SAIC Maxus Dajia 7 Launches at 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show

On November 17th, SAIC MAXUS Dajia 7 was officially launched at the 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show, introducing 5 models with a price range of 145,800 – 299,800 yuan. Notably, the “vehicle-electricity separated version” is priced at 145,800 yuan, while the other four models range from 219,800 – 299,800 yuan. Notably, during the auto show, SAIC MAXUS organized a sharing session. Here are the interview records:

Hao Jingxian: SAIC MAXUS’s products have unique features from spectrum to users. Today, the focus is on the “Dajia” series. We have led green travel for families with our new energy brand “Dajia”, accompanied users to explore life with our “Star” pickup brand, become a global leader in new energy light vehicles with our brand “Dana”, and with our new light passenger brand “Xintu”, we adhere to the development philosophy of “cross-border integration, smart ecology, and full-domain customization”, committed to creating a diversified light passenger travel new ecology for global users. Each niche market has its distinctive features and differentiation. How to realize user scenes and product demands, and how the marketing department and product department can better meet these needs, I believe, is the core point. In addition, SAIC MAXUS and SAIC Group have achieved industry-leading in battery, electric drive, pure electric, and hybrid areas.

Media: First, I want to ask about the export situation to Europe. With the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation starting, SAIC has been sampled, but SAIC MAXUS’s European sales have been very good this year, increasing by 60%, how do we respond to the anti-subsidy investigation, what would be the effect on us in the long term, and will it affect SAIC MAXUS’s market strategy in Europe? Secondly, about hydrogen fuel vehicles. Now, both local governments and vehicle companies in China are laying out in this area, and cities are increasing, and supply chains are also increasing. SAIC MAXUS made early arrangements in the field of hydrogen fuel vehicles, do we have any new actions and plans now?

Hao Jingxian: Both of these questions are rather realistic but also future-oriented. About the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation, including SAIC, several domestic companies were selected for investigation or appeal, but SAIC MAXUS’s current situation in the European market can be summarized into three points. Firstly, we have developed rapidly in Europe, with a year on year increase of 60%, and a high proportion of new energy, traditional fuel vehicles have also achieved good results in the European market. Secondly, we are not cheap. The price of EV90 pure electric wide body light passenger vehicle is comparable to mainstream brands in Europe, even some models are slightly more expensive, following a “high-quality high-price” route. SAIC MAXUS is one of the earliest entrants into the new energy vehicle market in China, with early-mover advantages in technology accumulation, as well as the comprehensive industrial system and complete upstream and downstream industrial support capabilities possessed by the domestic industry. Finally, we have five major “ten-thousand-level markets”, including Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, South America, Europe, and the Middle East, meeting local laws and regulations and various normative requirements of each market. The appearance of the anti-subsidy investigation also shows the strong competitiveness of the Chinese automobile industry, which is a reality.
Regarding SAIC Maxus’s approach, the following is the course of action:

First, with the support of relevant national ministries and commissions, the SAIC Group is actively contesting in accordance with the procedure. Anti-subsidy investigations and lawsuits are an international norm and a process of internationalization. By actively contesting and providing relevant proof that there is no anti-dumping or violation, the outcome is often favourable. Although the final result is unknown, we are law-abiding and proactive in our response.

Second, the product range of SAIC Maxus is wide, and only a small part is affected by the anti-subsidy investigation. The majority of the product range is unaffected and therefore does not significantly impact our plans in the European market for 2024 and beyond. In the future, we will use a more extensive product range to meet the needs of the European market steadfastly.

Third, we continue to maintain good communication with the European market in terms of industry to industry, and sector to sector. As sales increase and Chinese cars become localized, the European market will remain the focus of the Chinese auto industry, including SAIC Maxus.

Regarding hydrogen energy vehicles, SAIC Maxus is one of the earliest companies to layout in this field, and we have mastered core technologies from components to systems to complete vehicles. We started commercial operations in the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle industry foremost, and the first high-end hydrogen fuel cell MPV, MIFA Hydrogen, and the first international fuel cell light passenger vehicle model FCV80 have been commercially operating nationwide, with nearly 3000 vehicles covering more than 180 million kilometers. These provide a good foundation for technology development, product application, and commercial operation in the industry on hydrogen fuel cells.

The key to the future development of hydrogen fuel cells is how to integrate with the energy industry. The challenge of hydrogen energy batteries lies not in the product itself, but how to reduce costs so that users can afford it. In response to the future development of the energy industry, SAIC Maxus is very willing to explore this and has been investing and experimenting. Our country has a distribution characteristic where the west is energy-rich and the east uses energy due to its economic development. Be it oil, natural gas, electricity, hydroelectric power, photovoltaic, or wind power, energy is often generated in central and western parts and transmitted to the east or other places. Which form of energy storage and transportation is the most efficient is worth exploring.

