Author | Nie Yiyao
“Do you feel anxious about the current wave of price cuts?”
The 2023 car market is experiencing turmoil and chaos. In January, electric cars started a price war, which quickly spread to fuel cars by March. With a flap of a butterfly’s wings, a fierce storm swept through the passenger car market.
On March 10th, the “Great Wall Motor Intelligent New Energy Conference” kicked off, and the Great Wall Motor CEO Mu Feng asked this question.
Anxiety and tension are certainly the common emotions of all car companies and brands today. The car market has turned into a bloody battlefield of price wars, and no one can stand alone. Even if a company is strong, it can’t rest easy in the ever-changing situation.
In the face of panic that “following the price cut is seeking death, not following the price cut is waiting for death”, more and more car companies and brands are losing their mental balance and joining the melee by carrying the banner of price reduction.
What about Great Wall Motor?
“Grasping trends is more important than chasing trends! The biggest challenge facing management is how to make the right judgment between certainty and uncertainty. Grasping long-term trends, adhering to long-termism, can win the future,” Mu Feng replied.
This is another firm and unwavering statement to the outside world from Great Wall Motor executives who insist on long-termism and strategic determination. Previously, Li Ruifeng, the CGO of Great Wall Motor, had also emphasized this point many times.
Wang Yangming said: “The decision of victory or defeat does not wait for the divination on the battlefield, but only in the movement or stillness of this heart.” It can be seen that maintaining calmness and clarity, acting with composure after careful consideration, can lay the foundation for victory.
Great Wall Motor has obviously already figured out what to do. This long-planned “Great Wall Motor Intelligent New Energy Conference” made it clear about its strategic layout on new energy and intelligence, and its reflections and responses to the current price war.
Why hold the conference?
Before the “Great Wall Motor Intelligent New Energy Conference”, the media had already anticipated that this would be a highly anticipated and significant press conference.
There is no other reason but that in 2022, as well as in January and February of 2023, Great Wall Motor’s sales volume, in the eyes of those who rely only on sales volume to evaluate, has been viewed as a loss of territory and a falling behind in new energy. Doubts and negative commentaries arose one after another.
In fact, it is shortsighted and biased to judge by sales volume alone. Moreover, in the past year, the domestic car market has experienced unprecedented and complicated challenges. Although various positive policies boosted sales volume in the second half of the year, with a total sales of 2.169 million vehicles in December, the consequences of excessively stimulating sales have quickly become apparent this year, revealing itself in the current crazy price war.Great Wall Motors does not pursue short-term gains, and follows the principles of building cars with integrity and steady management with regards to market share and operating profit.
Mu Feng said: “In 2022, the blue ocean of new energy vehicles rapidly turned into a red ocean, and on July 1, 2023, the National VI-B emission regulations will be fully implemented. Many people can predict the current price war, but few can maintain strategic composure.”
“Great Wall Motors will comprehensively start the smart new energy transformation in 2023. In addition to its own technological and product preparations, the core point is inventory. Therefore, in 2022, Great Wall Motors did not pursue too many sales numbers, but made preparations for 2023 and adjusted the overall inventory structure to suit the market and business initiatives of Great Wall Motors in 2023.”
In 2022, Great Wall Motors’ revenue was 136.405 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 32.04%; net profit exceeded 6.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 25.43%. The operating cash flow was 168.814 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 45.04%; the net cash flow generated from operating activities increased by 581.61% year-on-year; and the balance of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period increased by 105.33% year-on-year.
Good profitability and cash flow supported Great Wall Motors to invest over 10 billion yuan in R&D projects in 2022, specifically in projects related to the new energy and intelligent transformation.
This is a squat before the jump. Li Ruifeng once said that 2023 will be the year for Great Wall Motors to jump up. With 2023 approaching, Great Wall Motors needs to quickly play a combination of punches to defeat all naysayers, and show the world a determined and capable automaker that can successfully transition to intelligent and new energy vehicles.
If the second-generation Haval Dagou, which was listed on February 27, accelerated Great Wall Motors’ smart new energy transformation in 2023, the “Great Wall Motors Smart New Energy Dry Goods Conference” on March 10 was a comprehensive demonstration of Great Wall Motors’ smart new energy advantages throughout the entire industrial chain (forest ecology), core technology (new Hi4 intelligent four-wheel drive hybrid technology), and an important declaration for safeguarding the healthy development of the new energy vehicle industry (10 million reward plan).## Forest ecological achievements burst out
In the view of Great Wall Motor, to avoid being troubled by the anxiety of “lower prices hurt enterprises, and not lowering prices hurt sales” in the face of the current new energy change challenge and market price melee, one must find the correct development path for the enterprise, and grasp the leading technology and industry chain advantages.
