Daison and Dong Mingzhu, who prefer to build cars: bet on the future and suffocate their dreams?

 Daison and Dong Mingzhu, who prefer to build cars: bet on the future and suffocate their dreams?

By Su Peng

Editor Wang Yan

Two big home appliance giants are making a comeback in the field of car making.

In just one year, Dyson changed from an electric vehicle manufacturer to an electric vehicle supplier. In October 2019, Dyson informed employees in an internal e-mail that its ambitious electric vehicle program had been terminated and was not commercially viable. The company eventually decided to give up building cars, but will retain solid-state batteries and other supporting projects.

On November 15, Gree said on the interactive platform that as a large-scale industrial group, the company will give full play to its own advantages, actively cooperate with relevant automobile enterprises, and cut into the field of new energy automobile industry chain, energy storage and battery manufacturing equipment.

However, in 2018, Yinlong was exposed to a series of negative news, such as industrial park shutdown, arrears of payment, product backlog and layoffs. At the beginning of 2020, six directors including Dong Mingzhu withdrew from Yinlong.

James Dyson and Dong Mingzhu are not the only straddlers or the first losers. The auto manufacturing industry has never lacked the figure of home appliance giants, but few of them have successfully crossed the border.

Home appliances with wheels

The story of cross-border car making by home appliance giants has already happened before the great wave of car making has arrived.

As early as the end of 1997, Chunlan Group, which started from manufacturing and selling air conditioners, aimed at making cars. It spent 720 million yuan to purchase Dongfeng Nanjing Motor Co., Ltd., which was in serious loss at that time, and established Chunlan Automobile Co., Ltd. and formally entered the automobile industry. Limited by the industrial policy, the cross-border player Chunlan Group has been unable to obtain the birth permit for cars, so it has to rely on the truck production qualification of Dongfeng Nanjing Automobile Co., Ltd. to produce medium and heavy trucks.

In the three years from 2002 to 2004, Chunlan Group made every effort to develop and produce trucks, which were once in short supply in the market. However, after 2004, the market of medium-sized trucks began to decline, and large truck manufacturers turned to research and development of heavy-duty truck products. In the critical node of the urgent need for transformation, subject to the main business of household appliances, the automobile business has not been able to obtain financial support, so it has lost the market and gone into decline.

In 2008, Chunlan Group had to abandon Chunlan trucks, which suffered heavy losses, and withdrew from the car manufacturing industry.

When Chunlan experienced ups and downs in the car industry, another home appliance company, Oakes, began to set foot in the automotive industry. In 2003, Oakes acquired 95% of the shares of Shenyang Shuangma Light Vehicle Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and obtained the production license of SUV and pickup truck. However, due to poor sales and other problems, in just two years, aux announced to withdraw from the auto industry.

At that time, Huang Jiangwei, a spokesman for oaks, concluded, oaks is regarded as a car dream, and the cost of this dream is 40 million yuan.

Huang Hongsheng photo source: official of cavol

The cost of bus investment is only 1 billion yuan. If we start to learn with 1 billion yuan, we will not hurt our muscles and bones even if we fail. Huang Hongshengs business plan is brilliant.

It turns out that Huang Hongsheng is right. From 2015 to 2017, according to the data of the China Automobile Association, Nanjing Jinlong ranked fourth in the domestic pure electric bus sales list for four consecutive years, and ranked in the top three in 2018. Today, Huang Hongshengs whole vehicle product matrix covers three series of large buses, light buses and special purpose vehicles.

From the time point of view, around 2003, Chunlan, Oakes, waveguide, Greencool, Midea and other home appliance industries have stepped into the field of car manufacturing, trying to get a share of the booming automobile industry. However, due to the high threshold of car building and fierce competition in the industry, it has become the norm for cross-border players to withdraw after throwing money.

Facing the promising new energy vehicle market, the failure of the forerunners is not enough for the latecomers to give up. From Dong Mingzhu, the helmsman of Gree, to Huang Hongsheng, the founder of Skyworth, a second venture, and even James Dyson, Britains richest man, have set their eyes on the automobile industry and started a new attack.

Behind this is the cruel reality that the home appliance industry tends to be saturated and there is not much room for imagination. According to the survey released by the prospective industry research institute, Chinas entire household appliance industry has entered a mature stage, and the home appliance market is almost saturated. Major household appliances will compete with each other in a limited market share.

On one side is the blue ocean with infinitely good scenery, and on the other is the red sea close to the stock. Between advance and retreat, appliance giants have to bet on a bigger future, but suffocate for dreams.

When domestic appliance giants enter the field of car manufacturing as a crossover, foreign appliance giants also place their hopes on the new energy vehicles. With the help of black technology, Dyson, who is popular in the home appliance market, will also reach out to the field of car making.

Photo source: Dyson official

In 2015, Dyson invested 90 million pounds to acquire sakti3, a solid-state battery manufacturer; in 2016, Dysons electric vehicle project was officially launched, at that time, Dyson announced that it would invest 2.5 billion pounds in the development of electric vehicles; in 2018, Dyson built a digital motor research and development center in the former British airport of heravington, and set up its production plant in Singapore.

According to Dysons plan, Dysons first new model will be launched in 2021. But the unprecedented cost of car building failed to keep its founder, James Dyson, until mass production.

On the evening of October 10, 2019, James Dyson sent an email to all employees announcing the cancellation of the electric vehicle manufacturing project. Its not a product failure, its not a team failure. James Dyson stopped building cars for a simple reason - its hard to commercialize them.

Traditional car manufacturers are losing money every time they sell an electric car, but they can balance it with the profits of fuel vehicles. In the interview, James Dyson pointed out the weakness of cross-border car manufacturing enterprises. Making cars is always a luxury dream that needs huge financial support.

But this is not the end of the story. When the cross-border players of home appliances have collapsed in the car industry, the rich and powerful real estate giants began to emerge suddenly.

Xu Jiayin led Evergrande to buy a car empire. Now six new models are on the way. Yao Zhenhua, who decided to dry the car in the second half of his life, has also set up a whole industry chain layout with capital operation. The first vehicle of new energy xev platform and Baoneng extended range electric vehicle are officially offline.

The story of cross-border players making cars continues.

Source: future auto daily editor: Chen Hequn_ NB12679