Through the development of more energy, the integration of green energy and the transport industry for commercial operations might be the key to the future development of the automotive economy. Following the nation’s steps, the investment by SAIC Maxus in this area is also the most proactive. But in the current market, the development of new energy vehicles is still dominated by pure electric and plug-in hybrid varieties. SAIC’s “Dajia” series is a premium quality new energy range. Although hydrogen fuel cars may not significantly boost sales today and tomorrow, the key lies in its development the day after tomorrow, which is quite significant for the future transformation of the company, and we will continue investing in this. In addition to the above-mentioned MIFA Hydrogen and FCV80, a new generation of fuel cell light passenger vehicles will be launched at the end of this year. The development, investment, and exploration of commercial operations of these products and the cross-industry collaboration will ultimately contribute to brand development.Media: What is the biggest pain point in the commercialization promotion of hydrogen energy vehicles?

Hao Jingxian: The biggest challenge is the construction and popularization of hydrogen refueling stations. Hydrogen energy vehicles are one form of energy transition, and it simply can’t be achieved by a single enterprise. We’ve always believed that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have the potential to be the first to commercialize, which is why we’ve invested in the product we discussed earlier. But the sources of hydrogen and investment in hydrogen stations, these issues are tied to the layout of the energy industry, and the exploration and investment for the future among these industries. The investment and profitable returns of hydrogen stations are also being evaluated for commercial viability. Of course, there are specific support policies for hydrogen energy cells in our country. However, realistically speaking, it will still take some time to implement these plans.

Media: The competition among new energy vehicle models is fierce this year, bringing about the problem of homogenization as everyone talks about batteries, motors, intelligent cockpits, etc. So, what are the unique differences and innovation points in our new energy vehicles?

Chen Chao: One of the fundamental logics of new energy development is to cater to the needs of the target audience. In the perception of SAIC Maxus, ‘rolling’ doesn’t signify ‘rolling’ prices, but ‘rolling’ value. Our value proposition isn’t strictly about how fast we make the 100-kilometer speed reach, but truly investigating the niche market to determine what kind of products the target user group genuinely needs, and their way of life. The product series ‘EVERUS’ of SAIC Maxus returns to the origins of user target, focusing, for example, on urban family users. In the age of new energy, they need specific products, and ‘EVERUS’ series was launched based on this. Our new energy products differentiate by presenting genuine and effective solutions after studying these user needs.

EVERUS 7, which was officially launched at the Guangzhou Auto Show, is a product designed while valuing the user experience of every family. It proves our core value proposition well. The experience EVERUS 7 provides is more than just commuting from point A to B. It effectively extends the value of diverse usages for a family car. EVERUS 7 is a six-seater model, where we replaced a seat in the 2+2+3 conventional seven-seater layout with an almost 2 meter long ultra-long slide rail, allowing multiple product usage scenarios in the same environment. Currently, probably 85% of MPV owners purchase through exchange or additional purchase. Moreover, not all families choose seven seats; they focus more on the variety of scenarios inside the vehicle. The new seating layout of EVERUS 7 provides a space for pets, so they’re not confined to the trunk but have their own space inside the car, showing our respect for every family member.

Another scenario is where the co-pilot seat doesn’t just move forward and backward. But with a 180° auto-swivel, it creates a different living room experience in a spacious setting. Our vehicle comes with an unmatched eight 2.2 kW 220 V power outlets, which can cater to various requirements like working on a laptop, hairdryers, curling irons, even oxygen machines, and of course, refrigerators. We have a unique value proposition in creation of scenario for EV and user insight. Our understanding of these varies quite differently from other companies, and our users highly appreciate this new-found value, and the ‘EVERUS’ brand is a good realization of it. This ‘new’ is not just about who’s better, but creating possible usage scenarios across multiple dimensions.
Hao Jingxian: The automotive industry is really “rolling,” especially the new energy sector, which is all competing in three-electric technology, performance intelligence, and indeed becoming more and more homogenized. Therefore, we are thinking about how to leverage the strength of SAIC Maxus as the “MPV Family” and bring out the advantages of both traditional energy and new energy MPV series, based on new insights into the user and provide a variety of scenario-based experiences.

Media: Where is the extra-long slide rail located?

Chen Chao: At the side of the co-pilot.

Hao Jingxian: Sometimes people define it as a queen’s seat, but we’ve achieved much more with 7 seats, with more, more practical and more humanized usage scenarios. Basically, we’ve opened up the co-pilot seat and the second-row seat, able to fully adjust automatically between the first and second rows, able to rotate 180 degrees, so that the parents in the front row can take care of the children on the co-pilot, or provide more space for the pet. If more complicated situations arise, such as someone at home using a wheelchair, this position provides better and more convenient storage space. Catering to the old, young, and pets in the family under different situations, the “2+1+3” seating mode allows the owner to handle them with ease.

Media: The innovation point is excellent. European MPV and Chinese MPV are different. The European MPV model usually focuses on function, pays attention to seat flexibility, usually adopts long slide rail design, and can conveniently switch seat positions to satisfy different numbers and needs, while domestic MPV emphases more on the comfort of the second row. SAIC Maxus’s approach has just found a new combination point between the two ends which is an excellent innovation.

