Author: Wang Yunpeng
Recently, it was reported that Siles held the Wanjie M5 Rally, planning to produce 10,000 AITO Wanjie M5 cars in the first quarter of this year.
From the exposed photos, the Rally was held inside the Siles factory, and the words “Siles Automobile Wanjie M5, Rally for 10,000 new cars in the first quarter” were displayed on the big screen. Several Wanjie M5 cars were already offline on the production line.
It is worth mentioning that on January 17th, Xiaokang Shares also held the Wanjie M5 Production and Supply Conference at the Liangjiang Factory in Chongqing, aiming to make full efforts to lay out the new car production plan. According to officials, the accelerated capacity increase this time is mainly aimed at Wanjie M5, and small batch deliveries are expected to be achieved in February, while the scale delivery of the first 5,000 users will be completed in March.
It is reported that the Wanjie M5 is mainly produced at the Liangjiang factory in Chongqing, with a production capacity of 30 cars per hour and a monthly production capacity of 15,000 cars. “The models of the second half of the year will be produced in another factory in Chongqing, which will not affect the production capacity of the M5.” Siles said in an interview with the media.
The Wanjie M5 is the first car model under the high-end intelligent automobile brand AITO jointly released by Huawei and Siles. The car was pre-sold on December 23rd, 2021, with three models available: the rear-wheel drive standard version is pre-sold at 250,000 yuan, the four-wheel drive performance version is pre-sold at 280,000 yuan, and the top four-wheel drive flagship version is pre-sold at 320,000 yuan.
As the first Hongmeng car, the Wanjie M5 received more than 6,500 pre-orders nationwide within 96 hours (4 days) of opening.
Next, this car model, which Huawei’s Executive Director, Consumer Business BG CEO, and Huawei Intelligent Automotive Solutions BU CEO Yu Chengdong called “design standards on par with million-level luxury cars,” will be on display at real car exhibitions at 180 Huawei stores in 42 cities.
Is Wanjie M5 benchmarking million-dollar luxury cars?
If you have paid attention to the Wanjie M5 launch, you must have been deeply impressed by Yu Chengdong’s frequent mention of the phrase “on par with million-level luxury cars.”
It is worth mentioning that when Yu Chengdong mentioned the phrase “on par with million-level luxury cars,” he also released several comparison PPTs on Wanjie M5 performance, cruising range, and other aspects, with the comparison objects being models of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Tesla brands.As the first car model that fully involves Huawei Consumer Business, Software, and Industrial Design teams in the car’s design and development, and also the first model equipped with Huawei HarmonyOS system, does the Arcfox Alpha S askM5 really have the “design level of a million-dollar luxury car” in terms of “appearance, interior, and experience”, as said by Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group?
Firstly, let’s take a look at the appearance and interior design of the Arcfox Alpha S askM5. Visually, the exterior design adopts a new design concept, with a large trapezoidal grille at the front and a split-style headlights, following a simple and elegant route for the overall side and rear designs. As for the color options, the car offers six body colors including Frosty Green and Muted Ocean Blue.
Regarding the interior, official texts describe it as drawing on the Huawei “ultimate, simple, and pure” design philosophy, using a 10.4-inch curved full LCD instrument panel and a 15.6-inch 2K HDR intelligent central control touch screen, with almost no physical keys. The interior color options include Agate Brown, Ivory White, and Arctic Night Black.
Compared to the subjective aspect of appearance and interior design, it is easier to judge whether the Arcfox Alpha S askM5 has the strength to “compete with million-dollar luxury cars” from the aspects of power, intelligence, and chassis design.
Regarding the power, the Arcfox Alpha S askM5 is built on the HUAWEI DRIveONE pure electric drive range-extender platform, offering three types of power, including the rear-drive standard version, the all-wheel-drive performance version, and the all-wheel-drive flagship version, with a NEDC range of up to 1195 kilometers and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 4.4 seconds.
In terms of accounting data, the Arcfox Alpha S askM5’s endurance and power performance are quite outstanding. However, if it is placed in the field of new energy vehicles, it is not difficult to find that these data are not too eye-catching because new energy vehicles have less difference in acceleration results between each other. For example, Tesla Model Y high-performance version can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in only 3.7 seconds, and the Gleagle Voyah Free range-extender version only needs 4.5 seconds.
In terms of endurance, the Arcfox Alpha S askM5’s NEDC range of up to 1195 kilometers can indeed beat the listed models such as the Porsche Macan 2.0T, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5L, and BMW X3, on the comparison PPT. However, it should not be overlooked that the above models are all traditional fuel vehicles, and this “differential” benchmarking approach may not be fair.From the currently sold car models such as Ideal ONE, having a range of more than 1000 kilometers is not something worth boasting for extended-range models.