In 2015, Great Wall Motor began to lay out in the fields of new energy and intelligence. According to the plan, the goal of Great Wall Motor is to create an intelligent new energy industry chain ecological system like a forest that is fully open, symbiotic, and cooperative, sustainable, and has the characteristics of symbiosis among species.
Today, Great Wall Motor has not only successfully constructed its own forest ecology but also completed the flattened, networked, and decentralized full-industry chain layout in the two major fields of energy and intelligence, and constructed the industry-leading energy system of “photovoltaics + distributed storage + centralized storage”, completing the full value chain layout of “solar energy-battery-hydrogen energy-vehicle power”.
In the photovoltaic field, Great Wall Motor is promoting the industrialization of perovskite solar photovoltaic technology. The large-scale perovskite photovoltaic components independently developed by Great Wall Motor maintain the highest global record, providing the most important technical guarantee for the green transformation of electric power and the realization of dual-carbon goals. In the field of distributed storage, Great Wall Motor has comprehensively laid out in the core areas such as mineral resource, battery material, storage system, and battery recycling around the upstream and downstream of the industry chain. In the field of centralized storage, Great Wall Motor is one of the earliest domestic whole-vehicle enterprises to lay out in the hydrogen energy field, and has achieved full-domain and full-scenario coverage and full-industry-chain empowerment.
In the field of vehicle power, Great Wall Motor has three tracks of hybrid, pure electric, and hydrogen energy, accelerating the seizure of the commanding heights of new energy technology. Among them, focusing on power battery technology, Honeycomb Energy has laid out power batteries of multiple chemical systems such as lithium iron phosphate, lithium manganese iron phosphate, cobalt-free, ternary sodium ion, and solid-state, and planned three solutions of economy, long endurance, and high performance.
In terms of intelligence, Great Wall Motor’s intelligent chassis integrates core technologies such as wire-controlled steering, wire-controlled braking, CTC, and integrated die-cast aluminum body. The intelligent cockpit technology has the ability to develop full-stack hardware and software, and the higher computing power V4 cockpit platform is ready to be launched. The intelligent driving technology has the ability to independently develop the full-domain from perception hardware to computing platforms, and has China’s first data intelligent system “Xuehu” and China’s largest intelligent computing center in the automatic driving industry “Xuehu Oasis”.Currently, the assisted driving mileage of Great Wall Auto users has exceeded 36 million kilometers, and the learning time of the automatic driving data intelligent system has exceeded 500,000 hours, equivalent to a virtual driving age of 62,000 years for human beings, promoting the rapid iteration and advancement of intelligent driving products toward a full-scenario approach.
After eight years of planning and layout, Great Wall Auto has achieved explosive results. Based on the forest ecosystem, in the year of 2023, Great Wall Auto has entered a new stage of accelerated industrialization of new technologies and projects, and the advantages of new energy and intelligence are more prominent.
Consequently, Great Wall Auto officially released its New Energy Declaration: “Great Wall Intelligent New Energy, more economical, farther and safer”.
At the “Great Wall Auto Intelligent New Energy Knowledge Exchange Conference”, Mu Feng described the Great Wall Auto forest ecosystem as “taking the whole vehicle as the core and comprehensively laying out new energy and intelligent technologies and industries to achieve mutual interaction among multiple species and continuous evolution”.
Based on the forest ecosystem, Great Wall Auto will launch more than 10 new energy products in an intensive manner in 2023, covering family main car models and family commuter car models. Among them, there will be at least 7 hybrid products on the market for family main car models, and at least 4 pure electric products on the market for family commuter car models.
In 2023, the intelligent new energy transformation will also be fully launched around the three main channels of “main product category channel”, “main price channel”, and “main level channel”.
Great Wall Auto does not intend to enjoy the forest ecosystem alone. “This is a completely open platform. Existing technologies and products will be open to all industries and sectors. We will also introduce external and internal resource competition to achieve organic evolution and improvement of the ecosystem”, said Mu Feng.
Hi4 popularizes nationwide electric 4WD
In addition to the forest ecosystem, a brand new intelligent four-wheel drive electric hybrid technology based on the forest ecosystem and developed around user daily travel scenarios, Hi4, was heavily released.
The brand new intelligent four-wheel drive electric hybrid technology Hi4, where H stands for hybrid, i stands for intelligent, and 4 stands for four-wheel drive system (4WD), is the world’s first intelligent four-wheel drive electric hybrid technology created by Great Wall Auto. According to Mu Feng, the brand new Hi4 with a dual-motor series-parallel electric four-wheel drive innovation configuration for the front and rear axles is a “ceiling-level” hybrid technology and also a technological innovation that is closest to user needs.
“The biggest feature of the brand new Hi4 is: Four-wheel drive experience at the price of two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive performance at the energy consumption level of two-wheel drive.” Comparing to price war, Great Wall Motors would like to bring car manufacturing back to its essence and return the market to rationality through technological innovation.