Media: SAIC Maxus already has some good ideas and practices on pure electric cars, like unlocking the “mobile charging portable battery” function for electric cars. So what about the ideas on hydrogen energy, as you’ve just mentioned the cooperation and adjustment in energy storage, what other possibilities are you thinking about?

Hao Jingxian: There are many ideas for hydrogen energy. For example, the photovoltaic in the northwest and hydropower in Sichuan, often cannot be consumed locally, and the waste during the wind power period is relatively large. One solution is to build energy storage stations in the desert and combine wind power and energy storage. Another combination is the combination of photovoltaic and hydrogen fuel cell, where energy storage stations require high-voltage lines and other equipment. However, the long-distance transportation of hydrogen is usually in liquid form, and long-distance transport of hydrogen is less in the country, usually short-distance transportation in chemical and steel industries where hydrogen is abundant. In the United States, all long-distance hydrogen is transported in a liquid state. Therefore, we need to consider how to deliver the energy utility to the automobile end when using energy storage stations during the local wind power period, whether it’s charging piles or hydrogen refueling stations. In this respect, if we can cross-border cooperation, and energy planning and transportation industry planning are linked, it will greatly promote and have a beneficial impact on future development.

“C2 countermeasures” are just the first step. “Carbon Tariff” is the next challenge for China’s automotive industry. At the same time, we at SAIC Maxus are actively researching and looking at the entire supply chain through carbon numbers, not just our products but also the manufacturing process. In the future, it’s bound to be competition between nations and industries. Our country is developing, but carbon exchanges and carbon pricing have just started. With the improvement in these areas and the increase in social awareness of environmental protection, more costs will be needed in the future to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, society will pay more attention to which form of energy can use less carbon, lower costs, and provide higher efficiency. In the future, the country, society, industry, and residents’ life will increasingly value carbon tariffs and carbon footprints. As the EU has implemented policies such as “carbon footprints, carbon tariffs, and carbon borders”, the implementation of these policies will make new requirements and costs for China’s automotive industry. So, how to cope with real new energy in China? We have all the low-carbon technologies and energy, so we are more competitive in the international market. As the cost of carbon everyone has to pay for it becomes higher and higher, in different energy industries, whether hydrogen energy can seize its spot in low carbon future energy and transportation industry, I think it needs everyone to look forward and keep practicing. In theory, hydrogen energy cells have advantages, but these advantages need practice to prove.Innovative transformational technology requires investment, including energy transportation, hydrogen refuelling stations. The greatest hurdle for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is not the vehicle product itself, but the hydrogen refuelling stations. The question then becomes, how should these stations be planned? How can they be commercially viable? All of this requires investment. Furthermore, it takes time. Just like battery electric vehicles, finding charging outlets was difficult prior to 2015, and there were few charging facilities. Yet, those are now everywhere. Thus, what hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will look like in 5 years, or whether they’ll rapidly develop in 10 years, all these require time to verify.

In terms of technology and product for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, SAIC Maxus is rather active in investing and taking the lead. I believe that hydrogen fuel cell will likely be one of the future forms of new energy. If there are some cross-industry companies in the future that can develop the energy sector, including energy storage and transmission, using hydrogen as a medium, and consequently promote further policies, practices, cooperation, that would be great.

Interviwer: Since the end of 2022, the Chinese MPV market has shifted from an average market to a high-end luxury milestone, especially with the late launch of other brand models, now boasting discernible, high-end, luxurious product placements. Everyone 9 is the first pure electric MPV launched by the”Everyone” series of MPV aristocrats, SAIC Maxus. Now, it’s introducing Everyone 7 at the Guangzhou Auto Show. What are the product and pricing placements for Everyone 7? And, what is your perspective on the future trend of the Chinese luxury MPV market?

Chen Chao: Indeed, MPVs have been quite popular these last few years and the supply side (production end) has seen a substantial shift. The usual MPV is relatively large with a length of about 5.2m, 5.3m, a width of around 2m, and a height generally exceeding 1.8m, possibly 1.9m. However, our Everyone 7 distinguishes itself markedly from them.

Our Everyone 7 focuses intently on the vehicle wheelbase and exterior dimensions. With strict control, the external dimensions are set at 4907 × 1885 × 1756 mm, wheelbase at 2975 mm. So, what benefits does this new energy MPV, designed for middle-class urban families, offer? The vehicle is particularly easy to drive and park, which suits the mainstream city family commutes, thereby offering differentiated value. The product definition, positioning, and pricing for Everyone 7 are perfectly aligned with these consumers, mainly competing in the price range of RMB 200,000 – 300,000. From the current supply-side perspective, there are few new energy MPVs available for middle-class families. Owing to this, Everyone 7 should potentially add significant value and worth to the market, thus we are rather optimistic about its prospects.

