Will DENZA N7's price drop challenge Tesla's dominance?

Prospective buyers of new energy vehicles should gird themselves for a significant reality — within a year, and possibly much sooner, models are likely to be revamped with almost generational-like improvements, and at a lower price, not a measly decrease of ten or twenty thousand but even more.

Numerous instances of this are already evident. Take, for example, the Xpeng G9, the AITO new M7, and the avatr 11/12. The list is now lengthened by the addition of the DENZA N7.

On April 1st, just about nine months after the launch of the previous DENZA N7, the all-new DENZA N7 was officially unveiled, consisting of four models:

  • 550 Autonomous Pro, priced at 239,800;
  • 702 Autonomous Pro, priced at 259,800;
  • 630 4-Wheeler Autonomous Max, priced at 289,800;
  • 640 4-Wheeler Autonomous Ultra, priced at 329,800.

In terms of benefits, the new DENZA N7 offers a limited-time gift of the same style armrest screen, seat ventilation heating, 10-point massage, Nappa leather seats, using 2,000 deposit to deduct 10,000 balance, among others.

Including various perks, the launch price for the new DENZA N7 would be just over 200,000. That means the price of the new DENZA N7 has dropped by nearly 100,000 compared to its launch last year. Despite April 1st being April Fool’s Day, DENZA is indeed serious about this.

Moreover, the all-new DENZA N7 hasn’t forgotten about existing owners, offering them a time-limited trade-in subsidy of 50,000, as well as a time-limited additional purchase subsidy of 10,000.

As one of the core products of both the DENZA brand and the entire BYD system, the all-new DENZA N7 has gone directly from the 300-400,000 level down to the 200-300,000 level, nearly all-in.

All-New DENZA N7: Leap-into-the-river Edition

The “Shaved” DENZA N7

The most immediate change to the all-new DENZA N7 is the “shaved” front face.

In relation to the changes to the design of the all-new DENZA N7, the General Manager of DENZA, Zhao Changjiang, had previously organized a vote on Weibo. He stated that if most people thought the front face of the all-new DENZA N7 looked good, he would jump into the Yangtze River.

Once again during the launch of the all-new DENZA N7, Zhao Changjiang brought up his promise of jumping into the Yangtze River, declaring that he now has no choice but to follow through.

However, everyone has their own aesthetic opinions about the appearance, and design is, after all, a topic that’s hard to please everyone. Regarding the all-new DENZA N7’s front face, some find it more pleasing, more versatile for various user groups. Others believe that after “shaving”, the all-new DENZA N7 has consequently lost its distinctive design.
Here, further discussion is unnecessary and your opinions are welcomed in the comments section.

Next, let’s examine the interior. The all-new DENZA N7’s surface design has basically remained unchanged, but many practical functions have been upgraded, such as the power-adjustable steering wheel and the addition of a streaming rearview mirror.

In the passenger’s seat, the all-new DENZA N7 combines the entertainment screen, a gentle vanity mirror, seat heating, a two-speed wind suction ventilation, and point massage functions to create the ‘Pampered Passenger’, also known as DENZA’s version of the ‘Queen Passenger’.

Moving to the back seat, the all-new DENZA N7’s seats have been upgraded to electrically adjustable backrests and now support seat massage and ventilation heating. Most notably, the backseat of the all-new DENZA N7 has added the same armrest screen as the ‘YANGWANG’ model, giving cars in the 200-300K range a sense of million-dollar luxury.

Thanks to DENZA’s CTB battery body integration technology, the interior space of the all-new DENZA N7 is plentiful.

Moreover, with body dimensions of 4,860 mm in length, 1,935 mm in width, 1,602 mm in height, and a wheelbase of 2,940 mm, the all-new DENZA N7’s interior is spacious according to DENZA’s official tests. Three adults over 180 cm can sit side by side without feeling crowded, and passengers in the back can comfortably cross their legs.

BYD’s Power Gives DENZA Confidence

When explaining the autonomous driving of the all-new DENZA N7, Zhao Changjiang mentioned BYD twice – referring to the power of BYD’s system and the massive amount of data from BYD’s annual millions of sales.

