Can Yao Guang Light Up the Path of Stars?

Author | Wang Yunpeng

“Yao Guang”, also known as “Pojun Star”, is the seventh star in the Big Dipper, which was considered as a symbol of good luck in ancient times.

Perhaps because of this, Chery used the name “Yao Guang” for its latest strategic model, the new car model of its high-end brand, Exeed.

Naming the new car after “Yao Guang” is sufficient to demonstrate Chery Group’s, or rather, the Exeed brand’s attention to this vehicle. Of course, this can also be seen from the promotion of the Exeed brand.

On December 27, 2022, Huang Zhaogen, assistant general manager of Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. and general manager of the EXEED Star Venture Marketing Center, said at the “Yao Guang” launch event:

“Yao Guang has created ‘four firsts’. First, Yao Guang is the first car model produced by EXEED in the Qingdao super smart factory. Second, Yao Guang is the first strategic car model launched by the EXEED brand in the 2.0 era. Third, Yao Guang is the first car model to apply the M3X Mars Architecture 2.0. Finally, Yao Guang is the first product that integrates the ‘Yao Guang 2025’ technology strategy innovation chain published by Chery Group and the achievements of Yao Guang laboratory research.”

On February 22, at the Exeed Yao Guang IPO event, Yin Tongyue, secretary of the Party Committee and chairman of Chery Holdings Group, also mentioned that “Exeed is the pearl on the crown of Chery Holdings Group, representing the latest technology and user concepts of the company and the best embodiment of the innovative spirit of ‘technologically innovative Chery’ under the new era background.”

To sum up the existing information, “Yao Guang” is the most anticipated vehicle under Chery Group and its high-end brand, Exeed.

Is Yao Guang very dazzling?

Here is the answer: Yes.

This time, “Yao Guang” launched a total of six models of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, namely 400T TGDI, with a price range of RMB 152,800 to RMB 202,800.

Compared with the flagship models of domestic high-end brands such as Lynk & Co, the selling price of Star Journey Yao Guang is not very high. However, its product strength is more outstanding among the same price models.

“Positioned as a ‘smart and light luxury flagship SUV’, the Star Journey Yao Guang has four top ‘ace cards’ that are comparable to 400,000-level joint venture luxury brands – high-end appearance design, intelligent technology, spacious cabin and strong driving control,” said Huang Zhao-Gen.

In terms of comfort, the length, width and height of Yao Guang are 4781mm / 1920mm / 1671mm respectively, and the wheelbase is 2815mm, which has spacious and comfortable seating space. In terms of quality, the seats of Yao Guang are made of NAPPA leather, and the front seats are equipped with ventilation heating, electric leg rest adjustment, headrest sound and other functions. The co-pilot position also has an extra electric footrest and 5-mode backrest air pressure massage. The rear row has 7° electrically adjustable backrest angle and independent new air system.

At the same time, the car is also equipped with a brand-new Flying Fish Super-Sensing Chassis, which is based on advanced functions such as the CDC electromagnetic suspension system, Soft Stop system, chassis hydraulic isolation system, all-terrain technology system, all-scenario intelligent control four-wheel drive system, and intelligent wire control dynamic system. According to the official statement at the press conference, the car can achieve a balance of comfort, control and safety.

In terms of intelligent cockpit, Yao Guang is equipped with Qualcomm 8155 chip and Lion Eco 5.0 system. The car can start within 3 seconds, identify identity within 2 seconds, and continuously process more than 20 instructions within 30 seconds.

“In terms of intelligent ecology, the Star Journey Yao Guang’s iFLYTEK voice engine system can control 28 categories and 429 functions, achieving ‘full scene voice, efficient intelligence’,” said the Star Journey spokesperson.

In addition, from the publicly available product information, intelligent driving is also a highlight of the EXEED Yujing. Specifically, the vehicle is equipped with one independent intelligent driving domain controller, two front cameras, four panoramic cameras, twelve ultrasonic radars, four corner millimeter-wave radars, and one front millimeter-wave radar.

In addition to having 21 ADAS basic functions, it also has 11 advanced intelligent driving assistance functions such as AVP autonomous valet parking and NOC high-speed navigation. At the same time, the AR-HUD system of the vehicle can provide a clear image of 50 inches at a distance of 7.5 meters.

Quoting from the EXEED side, “The intelligence level of Yujing has reached L2.99.”