Liu Yair: Everyone 7 is highly targeted at family users. Mainland China’s MPVs tend to emphasize the luxury of the second row, yet this often leads to the discomfort of the third row. Sometimes, when there more than four passengers, anyone getting in the vehicle would have to let others take their place. We believe that for a Chinese family outing, each seat should offer equal comfort. Regardless of whether the main driver of Everyone 7 is an experienced old driver or a less experienced mom, the 4.9m length of the vehicle won’t bring much pressure. Also, the third row, whether in terms of space or comfort, meets the mark. In such a large Everyone 7, there is even the world’s first Quapact multi-link independent rear suspension system, allowing for a full third row of three seats, with each seat even having its own USB charging port. Therefore, this vehicle’s positioning is very clear: it’s a “luxury electric MPV for the large family” targeted at Chinese household users. Designed for large Chinese families, Everyone 7 aims to establish its branded “Everyone” work. Naturally, plans to step into the international market are in progress.Hao Jingxian: Allow me to provide an overview on the state of EVERUS 9. Firstly, compared with luxury products of the same class, EVERUS 9 leads in aspects of triple-electric technology, body safety, interior, five-star collision tests, etc. From the perspective of pure electric luxury medium and large MPVs, EVERUS 9 ranks among the top three.

Secondly, in Hong Kong, China, EVERUS 9 is the first local electric seven-seater MPV. Within less than three months of entering the Hong Kong market in July, the sales volume broke through 500 units, making it to the top spot on the local new car registration list. As of September, the total sales volumes surpassed luxury models such as Toyota Alphard, claiming the first place in the local MPV market for individual models and becoming the best selling MPV in Hong Kong. Thirdly, to speak comparatively, mileage concerns still exist across all models because pure ELECTRICS by nature will have larger sizes, meaning medium and large pure ELECTRIC MPVs will inherently possess mileage concerns. In the foreseeable future, we will introduce a range-extended model of EVERUS 9. How do we define ‘luxury’ for a medium and large pure electric luxury MPV? How will this evolve in the future? How does EVERUS 7 provide value for niche market users? EVERUS 9 is the answer. It is highly competitive both domestically and globally. We will continue to launch new products in this specific market.

Media: Many new brands are entering the MPV field, including new products launched at this Guangzhou Auto Show. The total market share of passenger MPV vehicles from January to September is only 4.3%, a modest increase of 0.3% compared to last year. In the field of passenger vehicles, MPV represents a rather small slice of the market, which consists of many seasoned players such as SAIC Maxus that has been working in this field for a decade, but in recent years, more and more new brands have entered. As the penetration rate of new energy increases, how will SAIC Maxus expand this market? Is it not only about launching MPV models, but also competing in some SUV markets? In the face of these market changes, how does SAIC Maxus view this situation? To achieve better sales of MPV models, we have to work together to expand the overall size of the market. Furthermore, how do you view these new force brands entering such a small market? By ‘small,’ I mean compared to the market share of sedans and SUVs. Does the MPV market in the domestic market have enormous potential? How do you view new competitors?

Liu Yar: We genuinely hope to further expand the MPV market. From the perspective of the proportions of MPVs in the overall passenger cars, it’s grown from 4% to 4.3% from January to September this year. The speed of the whole MPV market was quite swift. After new products from various brands were introduced this year, the market share of MPV rapidly increased, and its market value is also rapidly escalating. However, as you mentioned, it is not yet a large market.

Firstly, the entry of more and more new players into the MPV market indeed helps its development. There were not many brands in this market before, and the available choices for customers were limited. Everyone was relatively cautious. But as more and more new brands and manufacturers enter, whether it is new products, new ideas, or SAIC Maxus, which has been working in this field for a decade, based on a deep understanding of this market, we can launch new products that adapt better to market changes. In fact, we all want to expand this market.
On the other hand, it is a fact that many SUV or car buyers are now shifting their attention towards MPVs, given their diverse size range. Recently, there’s been a noticeable trend with more and more MPV products getting on consumers’ selection lists. In the past, consumers looking to purchase a family vehicle would straight away pick an SUV. But now, even with sufficient budgets, they carry out careful comparisons between different models regarding comfort and performance before gravitating towards an MPV. Recent surveys show that an increasing number of new parents are buying MPVs, not because they require a 7-seater or a vehicle accommodating over 5 passengers, but to afford their family a more comfortable travel experience. Elements like sliding side doors and lower step-in heights are particularly convenient for children and elderly passengers. When customers choose a family vehicle, stability also plays a part other than seating comfort. As markets and customer groups change, their demands for family-use MPVs keep on updating. That’s why we launched two family-oriented MPVs, the 7 and the G70, at this year’s auto show. Our aim is to expand the entire MPV product spectrum, inviting more players into this market and driving more family customers to consider MPVs when selecting a suitable family vehicle.