As for the statement emphasized by Yu Chengdong that “WEY M5 adopts a ‘double-wishbone independent suspension,’ which is a configuration found in million-dollar luxury cars,” I do not agree. Because double-wishbone independent suspension is already common in the market of new energy vehicles within the 200,000 yuan price range, and many models in higher price ranges are equipped with adjustable air suspension.
In this case, WEY M5, which claims to be “comparable to million-dollar luxury cars,” only has two highlights left: Harmony OS smart cockpit and intelligent assisted driving system. According to the information, WEY M5 incorporates one CMS camera, one DMS camera, one DVR camera, one visual perception camera, four APA cameras, twelve long-distance ultrasonic radars, and three millimeter-wave radars, with L2+ level assisted driving capability.
Unfortunately, the current version of WEY M5 “Huawei Inside” does not come with Huawei’s strongest ADS intelligent driving solution.
Will this “questioning” strategy succeed?
At the most important annual conference, Huawei handed over the final stage to Yu Chengdong, who released a new energy vehicle almost entirely taken in charge by Huawei. From this operation, we can see that WEY M5 is another “questioning” effort made by Huawei in the “car-making” road.
The earlier “explorers” are the ARCFOX (Ji Hu) Alpha S and the SERES SF5. Thanks to Huawei’s “strong support,” the two models were well received by the market upon their debut in 2021. The SERES SF5 achieved the results of “3,000 orders in two days” and “6,000 orders in one week” not long after its launch, while Ji Hu Alpha S achieved a total order volume of more than 1000 vehicles for all models within two days of its launch.
Perhaps it was the unexpected success of the SERES SF5 and Ji Hu Alpha S that led Yu Chengdong to make the bold statement of “selling 300,000 vehicles next year” after taking over the car business of Huawei.Unfortunately, only the initial orders of these two models were converted into sales, and as time passed and Huawei’s influence gradually weakened, the two models did not achieve satisfactory results. The cumulative delivery volume of the Seres SF5 in 2021 was only about 8,000 units.
So what kind of performance will the Wanjie M5 have this time?
The answer to this question needs to be found on the Wanjie M5 itself.
From the information that has already been released, although the Wanjie M5 has made significant improvements in design, workmanship, and intelligence compared to the previous Seres SF5, its product strength is not really outstanding.
First of all, the model lacks originality. When compared with mainstream new energy vehicle brands at the same price point, it can be seen that the Wanjie M5’s advantages in exterior and interior design are not obvious. And in terms of power and intelligent configuration, the IDEAL ONE and Voyah Free, which are also extended-range models, are not inferior to the Wanjie M5.
Secondly, the audience for extended-range models is relatively small. In October 2020, the “Energy-saving and New Energy Automobile Technology Roadmap 2.0” was released, and the development of hybrid power was mentioned at the national strategic level. Thanks to this, HEV and PHEV models began to usher in important development opportunities. Combining the current market reality, PHEV hybrid models seem to attract more attention from consumers than extended-range models.
In the future, it is unknown whether the Wanjie M5 can achieve monthly sales of over 10,000 units like the IDEAL ONE, or be lukewarm like the Voyah Free.
Moreover, the Wanjie M5 has a higher usage threshold. As the first model with Huawei’s HarmonyOS system, the biggest highlight of the Wanjie M5 may be the “interconnection” of the HarmonyOS system. However, in order to experience the convenience of the HarmonyOS system’s interconnection, car owners must have Huawei’s “whole family bucket”, otherwise the car’s machine system experience will be no different from other competing models.
At the same time, the lack of Huawei’s automatic driving assistance system may also reduce the attractiveness of the Wanjie M5. Specifically, the L2+ level intelligent driving assistance system promoted by the Wanjie M5 is already ubiquitous in terms of hardware and level in the current market. Furthermore, the XPeng P5, priced at less than 250,000 RMB, has already come up with a solution that supports lidar. It can be said that in terms of intelligent driving assistance, the not-yet-launched Wanjie M5 has no clear advantage.
Although the product strength of the WENJIE M5 is not outstanding, Huawei and Xiaokang Stock have great confidence. “We plan to use 1,000 stores to sell cars by the end of this year. Assuming that each store can sell 30 cars per month, the monthly sales volume can reach 30,000 cars. This year, Huawei will challenge the sales target of 300,000 cars. In this way, the annual sales of cooperation automakers can reach 100 billion yuan. Our goal is to make partners who have in-depth cooperation with Huawei the most profitable automaker in China.” Yu Chengdong said.
Meanwhile, Xiaokang Stock also stated that it will start bulk delivery of WENJIE M5 in March of this year. The company is very confident in the sales data from the second quarter to the fourth quarter, with the goal of selling more than 10,000 new energy vehicles per month, which is also the sales threshold for new energy vehicles in 2022.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.