In terms of power, the Yujing is equipped with a 2.0 TGDI turbocharged engine and a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. The maximum power of the engine is 192 kW, the peak torque is 400 N·m, and the official fuel consumption is 7.5 L/100 km under WLTC conditions.

The outstanding product strength also makes “benchmarking BBA, crushing joint venture luxury SUV brands” the main theme of the EXEED Yujing’s launch conference.

“There is also some pressure. ‘EXEED Yujing has the comprehensive strength to benchmark 400,000 joint venture luxury SUVs. Combined with the announced affordable prices and rich configuration level, I believe it will quickly start a ‘luxury equal rights’ movement in the 200,000 yuan SUV market after its launch, leading the EXEED brand to establish a new pattern in the independent high-end market,'” according to EXEED at the launch of Yujing.

General Manager Assistant of Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. and General Manager of EXEED Marketing Center Huang Zhaogen is pictured above.


Regarding the first half of this passage, the writer does not wish to make many comments. However, Xingtuo hopes that Yaoguang can “lead the brand to establish a new pattern of independent high-end market”, which seems to be somewhat difficult.

Let’s go back in time to four years ago. In 2019, Xingtuo brand’s first car was launched. At that time, Yin Tongyue set a “small target” for Xingtuo – annual sales of 100,000 vehicles. However, that year, Xingtuo only achieved a score of 14,200 vehicles sold.

Perhaps because the “small target” was shattered, in the following years of 2020 and 2021, Yin Tongyue began to continuously lower Xingtuo’s sales expectations, respectively lowering the annual sales target to 80,000 and 50,000 vehicles.

However, it was not until last year that Xingtuo’s sales just exceeded 50,000 vehicles, with a total sales volume of 51,142 vehicles.

However, it remains to be discussed whether the above data is true. According to the sales volume data calculated based on the number of new car compulsory insurance at Sina Auto, the number of new Xingtuo cars insured in 2022 was only 23,265, a decrease of 18.47\%, equivalent to selling less than 2,000 cars per month.

Of course, even based on Xingtuo’s official data calculations, its monthly sales volume is only slightly more than 4,000 units. From the perspective of the entire market, this sales performance is really not outstanding. What’s more embarrassing is that Xingtuo’s main battlefield is in the 150,000 yuan range, which is somewhat inconsistent with the brand’s target positioning.

Xingtuo, positioned as high-end at the time of launch, performed so badly in reality. Perhaps it is because Chery’s brand image is not as high as imagined.

In Yin Tongyue’s plan, “Jetour is Skoda, Chery is Volkswagen, and Xingtuo is Audi.” But now, four years later, Xingtuo still cannot get rid of Chery’s shadow.

Firstly, this is reflected in the product aspect. Comparing the Xingtuo with Chery’s models, it is not difficult to find that although there are differences, they are only advanced rather than high-end. Some of the models even have the same power system.

In addition, Xingtuo, a brand positioned as high-end, has not successfully depicted its own “label” like Lynk & Co. did. At the beginning of its establishment, Xingtuo emphasized the selling point of “intelligent interconnection”. Later, with the launch of models such as Lingyun, the selling point shifted to the “performance power” aspect.“`markdown

The constant switching of brand tone causes the market’s perception of the Stardom brand to never truly focus, while the excessive stack of popular configurations also makes the brand’s models lack their own “soul” and gradually become the “deluxe version” of Chery models.

In other words, even if the product power of YAO GUANG is not bad, under the background of unclear brand positioning, lack of outstanding advantages and poor marketing, the pressure to “lead the Stardom brand to establish a new pattern of independent high-end market” is foreseeable.

For independent automakers, building a high-end brand is a trial and a challenge. Whether it is Ruiqi before or later Guanqi or now, Xingtu, Chery’s “upward” road can be said to be full of twists and turns.

For Xingtu, in this era of homogeneous products, only emphasizing technology and single product power, neglecting marketing with brand value, may continue to make the future difficult to overcome.

However, no matter what, Xingtu YAO GUANG has already launched. If this car becomes a hit, it is undoubtedly a great advantage for the YAO GUANG 2025 strategy of the Stardom brand and the Chery Group.

If the performance of YAO GUANG is still below expectations, then we can only hope that Xingtu has a better “story” or a more outstanding “master”.

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