Huajin: A few reasons explain our emphasis on the MPV market. Firstly, we firmly believe more players will amplify the market’s voice. Not just our forecast, rival companies likely share this prediction too. Families might possess an MPV in addition to a car or SUV. As family incomes rise, a two-car pattern emerges and an MPV becomes a no-brainer. We think the market capacity will expand.

Secondly, it’s based on the forecast for family structures. Before, families only had one child. Now, two, three, or even four or five children are possible. The phenomenon of post-millennials living with their parents is growing more prevalent and we see many clusters of parents buying cars for their married children, which is closely related to our first point.

Thirdly, MPVs are quite big players in many overseas markets. Large families, such as Muslims, are more eager for MPV models. Once they recognize better MPV options, their purchases will straight away lean in that direction. Demand in some Middle East regions for this segment is continuously growing.

Fourthly, we see demand in the Hong Kong and Macao markets as primarily high-end commercial requirements. Nowadays, MPVs’ rental rate is comparable with cars and SUVs, with more people willing to rent them. This morning we were discussing Macao’s situation and believe that with MPVs’ entry there, visibility will be significantly high—progress worth making. In the areas of all-energy, all-market, all-positioning, all-scenarios, for MPV, we think we’ve accumulated some pre-emptive advantages.Hao Jingxian: We are optimistic about the future of the MPV market, and our commitment to it is unwavering. We believe that there will be more peers working with us to make the ‘cake’ bigger.

Liu Yaer: Pure electric vehicles are all about zero to one hundred acceleration. After our tuning of Dajia 7 and Dajia 9, these two new energy MPVs, they are definitely the least car sickness-inducing electric vehicles for family trips.

Media: Just now, General Hua also mentioned the overseas market, including Dajia 9, which has achieved good results in the Hong Kong market in China. As the voice of the MPV market grows, there will definitely be more competitors squeezing into this niche market. Regarding the overseas market, does SAIC Maxus have any tactics or ideas on everyone 9, everyone 7, to make it like other products overseas, like light guests, like pickups, can occupy some of the highest points of the overseas pioneer market? I also heard before that many countries in Southeast Asia are very interested in our Dajia 9, such as Singapore and Thailand. I wonder if everyone will have a plan to go to sea after 7, and can it form a joint force with everyone 9, occupy the highest point of the market?

Hao Jingxian: In the ‘Dajia’ series, the development and positioning of each pure electric MPV product is global. Whether it’s Dajia 9 or Dajia 7, they are based on global five-star standards and can meet European five-star collision, Chinese five-star collision and Australian five-star collision. When it comes to overseas markets, in addition to the just-mentioned China Hong Kong and Thailand, which represents the ASEAN market, in the European market, American market, Australia and New Zealand market, Dajia 9’s products and market expectations are performing well. It also represents the first time that China’s luxury pure electric MPV has gone overseas and is the first to obtain the ‘pass’ for Europe and Australia, the two highest-end automotive markets in the world, achieving the ‘first’ of Chinese brands. Of course, in many global markets, Dajia 9 was launched in the second half of this year, and I believe that the scale and sales of pure electric MPs in the global market will develop rapidly.

The release of Dajia 7 is also the first in China and is also oriented to the world. Next, we will launch Everyone 7 in the main global markets. Products such as Dajia 7 and Dajia 9 in the Dajia series, regardless of product positioning, market positioning, and the configuration and size mentioned earlier, they can form a good product combination, this is our strategy and idea in this regard.

Chen Chao: The reason why Dajia 9 is now popular in overseas markets, especially in Southeast Asia and Europe, is firstly reliant on product quality and the advantage of being first to market. Secondly, SAIC Maxus entered the overseas market since the beginning of its brand establishment. We have been studying abroad accumulative over ten years, and our products have achieved adaptive development to these overseas developed markets, all of which can meet the local market needs. This has been reflected in Dajia 9, and it will also be reflected in Dajia 7 in the future. If there are continuously new products entering the overseas markets, we believe that with the ability of SAIC Maxus to rapidly lead the market demand and new custom development, we will always maintain the product differentiation competitiveness in some core markets.
Media: Firstly, about battery swapping, we all know that your model 9 has a battery swapping version. What is your consideration on this? Secondly, about the future plans for range-extender models, we noticed that some of your competitors also include MPV models with range extenders in their product plans. How about the competitiveness within SAIC MAXUS, especially in the MPV segment?

Hao Jingxian: With regard to energy forms, as I mentioned earlier, we believe that battery swapping has its unique advantages in some usage scenarios. Battery swapping mode is also part of new energy vehicles, and we have been insisting on both charging and swapping paths at the same time. Also, SAIC Group and SAIC MAXUS have unique advantages in battery swapping. SAIC Group is cooperating with Sinopec and PetroChina, which have more gas stations needing transformation and pre-existing infrastructure. In the future, in terms of battery-swapping infrastructure, SAIC Group, Sinopec, and PetroChina will set up a joint venture to operate battery swapping stations, by then there will be much more stations. This will greatly enhance the usage experience of model 9 and model 7’s battery swapping mode. We will continue to promote battery swapping, as SAIC MAXUS will develop a good set of ‘Everyone’ series battery swapping products and collaborate well with the necessary infrastructure to bring a better experience for users.

