Chinese Internet Giants' Car Manufacturing Report, 2016
Starting in 2014, Internet giants like LeEco, Alibaba, Tencent, Google, and Baidu announced to set foot in the field of intelligent connected cars successively. Moreover, the emerging internet firms that venture into car manufacturing such as ZHICHEAUTO, Xiaopeng Motors, NextEV, and WM Motor were successively established, which obviously paces up the development of Internet giants' car manufacturing. In 2016, various news about Internet giants' car manufacturing aroused public concern. First, senior executives of traditional automakers left for internet companies that venture into car manufacturing, and then LeSEE was released and NextEV and JAC signed OEM agreements.
So far, however, the car manufacturing of most internet companies has been still in planning and conceptual phase, but only a few have made substantial progress, which is reflected in the following:
In terms of product, most players have launched concept cars. In July 2016, Alibaba and BAIC jointly rolled out Roewe RX5, a connected car model that can be mass produced, with the order volume of 25,000 units in the first month after the release.
As for the footprint of auto plants, some Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing has started construction of their independent manufacturing factories, such as LeSEE’s Zhejiang Base, Chehejia’sChangwu Base in Changzhou, WM Motor’s Wenzhou Base, and LingyunIntelligent’s Hefei Base; others have confirmed their OEM plants, including NextEV (with JAC), Xiaopeng Motors, and ZHICHEAUTO.
With regard to financing, most Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing have achieved A-round of financing, such as LeSEE (USD1.08 billion), WM Motor (USD1 billion), and Chehejia (USD780 million); only a few companies are conducting B round of financing.
In terms of automotive manufacturing qualification, only a small number of Internet firms have gained qualification for the production of new energy vehicles through M&A or cooperation, these companies including Dearcc (cooperation withSoueast Motor) and Harmony Futeng (through the holding of Zhejiang Green Field Motor). As yet, there has been no individual Internet company that has obtained the qualification for manufacturing new energy vehicles.
In the short run, restricted by basic manufacturing of automobiles and layout of production line, the development of Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing is pessimistic, and they still need to put fund into the development of telematics products, ADAS, and other Internet technological products.
But in the long run, according to the strategic planning for Internet giants' car manufacturing, Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing happen to share the development direction with traditional car makers. Development of electricity–driven, intelligent, and internet-connected auto products helps make it possible to mutually fuse Internet companies’ hardware-oriented development with internet-connection of traditional auto makers, at length leading to a gradual fusion development. This mainly comes out of the following factors: (1) favorable polices on Internet Plus and new energy vehicles; (2) the increase in demand for personalized and customized automobiles; (3) With Internet technical superiority, Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing could easily make layout in Internet-connected vehicles in advance.
The report mainly includes three sections:
(1)Industry policies, development history, development path, financing, and development trend, etc. of China’s Internet giants' car manufacturing industry;
(2)Current situation, enterprise presence, and development trend, etc. of intelligent, electricity-driven, and Internet-connected automobiles in China
(3)Core talents, financing, plants, strategic planning, and development layout, etc. of 13 Chinese Internet giants that venture into car manufacturing.
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