The media under Outing One Hundred reports on the evolution of the automotive travel industry.

Author: Zhou Pei

I’ve always thought that XPeng is quite two-sided.

On one hand, he’s a lively and passionate young person, but on the other hand, he’s a thoughtful middle-aged person.

Some may object to calling a “new brand” that has only been in existence for 7 years from inception to date a “middle-aged person”. Perhaps, He XPeng himself would object as well.

To explain, the youth is the vibrant mindset of the internet, while the middle-aged is the awe and prudence of the auto manufacturing industry. These two mindsets need to be in sync in order to truly create intelligent cars. This is what many traditional car companies lack on their transformation road, and this is also what many new car makers have not yet perfected.

From this brand renewal, XPeng has found that balance point.

From the establishment of XPeng Motors to the brand renewal, 7 years is a process of accumulation. There is a comment on Zhihu that is quite appropriate, “XPeng’s 7 years is a self-consistent process, gradually bringing coherence between internet thinking and being identified as a member of the auto industry. Previously, it seemed somewhat disjointed”.

Before stepping into the automotive field, as the founder of UC Browser, He XPeng did IT and product development. After UC was acquired by Alibaba, he went on to start his own business. He has always been a 100% internet person with his quick and straightforward manner of speaking, often causing controversy due to his seemingly arrogant comments.

In fact, not only He XPeng, but also people like Li Bin and Li Xiang, who transitioned from the internet to the auto industry, have been criticized for making comments that seemed to be “ignorant and arrogant” to traditional auto industry people.

Under the domination of the internet mindset, XPeng’s first mass-produced model, the “DAVID 1.0”, was created, which was not well-known to the public. On the day it was produced, the entire team was not satisfied.

“When it came off the assembly line, the people on both sides cried. One side was the auto industry personnel, moved by witnessing the car coming off the line. The other side was internet people, who did not expect the car to be so poor.”

Thinking about this scene is quite interesting. With the enthusiasm of entrepreneurship, they hit a wall with their first mass-produced vehicle. Auto industry personnel and internet personnel need to readjust and adapt to each other’s way of thinking.

“We felt this car could not represent our imagination of smart cars, so we did not launch it.” In the end, only a few hundred were produced and were used as internal work vehicles.This is the first time I’ve heard this story. Strictly speaking, XPeng’s first mass-produced car could also count as coming to nothing. But for the whole XPeng team, its meaning was considerable.

Looking at the entire process of creating this car, the fusion of two modes of thinking were required to successfully integrate the ideas of the internet community regarding smart cars into an actual vehicle. XPeng realized this problem.

At that time, there were a lot of criticisms of internet people, saying that they lacked the mindset to produce cars and did not respect the market. XPeng, who was standing in front of “DAVID 1.0”, was thoughtful. Once he had pulled the bowstring back, he knew he couldn’t change his mind, he had to find a solution as soon as possible. “You can’t entirely think from the perspective of the internet.” Therefore, he decided to torment himself.

He needed to change his perspective but at the same time, he couldn’t overthink it.

“At that time, I chatted with many people and heard about the difficulties they encountered and the pitfalls they had stepped into. I thought I could avoid them but in the end, I had to step on them again one by one.”

XPeng never counted how many times he had stepped into pitfalls. The process of making a car is simultaneously painful and joyful.

“In reality, when I charged forward, I didn’t think about how much pain it would be. Although I asked many friends, they all told me that it would be painful and difficult.” At that time, he and Li Bin encouraged each other at 4 am, despite the pain index still rising, the joy index was also increasing in tandem.

In early 2018, XPeng G3 made its first appearance and was officially launched in December of the same year. After XPeng G3, XPeng P7 was successfully introduced, and in September, XPeng P5 was officially launched. After the brand renewal, the first model of G9 was unveiled, which broke through the industry’s leading experience functions in intelligent assisted-driving and intelligent cab.

For 7 years, XPeng has been thinking about the possibility of transforming the automotive industry, which has been an incredibly difficult process. Starting from scratch, 7 years of trial and error and contemplation, cannot exist without a core idea, “no matter what product is made, it must revolve around the path of improvement towards autonomous driving. The progress of autonomous driving capabilities cannot be halted.”

Hans Tung, founding partner of Lightspeed China, once said, “XPeng is a sincere and persistent product person. He thinks about how the new energy vehicle industry will develop and what can be done outside of making cars. He thinks more long-term when planning for the industry.”

At the 1024 Technology Day, XPeng shared plans for future travel, positioning himself as an “explorer of future travel,” and successfully extending the “smart” label to “technology.” Many people think XPeng has reached a node, a point that was a matter of time.”XPeng has truly evolved from an outsider in the cross-border automotive industry to an intelligent automotive brand,” is not an easy thing. Insisting on full-stack self-research, XPeng completed the self-consistency between youth and middle age after 7 years.

The renewing of the brand has naturally come at the right time.

The vision of a company is the mentality of its founder, as He XPeng once said.

Therefore, this rebranding is not simply “XPeng changed its logo.” According to He XPeng’s logic, after 7 years and the launch of three car models, XPeng has come to a point where it needs to change its mentality.

For XPeng, this mentality is both changing and unchanging.