Indeed, BYD’s system strength and millions of annual sales are the two trump cards for DENZA, guaranteeing its fast and high-quality development in R&D and autonomous driving.

This time, the all-new DENZA N7 did indeed not disappoint in bringing something new to the market.

Take the highway driving function of the all-new DENZA N7 as an example. Many cars tend to be very conservative when they encounter an alternating traffic scenario on a congested ramp and let others go first, greatly reducing traffic efficiency and making the driver feel awkward.

However, the all-new DENZA N7 will be very proactive in such situations, and if the vehicles in the adjacent lane do not alternate, the all-new DENZA N7 will even rush to stop the neighboring vehicle and then continue to drive.

As for urban navigation, according to DENZA’s demonstration at the launch, the all-new DENZA N7 can now smoothly complete overtaking and lane changing, detouring, and yield to pedestrians based on high-precision maps.It’s worth mentioning that the new DENZA N7 has also released a near-distance parking feature. For instance, if you’re in a hurry for some errands, you can just park the car on the side of the road in the parking lot and get off. The new DENZA N7 will find a spot to park itself and send you a message once it’s done.

In addition, the new DENZA N7 is also equipped with a sentry mode, which can keep guard for the owner 24/7.

As per DENZA’s planning, in terms of high-speed navigation, DENZA will be able to cover the entire country by the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest; in terms of city navigation, DENZA is currently under public testing in Shenzhen and is expected to cover the entire nation by the end of the year. As for the near-distance parking feature, DENZA plans to conduct OTA for its old and new owners in the second quarter of this year simultaneously. As to how the new DENZA N7 performs in terms of high-speed navigation, city navigation, and near-distance parking, you can keep an eye on our evaluations.

When it comes to handling, we often overlook Benz’s presence in the DENZA brand. At the new DENZA N7 launch event, Zhao Changjiang emphasized that DENZA is a brand co-created by BYD and Benz, and the new DENZA N7 has inherited the Benz’s chassis control genes.

Apart from its own Benz genes, the new DENZA N7 has also put in a lot of effort on the configuration—changing Yun Che – A’s single-chamber air suspension to double-chamber; equipping Yun Che – C with a pre-collision system, which can make the suspension softer in advance when passing through slowing bands, manhole covers, joints, and potholes at moderate and low speeds, thereby improving the comfort of driving.

In terms of powertrain, besides the entry-level version which is 500V, the others are all 800V architecture. According to official data, the new DENZA N7 can achieve a fastest charging speed of replenishing 350km of range in 15 minutes.

For colder environments, the new DENZA N7 has also come up with a solution—smart pulse self-heating technology, which can reduce the full charge time by 25% when the battery temperature is -20℃.

In summary, the new DENZA N7 is a product that aims to have no shortcoming.

The more refined DENZA N7 is more aggressive

Dance with AITO’s new M7 and compete on the same route

Many people say that the old DENZA N7’s daytime running lights are like two whiskers, but if you look at it from another perspective, these two whiskers can also be seen as two aggressive tusks.

While the new DENZA N7 has removed these two tusks and appears more refined and gentle, in fact, it is even more aggressive—with mature techniques, it dislocates the competition.

Previously, the old DENZA N7 was positioned in the market segment of 300,000-400,000, where LI has already dominated the family market, NIO has already preoccupied user acknowledgment for high-end luxury EVs, and ZEEKR 001 would snatch its presence in handling.

The previous-generation “DENZA” N7 undoubtedly possessed product strength. However, when competing head-to-head with the likes of “LI”, “NIO” and “ZEEKR”, the outcome was often a gain that was not worth the sacrifice. Facing fierce competition, even “AITO”, empowered by Huawei, chose to avoid direct confrontation in the 300,000 to 400,000 price range. To consolidate its core advantages of intelligence and space, it lowered the price to the 250,000 to 300,000 range.