Without a doubt, the SAIC Group is a multi-brand company, and it is normal for SAIC MAXUS, an MPV veteran, to have some competition with other brands. Going forward, we will launch long-range PHEV versions for model 9 and other ‘EVERYONE’ series products, and we aim to lead in terms of product performance and user experience. There is a little competition between the brands, which I think is very normal, because we can offer everyone more choices and better products, giving users more value.

Media: Actually, the ‘EVERYONE’ series is a product series geared towards family consumers. So what are SAIC MAXUS’s specific plans regarding retail stores, sales channels, strategy, service quality, and so on?

Chen Chao: The ‘EVERYONE’ series takes on a three-pronged sales strategy. Firstly, it involves traditional dealers. We have high standards for customer service experience, and only dealers who can meet these standards can join the ‘EVERYONE’ series’ sales and service process. Our ultimate goal is to provide customers with the best car buying, usage, and after-sales service experience. Secondly, apart from dealers, we also have a direct sales system, constantly introducing our ‘EVERYONE’ products to the public and aiming to provide the latest and most stringent service standards to our customers, bringing them the most value. Thirdly, we are constantly exploring and advancing our direct sales system which will give us more opportunities to directly reach out and serve our customers. We will be driving all three routes forward simultaneously, to deliver core service and product value to our customers.

Media: As an experienced MPV user myself, I have used three MPVs in the past 10 years. Regarding the rear seats of SAIC MAXUS’s MPV model, I find it quite impressive that they do not induce motion sickness. Most electric MPVs on the market have adequate second rows, but often run into a major problem with the tuning of the third row. Particularly during long-distance travel, discomfort in the third row becomes increasingly noticeable the longer the journey— I feel many large electric MPVs have not yet addressed this problem. Therefore, SAIC MAXUS’s product strength in this area indeed stands out. Secondly, the release of the ‘EVERYONE’ 7, the product definition is very clear. It’s really quite uncomfortable to drive a large MPV in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It’s perfectly fine to take the car out on the weekends without worrying about time, but finding a parking space during rush hours is quite a challenge, as many car parks can’t accommodate large MPVs. Thus, the ‘EVERYONE’ 7, with its just-right dimensions, is indeed a product that addresses user pain points effectively.Hao Jingxian: Looking at the three main types of passenger cars in the automotive industry, sedans, SUVs, and MPVs, it is evident that MPVs do not currently hold a significant market share. Each type of car has its strengths and weaknesses. Around 15 years ago, the prevailing thought was ‘buy a sedan if you’re buying a car’, as such, my first car was a sedan. Transitioning from sedans to SUVs took several years, with various manufacturers making the switch at different times. In comparison, MPVs have their unique advantages. In my opinion, it is crucial that we unearth these characteristics and benefits, to better cater to our users’ needs.

In the wider passenger car market, I am very optimistic about the future of MPVs; we do need to further enhance their advantages, and to consider how we can ensure users experience these benefits. Moving on from sedans and SUVs, I believe the market share of MPVs will increase significantly.

User preferences evolve with each generation. This change does not strictly proceed according to age but also involves developments in mindset and philosophy. The upcoming generation of users invariably seek something ‘different’. For those who bought SUVs, many had the idea that, having driven a sedan for so long, they wanted to switch to something different or to drive a car different from their parents’ generation. Under such trends, I believe two segments in the market will offer significant opportunities. Firstly, the MPV is suited for larger groups of people; modern households are generally larger than those of the one-child era, making the MPV an excellent choice for many. Secondly, pickup trucks, distinct from SUVs, are also likely to grow in popularity as they offer a differentiated market proposition. I believe developments in policy and the consumer environment will spur the growth of these trends. SAIC Maxus recently launched its new ‘Star Pickup’ series, targeting a new generation of users seeking personalized, customized, and youthful pickup trucks in contrast to traditional cargo vehicles. I characterize the evolution of these two segments as the result of ‘consumer upgrade’ or ‘consumer transformation’, based on the new generation of consumers’ pursuit of novelty or differentiation. This reasoning explains why we launched the ‘EVERUS’ MPV series and the ‘Star Pickup’ series, and why we have showcased our GST concept pickup at the Shanghai Auto Show. I believe these two segments have a promising future.

Furthermore, in response to user demand for ‘difference’, SAIC Maxus aims to deliver differentiated products across all segments. This year, we released our ‘EVERUS’ series, the ‘Star Pickup’ series, the electric light-duty ‘DANA’ series, the light commercial ‘New Route’ series, and the ‘Territory’ and other SUV series, collectively forming the complete product range of SAIC Maxus. In these segments, we continuously strive for unique design, differentiation, and to forge a deeper connection with users, to enhance their experience, and to meet diverse usage scenarios. These are the distinguishing characteristics and traits of Maxus and form our competitive differentiation strategy for the future.
Media: As policies ease restrictions on pick-up trucks entering cities, they also usher in excellent development opportunities. Some brands in the industry promote the outdoor, off-road, lifestyle type, while others promote the production tool concept. So, what will be the future approach of Maxus, especially the ‘EVERUS’ pick-up? Will it focus on the production tool, or on a lifestyle such as off-road, outdoor, camping, etc.?

