the New Energy Vehicle Consumption Forum 2019.
Before 2019, the main task of Yulai Automobile is to launch its models as soon as possible and deliver them to customers. Beginning this year, Weilai Automobile will focus on the companys economic operation, improve operational efficiency, and develop next generation products, so Weilai Automobile needs to make adjustments to this. Li Bin said. At present, Weilai has not disclosed whether it will continue to further optimize the personnel structure.
Of course, there are more and more people from traditional automobile companies entering the new force of automobile manufacturing. Unlike Weilai, many new car makers are still expanding their ranks. Since August, the group has welcomed three senior executives, Zhou Jiang, former general manager of Changan Peugeot Citroen Automobile Sales Company, Wang Kefeng, former senior vice president and President of Research Institute of Guanzhi Automobile, and Shen Shui, an intelligent technology expert, to hold important positions. In addition, it is reported that Huang Xiangdong, former president of Guangzhou Automobile Group Automobile Engineering Research Institute, will be the president of Hengda Automobile Research Institute.
Compared with the traditional car companies, the salaries of the new car makers are more favorable. The senior talents who have worked in traditional automobile enterprises for many years also hope to achieve higher professional ideal through this springboard. On August 19, some people in the automotive industry told reporters about 21st century economic reports.
The future is uncertain
No matter those who have left or are still sticking to or just entered the new force of car building, to this day, they can not judge the future of this new car building movement. Because, at present, the more important and urgent task of the new automobile-making forces is to survive.
The capital problem of the new automobile-making forces is still the biggest obstacle in the process of burning money entrepreneurship. However, with the narrowing of financing channels in the primary market, it is becoming more and more difficult for new automobile manufacturers to find money, and capital tends to head enterprises.
On the evening of August 16, Ideal announced the completion of a $530 million round of C financing. This round of financing is led by Wang Xing, the founder of the group, who has invested nearly 300 million US dollars.
A new round of financing can provide financial guarantee for mass production for ideal cars with new cars in sight. However, the total financing amount of Ideal Vehicle at present is 1.575 billion US dollars, and it is difficult to fully support its long-term development.
It is worth mentioning that on the evening of June 17, Leo shares, the shareholder of Automobile and Home (the predecessor of Ideal Automobile), announced that in order to build a VIE framework and complete the restructuring, Leo Hong Kong, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong, would subscribe to and hold shares in Automobile and Home Cayman.
VIE framework is an important way for Chinese enterprises to list overseas. Weilai Automobile uses this framework to list in American stock market. Some investors told 21st century economic reporters that the purpose of building VIE framework for cars and homes is to point to the listing plan.
The new force of car-making is bound to rush to the market, which is essentially a capital game. The capital that enters the new force of car-making has the requirement of realizing, and it cant be withdrawn without going public. Some investors told reporters.
However, the overseas capital market is not optimistic about Chinas new car-making forces.
As the first benchmark of the new auto maker, Ulai Automobile did not perform well in the U.S. stock market. As of August 18, U.S. Eastern Time, Weilai Automobile closed at $295, with a market value of $3.1 billion. Compared with the $6.26 issue price when it went public on September 12 last year, Ulais initial market value was more than $10 billion.
Judging from the current earnings report of Ulai Automobile, its cumulative loss in the past three years has exceeded 20 billion yuan. Moreover, whether it is radical operation or R&D production, Weiwei will need to spend a lot of money in the next few years.
The limited access to US dollar financing, Weilai is exploring the RMB financing channel, which also makes the rumor of its return to science and innovation seem reasonable. In May this year, Weilai signed a framework agreement with Beijing Yizhuang International Investment Development Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Yizhuang Guotou). According to the agreement, Weilai will set up a new entity in Beijing to load some assets of Yulai automobile, which will receive an investment of 10 billion RMB from Yizhuang Guotou. In an interview with 21st Century Economic Reporter, Li Bin said that this will open up the RMB financing channel for Weilai.
However, from the current point of view, the listing is clearly not the end of the new car-making forces, and the listing is not enough to support a new car-making forces to survive.
Some people believe that the capital will be the straw to crush the new forces of car-making, which can not escape the final result of being acquired. Especially in the real estate, science and technology industry giants to the automotive industry expansion momentum, such a situation is indeed possible.
Nevertheless, there are also new auto-makers who are looking for another chance to survive and participate in the market competition with the help of the strength of traditional auto companies.
On August 16, Jiangling Group, Changan Automobile and Aichi Automobile announced the establishment of Jiangling Holdings Co., Ltd. This is the first case of mixed transformation of state-owned enterprises, local state-owned enterprises and new start-up private enterprises in China. The share ratios of AICHI, Jiangling Group and Changan Automobile in Xinjiangling Holdings are 50%, 25% and 25%, respectively.
As far as AICHI is concerned, this action not only solves the production qualifications of the new automobile manufacturing forces, but also provides guarantee for its follow-up financial support by relying on the central and state-owned enterprises. In addition, the company has realized the control of Lufeng Motor, that is to say, the company can enter the traditional fuel vehicle field by this way, and share the risk of new energy vehicles by walking on two legs.
There will be many problems in paying for qualifications, which may involve legal qualifications, manpower allocation, and production in other places. In contrast, two-legged walking will be more stable and faster, and in-depth cooperation is more beneficial to the development of both enterprises than purchasing qualifications alone. Xu Jun, co-president of Aichi Automobile and President of Jiangling Holdings Co., Ltd., told reporters of 21st century economic reports.
Source: Responsible Editor of 21st Century Economic Report: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279