Yicar Showcases Innovations at Munich Car Show

After cultivating the Chinese market for several years, ECARX Tech has decided to further advance its international business layout.

For this, ECARX made its first appearance at the Munich Auto Show, which also marked the company’s first appearance at a European auto show since its IPO. During the auto show, ECARX primarily showcased the products it previously announced at its domestic Tech Ecology Day to the European audience.

This included:

  • Antora 1000 Pro, equipped with two high-performance modules based on the Longying No.1 chip, supporting the integrated cockpit parking system.

  • Makalu calculation platform, a collaborative effort launched with AMD, capable of supporting the latest graphic processing interfaces for desktop computation platforms and the popular Unreal Engine among gamer community.

  • Super Brain, the automobile brain, primarily promoting a fused cockpit driving system; on-site technicians suggested that it is fully supportive of high-speed NOA.

We were informed by ECARX that during the Munich Auto Show, their international business executives had close contacts with many local OEM executives, providing them with a glimpse of their potential opportunities on the international stage – ECARX has already established an office in Stuttgart, Germany.

It is worth mentioning that during the Munich Auto Show, our editor had the opportunity for an indepth discussion with ECARX COO Peter Cirino and ECARX International Business President John Marcus, mainly discussing ECARX’s movements at this auto show and subsequent considerations and planning at the international business level.

Following are some of the main points discussed during the conversation with ECARX, edited without altering the original intent.

Q: Did the results of participating in this exhibition meet your expectations?

A: This was ECARX’s first participation in the Munich Auto Show. The scale of this exhibition differs from the Shanghai Auto Show, but it is of great importance to the European market. As a newcomer, ECARX brought very attractive technology and innovation capabilities, and had conversations with many auto industry executives. For us, this was an important opportunity to showcase ourselves and establish connections. We are highly satisfied.

Q: What is ECARX’s purpose in participating in the Munich Auto Show?

A: Our ultimate goal is of course business growth, acquiring more revenue in the European and North American markets. The cockpit is a key growth point, and we are also collaborating with Mobileye to layout intelligent driving business, and will continue to develop in this regard. These advancements will take time.

Internationalization is not an easy path. The situation in the European and American markets differs from the Chinese market, hence customization is required for each different market. Many European car companies have centuries of accumulation and have fixed partners; but once you break into these, the market will be easily developed. We also hope to hear feedback about our products throughout these conversations. Compared to Chinese car companies, many overseas car companies have relatively longer development cycles, even up to 33 months, so building trust at an early stage is vital.
Our current focus is primarily on promoting our brand in international markets. This was highly effective at the last Auto Show. Many visitors to our booth initially thought we were a start-up. However, when they learned that our business solutions have been implemented in over 5.2 million cars, they were genuinely surprised — our goal was thus achieved.

Additionally, we had the rare opportunity to interact with highly recognised media outlets such as the Financial Times and The Economist.

Q: What is the nature of YikaTong’s collaboration with Mobileye?

A: Mobileye has been a fantastic partner for us, and leaders of both companies maintain strong personal connections. Our collaboration is currently deep-rooted in the Polestar 4’s Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) project, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about this.

Our alliance with Mobileye will extend beyond Polestar 4 and is intended to be a long-term collaboration. For instance, once certain features of Polestar 4 are launched, the two companies will continually partner in subsequent Over The Air (OTA) stages Initially, our partnership was designed with the domestic market in mind; however, it will evolve to include foreign markets reflecting a widespread global strategy.

Q: How is YikaTong building their technical capabilities in collaboration with Mobileye?

A: To begin, we must understand the requirements of ADAS systems because YikaTong itself already has a highly competent technical taskforce. We have significant experience in autonomous driving through our project collaboration with Geely and other brands. Therefore, we can better assist Mobileye in mass production and adaptability of their technology.

For instance, Mobileye can improve the visual perception of cameras, but we guide them on what precisely they should perceive. Therefore, our relationship is genuinely complementary.

Q: During discussions with European customers, how do they perceive YikaTong’s competitiveness?

A: YikaTong has acquired substantial experience from mass production collaborations within China. Some of these partnerships extend beyond the Geely umbrella such as Mazda, Hong Qi, amongst others. For instance, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155’s large-scale implementation was initially carried out by YikaTong in the Lynk & Co 08 model. These projects reinforce our capabilities.

Given that China is an industry leader in vehicle intelligence, our competencies have been validated domestically. Therefore, we are immensely confident about our performance in foreign markets as well.

Q: How does YikaTong view Europe’s market demand for autonomous driving?

A: Different brands and countries have unique requirements for autonomous vehicles. In Europe, the first implementation for autonomous driving is likely to be in Robotaxi within specific areas like airports. It’s a distinctly clear trend for the next three to five years and is technically mature.In fact, many European car companies are not in a hurry to launch fully automated driving at present, they have to consider the problem of market demand, such as whether consumers are willing to pay for automated driving. These companies must take into account cost and investment issues.

Overall, in the European market, it is still consumer demand that drives enterprise decisions. At present, this market has a different attitude towards intelligent driving than the Chinese market, this demand is not very high, so there is no rush to land vehicles.

However, in the long run, fully intelligent, fully interconnected models will definitely be the demand of the future market, but it will take time. This is also the direction for future development. Our investment in this field will continue.

Q: What is the current team size of Ecarx in the field of intelligent driving?

A: We currently have a team of about 300 people in intelligent driving, who are mainly working on domestic projects. This is a starting point. As our cooperation with Mobileye deepens, this capability will overflow from the Chinese market to the global market. This is a typical path of our development. For instance, in the field of smart cockpits, we also start from China and reach the international market, and the same will be true for the field of intelligent driving.

Q: What kind of feedback did you receive from potential customers about the products displayed at the auto show?

A: The Makalu computing platform attracted a lot of attention from exhibitors. Of course, their concern may still be the cost of switching computing platforms, but overall, many people find it interesting. For the Antora scheme, people are more concerned about its high integration.

Q: Will listing in the United States be more beneficial for Ecarx to expand into international markets?

A: Indeed, listing on NASDAQ is a key plus for us on the road to globalization, and it has a lot of help in both business expansion and the near countries. A lot of customers also care a lot about this point.

Q: What was the most concerned question in your previous interviews with foreign media?

A: In communicating with those media, they were more concerned about the huge changes happening in the Chinese auto market and how to move faster in the European market – because the Chinese auto market has undergone a phase shift in a short period of time, they were actually quite impressed and asked how Europe can cooperate with China and benefit from it.

I’ve been in the auto industry for over 20 years, but the changes we’re seeing in the industry now are truly exciting. In my previous impression, the auto industry was a slow-developing and very boring industry, at that time, the auto industry was in the era of engines and gearboxes; but the future of this industry will be the era of computers, software, batteries, this is a huge shift and the entire model will change.

During the pandemic, progress in many places has slowed down, but not in China. This year’s Shanghai Auto Show truly shocked the world, and many foreign automakers came to see it. Of course, as Ecarx, we will also be committed to bringing these technological changes to more international customers.由于没有提供具体的中文文本,所以我无法进行翻译。请您提供需要翻译的文本,我很愿意为您服务。

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.