Hao Jingxian: In the field of pickup trucks, Maxus insists on a mid-to-high-end route. Whether in foreign or domestic markets, if roughly divided, pickup trucks are indeed divided into tools attribute and lifestyle attribute. Trucks with a tool attribute often need to be cheap and are primarily used for cargo transportation, while those with a lifestyle attribute demand higher quality and stricter technical requirements and are more for leisure and recreation.‘EVERUS’ has been following the mid-to-high-end strategy since its launch. We will stick to attributes such as technology and performance, and in these aspects, ‘EVERUS’ is also industry-leading. We believe that with the development of the market, as we can see now, the average selling price of the entire pick-up market is rising, and the proportion of low-end and mid-to-low-end is decreasing. Because Maxus is going the mid-to-high-end route, we don’t get in the entry-level and lower-end market, so it certainly impacts the total quantity. But we believe the proportion of high-end and mid-high-market, and the users’ demand for lifestyle attributes of pickup will increase, including what was just mentioned, some SUV users may switch to pickups in the future, so the user segment that pursues lifestyle attributes and is in the mid-high end will get bigger. Maxus will continue to provide lifestyle-focused, high-quality pickup products, which we believe is in line with the future development trend. Since the launch of the ‘EVERUS’, the trend is evident by analyzing the proportion of our own sales volume. We will further enrich the product portfolio of ‘EVERUS’ in the future and provide more value to users. I believe that our competitors see this point, and if everyone together develops products, markets, and publicity in this direction, it will surely enlarge the total amount of mid-to-high-end, lifestyle attribute pickups. Together, we will cultivate the market well and provide better choices for users.

Media: Maxus may be more of a commercial brand in the minds of some consumers. In recent years, Maxus has launched many products and made significant upgrades. What measures will Maxus take to change the perception of users at the brand level?

Hao Jingxian: The Maxus brand, from the launch of the first product to the rich product matrix I just introduced, we have commercial vehicles and passenger cars, but the commercial vehicles we create are far from traditional. They are highly technical, including wide-body light vehicles, whether new energy, intelligence, are at the forefront of the industry, and have many technologies from the body to the interior also have many passenger car technologies, this is our change. Also, Maxus originally had only one overall brand. As I mentioned just now, the ‘EVERUS’ series, ‘Toyota’ series, and ‘New Pathway’ series etc., are product brands we currently form based on various product spectrums, which of course is also challenging. We hope to give each series of products a brand name, allowing everyone to discriminate and recognize the rich product series, which is indeed a challenge for us. Overall, whether it’s products or technology, they are similar. Maxus is now not a traditional passenger car or commercial vehicle brand. Our products are also smart, new energy, such as fuel cell technology, which is used in both commercial vehicles and passenger cars.Media: SAIC Maxus has been doing well in the motorhome industry. How are the current order situation and customer feedback for motorhomes?

Hao Jingxian: We have always adhered to the principle of original factory motorhomes. Our market share in the motorhome industry is currently the first in the country, and we continuously ranked first in the sales of self-propelled motorhomes. Motorhomes are always affected by the current macroeconomic situation, such as consumption downgrade. However, we also think that the motorhome industry is a very distinctive field. The following types of personnel will exist in the motorhome industry, ones who are wealthy and have time, hoping to enhance their quality of life, and the ones whose lifestyles and work styles need motorhome scenes, including many youngsters, entrepreneurs, and self-media etc. We believe the carrier form of motorhomes has great development prospects.

In the motorhome field, we will still insist on three points. Firstly, to maintain the advantages of original factory motorhomes, in product quality, after-sales service, and in safety and integrated design, we maintain unique advantages. Second, to insist on making smart motorhomes. Driving a motorhome to a foreign place, many people worry about safety. After all, living in a motorhome in the wilderness or in a very scenic place where people are scarce, safety is indeed a problem that makes people worry. But our SAIC Maxus motorhome is a smart motorhome, its security system and the backend security support system are well developed, including the 360° imaging around the motorhome at night, vibration sensors, and detection of foreign intrusion, which are all working to ensure user safety. We empower the motorhome with smart technology, SAIC Maxus happens to be the earliest motorhome brand in this aspect. In the future, we will also think how to take the further advantage of Maxus in intelligent motorhomes and its technology. Thirdly, we insist on using our products to meet the diverse needs of Chinese buyers. China’s motorhome market developed late, although the development speed is relatively fast, the overall foundation is inferior to the abroad. However, we believe that the domestic segment market, especially when compared with the motorhome segment market in the US or Europe, will be more layered, mainly because of different application scenarios. Now in China, not only are pickups, but we also have made a popup pickup motorhome, which does not exist abroad. This vehicle was also exhibited at the Guangzhou Auto Show, called Explorer·Star H. It can enter the basement, so it does not affect daily parking, and pops up in scenic areas. After popping up, it also has all functions of a motorhome. Pickup motorhomes also started domestically from last year, but SAIC Maxus is the first to do popup motorhome from original factory. Abroad, there are usually Type-B motorhomes, Type-C motorhomes, and trailer motorhomes. Among these three, we believe that trailer motorhome may have some restrictions in the short term in China, regardless of friendly regulations and users’ awareness.

