Recently, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) released the sales data of new energy vehicles (NEVs) for November. The total sales of passenger cars in November reached 2.081 million units, up 8.0% YoY and 4.5% MoM, while the cumulative sales from January to November were 17.002 million units, down 8.3% YoY.
In November, the sales volume of pure NEVs was 171,000 units, up 139.2% YoY and 28.2% MoM, and the cumulative sales volume from January to November were 905,000 units, down 2.9% YoY.
It can be seen that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsidy reduction has completely dissipated this year. Additionally, some interesting phenomena can still be found from the sales data.
The top 10 selling NEV models in November are as follows:
This raises a question: why are brands such as Wuling more successful than Tesla, BYD, NIO, etc.? Obviously, this requires us to consider the problem from the perspectives of both brand and policy.
Hongguang MINI EV: The Best-Selling Model without Attributes
The sales of the Hongguang MINI EV are impressive, taking the lead with 33,094 units sold, up 60.4% MoM, and becoming the defending champion on the NEV list.
Several factors have contributed to the success of Hongguang MINI EV. Firstly, the product itself is very close to the people. Although there are many players in the A00-level car market, there are not many that can balance the three key points of product, fashion, and practicality. The success of Wuling’s brand and its user experience over the years is not by chance, but because Wuling fully understands its users’ needs. Wuling knows that the demand for buying a van is for it to be efficient, sturdy, and low-cost, so Wuling gives you what you want most.
This experience is also applied to the Hongguang MINI EV. The product has two versions of battery packs, 9.3 kWh and 13.9 kWh, and a maximum range of 120 km to 170 km, with prices ranging from RMB 28,800 to RMB 38,800.This satisfies the commuting needs of most consumers in the sinking market. As one explores further into the sinking market, one would discover that the demand for A00 pure electric vehicle models by consumers is not inferior to that of first-tier cities. In small cities, independent parking spaces are available, and most people can install their own charging piles, which can compensate for the shortcomings in battery life, achieving convenient usage.
The second is the “fashionable” sense of “guohong.”
In the past, when I, an old programmer, heard of Wuling Hongguang, my first impression was “low-end” and “cargo vehicle”, but since the emergence of Hongguang MINI, this impression has changed to “cute”. I believe I am not alone in this feeling.
This is thanks to Hongguang MINI opening up a kind of “popular” fashionable sense. Nowadays, young people driving Hongguang MINI do not think it is low-end. Instead, it is a personalized label. This new brand identity is turning Hongguang MINI into a “fashionable single product.”
The third is policy incentives.
In October, Shanghai issued a traffic restriction policy, which made it difficult for non-local license plates to drive overnight. Moreover, there were rumors that the future is unlikely to offer new energy vehicle license plates as an incentive. This policy is powerful, but there was eventually a refutation, and new energy vehicle license plates will continue to be given out. However, this release sent a signal to consumers that policy changes may be faster and more diverse than they imagine, and the cancellation of the new energy vehicle license plate policy is entirely possible.
Therefore, products like Hongguang MINI now have an additional function: license plate occupation.
As a result, the success of Hongguang MINI EV actually has its market uniqueness. In the A00 market, the leading T03 is twice the price of Hongguang MINI, even though it has much higher configurations, but the comparison is not necessarily about the configuration at this point.
High-end brand ranking is not high, but the status is high
Unlike Hongguang MINI, Tesla Model 3 underwent a round of price reductions in October. Although the sales volume did not show a significant increase during the month of the price reduction and still maintained a level of 10,000-15,000, a significant increase in sales volume occurred in November, breaking the 20,000 sales volume mark for the first time, reaching 21,604 vehicles.
Although there is still a considerable gap between Tesla’s sales volume and Hongguang MINI’s, this is not a direct comparison in terms of product, brand, and the value that consumers get from purchasing the car.
Therefore, if one must distinguish the differences between Hongguang MINI and Tesla, NIO, and Ideal, it is actually the difference between a tool-like car and a functional car.I understand cars with a utility purpose, like the Brilliance MINI, meet consumers’ clear buying intentions and account for the vehicle’s shortcomings. The car serves as a tool to meet a certain need.
Functional cars, on the other hand, are universally practical and provide customers with a comfortable experience, meeting not only functional but also emotional desires.
Obviously, Tesla, NIO, and XPeng are examples of functional cars.
In terms of sales, BYD Han EV has set a new record, reaching 7,482 units in November, growing significantly from 5,055 units last month.
Let’s take a look at mainstream new car manufacturers next.
- Ideal Auto
In November, Ideal Auto delivered a total of 4,646 vehicles, a 25.8% increase from October, set to continue surpassing records since July, making it the monthly sales champion for a single model among new automakers.
In November, NIO delivered a total of 5,291 vehicles, of which 1,518 were EC6, 2,386 were ES6, and 1,387 were ES8. However, due to competition among NIO’s three models, no single model made it to the top in terms of new energy vehicle sales, but when viewed as a whole, NIO remains the automaker with the highest number of deliveries among new car brands.
- XPeng Auto
In November, XPeng Auto delivered a total of 4,224 vehicles, surpassing the 4,000-unit mark for the first time. Of these, 2,732 were P7, up 30% from the previous month, and 1,492 were G3, up 59% from the previous month.
The sales data for November indicates a positive trend, with more and more models on the list, such as the Brilliance MINI, Tesla Model 3, BYD Han EV, Ideal ONE, and other vehicles mainly sold to consumers (to C).
In conclusion, let us answer the question posed in the title: is the Brilliance MINI with 33,000 monthly sales really in demand?
The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, because the sales figures speak for themselves; there is undoubtedly consumer demand, and the Brilliance MINI meets that demand, resulting in its successful sales performance.
However, these demands are not what we consider to be “true demand.” Purchasing a Brilliance MINI may be to obtain a license plate, for fun, or as a means of getting around, but none of these are ultimately the fundamental demand for owning a car. In other words, it only meets certain demands.
Nevertheless, this is definitely a positive phenomenon, not only going to advance new energy product segmentation but also leading to an increase in new energy market share.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email email@example.com.