Interestingly, when “AITO” M7 lowered its positioning to the 250,000 to 300,000 range, “ZEEKR 001” also arrived at this price range after an upgrade, which meant that the all-new “DENZA” N7 had to avoid not only “LI” and “NIO”, but also “AITO” and “ZEEKR”. It set its starting price directly at 239,800, and in order to make a splash, it did not hesitate to offer large benefits to match the starting price to just over 200,000.

From this perspective, the strategy of the all-new “DENZA” N7 was almost identical to that of the “AITO” M7, albeit the former appears more decisive. But somewhat embarrassingly, on April 1st, the “AITO” M7 dropped its starting price to 229,800, meaning the all-new “DENZA” N7 still had to compete directly with the “AITO” M7.

What’s more awkward is that the all-new “DENZA” N7, while avoiding “LI” and “NIO” in the 200,000 to 300,000 range, ended up not completely avoiding “AITO” and also established a certain competitive relationship with “BYD Tang”. This delicate balance between “DENZA” and “BYD” needs to be carefully calibrated.

Meanwhile, the “DENZA” N7 still lacks a distinctive and effective identifier in both the 300,000 to 400,000 and the 200,000 to 300,000 ranges.

What core value does “DENZA” want to deliver with N7? It’s time for the all-new “DENZA” N7 to give an answer quickly. Otherwise, with the successive releases of “NIO” Le Dao and “LI” L6, the potential increase in sales of the all-new “DENZA” N7 may be squeezed again.

DENZA’s Legs, BYD’s Fist

For “DENZA” and “BYD”, the “DENZA” N7 is a product that must move in volume.

From “DENZA”‘s perspective, its sales currently rely heavily on “DENZA” D9. The sales of “DENZA” N7 and N8 are not ideal, reaching a little over a thousand at best. Therefore, “DENZA”‘s sales currently depend almost entirely on the “D9”. Such a situation is not sustainable in the long run.

After all, the MPV is a niche market. It doesn’t have as many users as the SUV market, and its market size is also much smaller. “DENZA” can only earn more substantial profits and achieve longer-term growth by relying on the larger and more populous SUV market.

At the same time, precisely because of its heavy reliance on “DENZA” D9 sales, and the impressive performance of “DENZA” D9, which broke the stranglehold of joint-venture MPVs such as GL8 on the Chinese MPV market, “DENZA” easily leaves the impression of it being an MPV brand.As such, although DENZA D9’s sales are guaranteed, it could potentially lead to the Matthew Effect within DENZA — steady sales performance for the MPV, but difficult to uplift sales for DENZA N7, N8, and even the upcoming SUV, eventually making DENZA a niche brand.

Therefore, for DENZA, it’s particularly necessary to boost the sales of the new DENZA N7, on one hand for better sales performance across different models, allowing DENZA to move forward on both feet; on the other hand to dispel the impression of DENZA as an MPV-only brand among its customers.

Secondly, from BYD’s perspective, in the past, BYD, backed by Dynasty, and Ocean series, has established its dominance in the first half of the electric vehicle market. Last year, when DENZA N7 was launched, BYD announced it as the formal initiation of the second half with DENZA N7 being the remarkable product bridging both phases.

Whether for the original DENZA N7 or the new DENZA N7, BYD always allocates its core resources to equip DENZA N7 to the teeth — including the ‘Eye of God’ intelligent driving system, Yun Che Intelligent Chassis, dual-gun fast charge, and more.

In some sense, DENZA N7 is the grand stage in BYD’s system catering to a broader audience, where BYD showcases its R&D outcomes in intelligence, electrification, and comfort configurations, turning R&D into business achievements.

At the same time, DENZA also serves as BYD’s core tool in gaining a foothold in the premium market and building the value of a high-end brand, Accordingly, the sales of the new DENZA N7 must at least maintain the dignity of a premium brand.

DENZA N7, despite underperforming in the 300-400k range, now steps into the 200-300k range, ready to fight back.

According to official data, the new DENZA N7 secured 3,378 orders on the night of its launch. Compared to the current monthly sales of the original DENZA N7, a potentially higher sales beginning for the new DENZA N7 seems to have already emerged.

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