There will be more diverse needs for motorhomes in China than abroad, after all China is vast, the population is large, and demand for products varies. So, in the motorhome industry, we will stick to three points, stick to the original factory motorhome, stick to the direction of intelligence, and stick to satisfying the diverse needs of more Chinese people with diverse products, or to a certain degree, it can be said to be a “localization of motorhomes”. In the growth of motorhome market, the first step is to introduce the concept, product, and technology of motorhomes from abroad, the next step is localization, to better satisfy the Chinese consumers’ requirements for motorhomes. SAIC Maxus is leading the motorhome market segment and is unique, with the best market share, we are also very optimistic about the future development of this market segment.Media: SAIC MAXUS has an impressive insight into the end market. In my opinion, SAIC MAXUS has always sustained a strong capacity in this regard. It is rare in the industry for a brand to offer light commercial vehicles, pickups, MPVs and SUVs, including motorhomes. Such diverse offerings are deeply related to various user scenarios, offering coverage for a full range of such scenarios. That’s why I think SAIC MAXUS can deliver a one-two punch, perhaps with ideas such as full-scene lifestyle.

Song Hai: Currently in the passenger vehicle market, we mainly focus on multi-person travel. For instance, the MPV is a typical multi-person travel scenario. Including our new products, D90 and D60, are all designed for large families and multiple traveling scenarios. We have launched a new brand named “EVERUS” in the new energy field, to streamline a new label and impression. The reason we chose the name “EVERUS” is that, regardless of whether it is “Flagship Electric MPV for large families” D90, or “Luxury Electric MPV for large families” D60, they are all suitable for large family vehicle models. So, we wanted “EVERUS” to form a larger family with our broad user group. On the other hand, “EVERUS” also represents the “works of everyone”, because these models are produced at our Nanjing Factory. This factory was selected as a “Lighthouse Factory” that signifies Industry 4.0 advanced intelligent manufacturing by the Davos economic forum. Our products are coming from a factory that is world-renowned for its top-rated credentials, so they are indeed a notable “works of everyone”. We hope that the tag will become more distinct in the minds of users through the combination of brand and product promotion. A while ago, during D60’s test driving event at Thousand Island Lake, we combined regular family usage scenarios to provide a taste of external and internal power discharge, fitting all sorts of camping and group travel scenarios. We seek to use such scenario-based methods combined with our product and brand tags to engrain “EVERUS” even deeper into people’s hearts.

Media: On the one hand, there are sales, it’s essential for a company to regard sales enhancement. Then there’s the brand, and it needs to reach a higher standard. In the situation of “both hands working”, what are the specific actions by SAIC MAXUS?

Hao Jingxian: Firstly, indeed sales are crucial. SAIC MAXUS over the years, has seen continuous growth in both international and domestic markets, and it is predicted that this year will also see an increase in sales. The quantity is pivotal. Besides, it was mentioned that there’s still an awareness challenge on customers’ cognition level on SAIC MAXUS’s brand, especially the “EVERUS” series. We have certain plans, including promotions and publicity, to acknowledge more users and accept the “EVERUS” brand, as well as investments in new products, future-oriented new products. This supports the upward movement of the brand. Another aspect is globalization. We have achieved promising results in global market expansion, not only domestic markets including Hongkong, also in Europe, Australasia, Americas, Middle East and other international markets, getting more customers worldwide to know and recognise the MAXUS brand. This is both our focus and a goal that needs to be achieved step by step over time.

Song Hai:Our vehicles are immensely popular in the Hong Kong region, boasting many Hong Kong celebrities among our fans. Artists such as Wong Cho-lam, Chen Baiqiang, and Chen Hao endorse EVERUS naturally. The revered EVERUS 9 is Hong Kong’s first seven-seat electric MPV. It had entered the Hong Kong market in July, and within less than three months, its sales had already exceeded 500 units, taking the pole position in the local new car registration ranking. The most recent sales data up until September indicates our total sales have taken the top spot in the local MPV market for a single model, making the EVERUS 9 the best-selling MPV in Hong Kong. In addition to the endorsement from various Hong Kong celebrities, this essentially reflects their experience with our new, electrified, competitive “celebrity nanny car”, and further attests to the acceptance of our products, including their pricing, by local users.

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