Author | Nie Yiyao
In the past three years, the entire industrial supply chain has either been preparing for or taking exams, with raw material prices fluctuating and global supply chains experiencing disruptions. At the same time, facing a global economic downturn, consumer groups have transformed from pursuing “new” to seeking “adequate” consumption.
Not only that, major car companies are also actively expanding their new product layout under global competition. They must not only have new energy technology attributes and advanced product development but also meet the needs of users in various scenarios, which promotes the new product iteration of the entire automotive market.
2022 is an extraordinary year. The old haze has dissipated, and new competition has begun. Represented by typical new forces such as WM Motor, the entire product line has been iterated. The common feature of products is the increase in size in all dimensions, inherent bugs have been repaired technically, and new energy attributes have been optimized. Private representatives such as Geely and Great Wall have completed the replacement of their star models, and the entry-level models that enjoy high-powered PHEVs have become standard, highlighting the fiercely competitive market. As national representatives, BAIC, SAIC, and FAW must not only achieve full product layout but also meet the requirements of long endurance technology and promote the development of the entire industry chain. This all severely challenges a car company’s “dynamic change” ability.
Overall, in 2022, companies that have advantages in core technology, industrial chain, and ecological competition and demonstrated good financial performance and strong growth resilience will inevitably compete with luxury brands and joint ventures for high-tech dominance in 2023. They will build Chinese brands into world brands through user scenario recognition and revenue growth.
Take BAIC Group as an example. In 2022, BAIC Group achieved good profit growth, with an annual output and sales of 1.45 million vehicles, operating income of 450.7 billion yuan, and a year-on-year profit growth of 4.7\%. In the context of industry transformation towards “green and low carbon” and “technology and intelligence,” BAIC Group has achieved counter-trend growth and developed high-quality profitability, striving to shape “Tech BAIC.”
The “New Energy” + “Intelligent” Product Label Opens up the Gap
According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in 2022, China’s sales of new energy vehicles reached 6.887 million, a year-on-year increase of 93.4\%. Among them, sales of new energy passenger vehicles reached 6.549 million, a year-on-year increase of 94.26\%, and sales of new energy commercial vehicles reached 338,000, a year-on-year increase of 78.89\%.Industry analysts believe that starting from 2022, the “first year of the outbreak” for new energy vehicles, new energy vehicles will continue to rise in 2023, and the “replacement of old and new” between new energy vehicles and traditional fuel vehicles is still the trend. As the new energy wave continues to surge forward, new energy vehicles will also enter the intelligent second half of the competition.
Under the trends of new energy and intelligence, almost all automakers have accelerated their pace of competition. Beiqi Group has made deep adjustments to its independent sector in the past year. In terms of passenger cars, it focuses on shaping the technological and intelligent attributes around the two major brands of “Jetour” and “Beijing”, launching products with stronger technological strength, and strengthening brand image and user reputation. Beiqi’s resolute implementation of the extreme “new energy” + “intelligence” framework is an important condition for winning the market, a core driving force for continuous product innovation, and an important basis for building its own competitive advantage.
For example, Jetour launched the new HI version of Jetour Alpha S in 2022. Its high-end intelligent pure electric brand image has gained further market recognition, with a year-on-year sales growth of 110% in 2022, and charging services have also covered 320 cities.
Beijing Automotive released new products such as Beijing Off-road BJ60 and Beijing Automotive Rubik’s Cube in 2022. The Huawei Hongmeng system and the B-Pilot 3.0 intelligent driving system jointly developed by Northbend Alliance and Bosch were applied to the new models, bringing users a new intelligent driving experience. The sales of Beijing Off-road BJ60 exceeded 3,000 vehicles in the first month after its launch.
It is worth mentioning that under the promotion of “Beiqi Technology”, Beiqi Group’s independent passenger car overseas business achieved a major breakthrough in 2022, exporting 16,000 vehicles throughout the year, a year-on-year increase of 97.8%. Among them, Rubik’s Cube was listed in South Africa, successfully exported to Germany, and officially entered the European market.
In terms of commercial vehicles, Beiqi Foton vigorously promoted the leading position of new energy commercial vehicles, covering pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles of different types of heavy, medium, and light vehicles. In the situation of a significant decline in the commercial vehicle industry as a whole in 2022, Beiqi Foton outperformed the market with a total of 460,000 vehicles throughout the year, improving its market share. Its new energy vehicles, with a sales volume of 22,000 vehicles, grew by 156% year-on-year and became a major highlight.Overall, the new energy and intelligent labels of BAIC Group’s independent sector are gaining further recognition and strengthening among users. This is an important aspect of “Tech BAIC”.