By achieving “equivalent equivalence between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive” and “optimal efficiency under all working conditions and worry-free driving in all scenarios”, Great Wall Motors enables all users to enjoy the benefits of “technological equality”. How did the brand new Hi4 accomplish the vision and goal that are planned from the user’s point of view?
According to data, the brand new Hi4 includes two sets of powertrain, and its system power reaches 340kW, covering A to C class models.
The brand new Hi4 achieved three major innovations, which are the hybrid “new configuration” with triple power sources, the “new breakthrough” of the iTVC intelligent torque vector control system, and the “new height” of the mechatronic coupling transmission system.
The core components of the brand new Hi4’s technical module are all industry-leading. For example: two hybrid-dedicated engines, the 1.5L and the 1.5T, both possess the best current technical configuration in the industry, achieving the highest engineering thermal efficiency of 41.5\%, and reducing fuel consumption by 6\%-7\%.
For example: the total front-wheel drive module of the brand new Hi4 can achieve a transmission efficiency of up to 98\%, while ensuring smooth gear shifting and intelligent working mode switching. The total rear-wheel drive module has a motor power of 150kW, and a motor efficiency of up to 96.5\%. The low-impedance power battery with fast charging function can achieve a pure electric cruising range of over 100km.
By decoupling the power of front and rear axles and dynamically adjusting them efficiently, the brand new Hi4 expands the usage scenarios of traditional dual-motor series-parallel configuration, achieving an improvement in the power, economy, and road adaptability of the full-speed range in all working conditions; meanwhile, the brand new Hi4 has almost perfect 50:50 axle load distribution, pushing the performance limit of the entire vehicle higher.
At the same time, the brand new Hi4 can precisely recognize real-time road conditions and flexibly match more suitable working modes to users in any travel scenario by using the iTVC intelligent torque vector control system and enabling 3-engine and 9-mode intelligent dynamic switching.”New Hi4 has a unique technology platform that is very different from DHT. Mu Feng made this statement when comparing the new Hi4 with the DHT technology previously released by Great Wall Motors.
And this powerful new Hi4, best embodies the “Great Wall Smart New Energy, More Fuel-efficient, Safer and More Distant”, Mu Feng revealed that it will be the first to be installed in the new Hafer new energy vehicle model launched in April of this year.
By 2024, all of Great Wall Motors’ PHEV products will use the new Hi4. In the future, the technology will be completely open sourced, launching an era of electrification for everyone.
At the same time, the DHT technology will not be abandoned, there will be a suitable market to take over.
10 Million Bounty Program
As a technology dry goods sharing conference, no one expected that the last part would be Vice President Fu Xiaokang of Great Wall Motors launching a fierce attack on the “Internet Navy” rampant chaos.
“As long as it is related to new energy, there will always be traces of Internet navy. Some enterprises stir up emotions everywhere, use a large network of accounts to spread rumors, manipulate public opinion, and when any network account publishes unfavorable information about them, the navy can always rush to it at the first time. But when there are problems with themselves, they hire navy to cover up all sorts of ugly scandals, distort facts, and even tamper with battery fires as something the owner did.”
Facing and exposing the chaos of the Internet navy, it is known that Great Wall Motors has been plagued by them and is overwhelmed.
In fact, not only Great Wall Motors, there are many car companies who have expressed being black public relations and maliciously attacked by the navy. These navies launch indiscriminate and bottomless attacks on competing products in a coordinated and industrialized manner, ultimately leading to the expulsion of the best ones by the bad.
Fu Xiaokang pointed out that in the current new energy vehicle environment, Internet navies have seriously harmed the industry’s normal development. It should be a stage for car companies to take shelter, but the existence of Internet navies has transformed the competitive ecology of the automotive industry into a battle of words over technology and products. Ultimately, when car companies plan marketing activities, the first thing they think about is not what users will remember, but how to avoid being besieged by the navy.”Regarding this, Fu Xiaokang proposed that colleagues in the industry work together to purify the online communication environment and bring competition back to rationality. He also announced that Great Wall Motors had launched the “10 million reward plan”, fully opening up the online reporting channels, and taking actual actions to fight against the Internet navy.
“At the time of great development, great changes, and great adjustments, it is impossible for any company to enjoy the benefits of the era alone,” said Fu Xiaokang.
Yes, in various industries throughout history, no company has ever had the possibility of monopolizing. Sharing and win-win cooperation is the law of development and progress.
In “Qiao’s Grand Courtyard”, Qiao Zhiguang violated the family rules and monopolized sorghum, which resulted in being in a dilemma, and ultimately, a tragic end.
There are many similar examples. The essence of business warfare is a cognitive dispute. Whether it is the current price warfare or the black propaganda of internet navy in the automobile industry, any short-sighted behavior cannot escape the fact of winning the present but losing the future.
Any long-term victory will shine with the brilliance of strategy and speculation.
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.