What is changing is the richness and expansion of the company’s vision. “We cannot just treat XPeng as an intelligent automotive brand,” but rather as an explorer of travel. What remains unchanged is XPeng’s courage to explore. Of course, what also remains unchanged is He XPeng’s insistence on the name.

“We will not change our name.” He has thought it out clearly that the brand name cannot determine success.

Start-up companies all have grand ideals, and XPeng’s grand ideal is to combine technological exploration with a beautiful life. This is what He XPeng insists on, “doing extraordinary things with ordinary names.”

For the first time in XPeng’s seven years of existence, it has deeply expounded and demonstrated its brand at the brand level. Intelligent, quality, exploration, trendy, and sustainable are the five key words that constitute XPeng’s core brand value after the rebranding.

Continuously focusing on intelligence, enhancing quality with design that brings a trendy attitude into life, continuing to uphold the spirit of exploration, and striving to become a model of carbon-neutral enterprises. These five dimensions will be the main fusion direction after XPeng’s brand renewal.

In He XPeng’s words, “We hope that when everyone sees XPeng’s products, they can associate them with the labels of intelligence, quality, and trendy, and when they mention XPeng, they can realize that this is a company that maintains exploration and adheres to a sustainable path.”

Indeed, it is already difficult to define XPeng as just an “automotive company” because “we are more focused on the future and have more ambitious ideas, so we need a brand new XPeng to carry it.”

There is a slightly literary metaphor that aptly describes this technology company. “The perspective is not a bundle of neatly tied firewood, but rather like the ripples that spread out when a stone is thrown into the water.”

The ripples that spread out are XPeng’s infinite imagination for the future of travel. Whether it is XPeng Huitian’s exploration of low-altitude travel methods or the intelligent machine horse, XPeng’s exploration has expanded beyond the automotive industry.##Huanxin The Brand with Fresh Look

Choosing Huanxin for a brand new look is a hope to continue leading and exploring beyond the forefront of the era of intelligent travel.

XPeng has defined the continuous exploration of competitiveness as the comprehensive ability, including safety, from hardware, software, and data, as well as the ultimate comprehensive cost and globalization iteration efficiency.

“Those who really want to do software well must first do hardware.” This was a sentence he saw many years ago, and it has also become XPeng’s concept of making smart cars. Consider changing the hardware first, and then it is possible to change the software.

Although XPeng is considered the best Chinese car company in intelligent assisted driving, with an NGP driving mileage of over 11.98 million kilometers and over 20,000 cumulative memory parking routes in the parking lot, it will also launch city NGP next year.

Data shows that as of September, more than 11,000 P7s out of over 50,000 delivered by XPeng were equipped with XPILOT 3.0. Among the total number of P7s delivered in the third quarter, 99% can support XPILOT 2.5 or XPILOT 3.0.

However, in XPeng’s strict standards, there is no car on the market that is the ideal smart car he envisioned. He believes that the turning point for electric cars may be in 2023 to 2024.

“Give us another 10-15 years, and we will subvert many different things in the automotive industry.”

As for how to subvert, XPeng needs to race against time. However, XPeng already has three clear directions covering product, market, and technology.

One is a medium and large SUV, XPeng G9.

This is the flagship model that embodies a brand new brand concept and is also a model born for globalization. Developed in accordance with the Chinese and European whole-vehicle dual-certification standards, it follows the C-NCAP and E-NCAP dual five-star safety standards, and will also meet the WVTA whole-vehicle type certification standard of the European Union.

“G9 and the subsequent models will gradually introduce an 800-volt charging system.”

Another is going global.Remember, Wei Jianjun, the head of Great Wall Motors, once spoke with a calm tone but determined voice, saying, “Without internationalization, Chinese domestic brands are doomed to fail. The question is whether they will meet their demise at home or abroad. Great Wall Motors is determined to take on this challenge.”

Global expansion is the dream and necessary step for all Chinese automakers, and Xpeng is no exception. “Internationalization is the driving force behind our growth,” says CEO He XPeng.

However, internationalization is difficult and time-consuming. XPeng has three three-year plans for Xpeng’s global expansion, focusing on improving product quality instead of sales volume. “With the technology label, our technology has the potential to be applied globally.”

One exploration is RoboTaxi.

In the earnings conference call this quarter, XPeng stated that the strategic goal is to improve the safety of autonomous driving algorithms in the short term through generalized-scenario operations.

XPeng believes that by using the ability to install Robotaxi software and hardware before mass production, as well as cooperating with various transportation operators in the future, Xpeng can create huge commercial value by providing users with revolutionary travel experiences.

“We want to verify a system beyond software and algorithms that is related to hardware, reliability, and safety. How can we further improve safety and reduce costs in the future? This is our consideration for the overall operation of Robotaxi.” On the earnings call, XPeng said Robotaxi will be the new outlet for Xpeng.

“Robotaxi services will first be tested in Guangzhou.” XPeng has placed the exploration period in the latter half of 2022, and Xpilot3.5 will be used initially before gradually transitioning to Xpilot4.0.

“I had a strong perception when I drove my Tesla; the world is about to change, and there is a window of opportunity for the automotive industry to transform,” XPeng said.

XPeng was once asked, “What if the exploration fails?”

“Since it’s an exploration, there will inevitably be failures. If there is no failure, it isn’t an exploration.”

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.