The Long-term Achievements of the “New Energy” + “Intelligence” Technological Breakthrough
“Whoever obtains the core technology of new energy gains the competitive advantage; whoever obtains the intelligent interaction gains the user’s word-of-mouth.” Global technology development rules show that the more the industry’s critical core technology is accumulated, the deeper the original innovation is dug, the more remaining power the overall technological innovation has, and the more obvious the promotion effect on development. Another reflection of “Tech BAIC” is that in the past year, it has achieved breakthroughs and achievements in fields such as three-electric technology, intelligent network connection, and hydrogen fuel. The user-oriented technology research and development has truly been realized and created a good state of technology-led market development.
In 2022, BAIC Group added 410 new invention patents, which laid a solid foundation for the development of independent brands in the future.
In terms of three-electric technology, BAIC Group has already possessed the ability to independently research and produce battery systems, taking the lead in mass-producing 800V high-voltage 2C ultra-fast charging technology in the industry, producing self-developed electric drives, and launching the self-developed production and trial of battery cells.
Regarding intelligent network connection, the new HI version of EX5 Alpha from Junpai becomes the new benchmark for mass-produced intelligent driving technology in the domestic market. The L4-level intelligent driving core algorithm development project has obtained the T3-level road test license for autonomous driving in Beijing and has now conducted real vehicle tests for a total of 3,500 km.
Regarding hydrogen fuel, the first hydrogen internal combustion engine was successfully ignited, which took a crucial step toward achieving efficient and zero-carbon engines; Beiqi Foton has carried the first 120 kW battery system and 385L large-capacity onboard hydrogen storage system. The products cover various scenarios such as public transportation, logistics, sanitation, and shuttle buses. The two hydrogen fuel cell buses that have served the Beijing Winter Olympics have accumulated more than 6 million kilometers of operation.
In terms of hybrid power, we have established the ability to develop hybrid power systems and initiated the independent development of a 43% thermal efficiency hybrid engine.## Integration of “New Energy” and “Intelligence” is Strengthening
As new energy vehicles are about to enter the intelligentization stage, in addition to core technologies, it is particularly important to build an ecological integration based on industrial chain clusters and upstream and downstream collaborative innovation. Whether a car company can quickly establish its own ecological advantages will undoubtedly become one of the key factors determining its success or failure in the future.
2022 is a year in which many car companies are vigorously building ecological advantages. In different fields, advantageous companies are joining forces to promote new energy and intelligence.
BAIC Group is one of the companies that initiated collaborative innovation. In September 2017, BAIC Group signed a “Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement” with Huawei. Afterwards, they jointly established the “1873 Davidson Innovation Lab” in 2019 to develop a full-stack cooperation platform for intelligent automobile solutions.
It has to be said that both parties have made unprecedented innovative attempts in development mode and business model. From the perspective of a complete vehicle enterprise, BAIC Group’s bold innovative integration initiative has been highly praised by the outside world and has been emulated by more companies.
Not only with Huawei, but BAIC Group has also cooperated deeply with Baidu and achieved remarkable results.
In October 2022, Jihuxing (JIXING) officially delivered 200 fifth-generation shared unmanned vehicles to Baidu Apollo, becoming the first automaker to achieve batch delivery and commercial application of Baidu’s fifth-generation shared unmanned vehicles.
As a state-owned enterprise, BAIC Group has unique sensitivity and swift action in constructing the ecological integration and innovation of the new energy + intelligence industry chain, perhaps all of which can be attributed to the “technology has driven BAIC” gene. If these advantages are strengthened and amplified in 2023, it will undoubtedly be more helpful for BAIC Group to achieve better results.
At the Guangzhou International Auto Show held at the end of 2022, BAIC Group unveiled all of its brands including Jihuxing Automotive, Beijing Off-Road, Beijing Automotive, Beijing Benz, Beijing Hyundai. As the only A-level car exhibition throughout 2022, car companies have used it as a channel to showcase their products and blueprints.The outside world also interprets the huge lineup of BAIC Group as a confidence and morale boost after the initial success of “Beijing Auto-Tech” and an intention and direction for continued upward advance and new transformation.
One thing is certain, when the moat of “Beijing Auto-Tech” is further deepened, BAIC Group will also gain sustained high-quality development momentum.
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.