Top 10 mistakes made by Xiaopeng Motors with a market value of $15.5 billion
On the evening of August 27th, Beijing time, Xpeng Motors was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock code” XPEV”. As of the close of the first transaction, Xiaopeng Motors’ first trading day closed at US$21.22 per share, an increase of 41.47%from the issue price, pushing the market value of Xiaopeng Motors to a peak of US$15.59 billion.
In fact, Xiaopeng Motors is also the IPO with the highest valuation and largest financing scale in the history of global new energy automobile companies, with a valuation of 10.8 billion US dollars.
From August 2014, He Xiaopeng resigned from Ali and founded Xiaopeng Motors. Until August 2020, Xiaopeng Motors is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 6 years, this extremely rational entrepreneur burned all his energy and energy and walked more and more firmly on the road of building a car.
However, this is not a straight road. PPT money, difficult mass production, low sales… In the past six years, He Xiaopeng’s side has never lacked voices of doubt. He and his Xiaopeng Automobile have also made many”mistakes”.
1. The mass production target becomes an”empty shell”
Reason:The mass production goal could not be achieved
Ending:”Money earning and renewing life” continue to be questioned
The hot discussion about PPT car manufacturing has just passed. In 2018, Xiaopeng Motors was stuck in mass production.
In October 2017, Xiaopeng Motors rolled off its first mass-produced car, with a total output of less than 1,000 units and only targeted at some users. Although this move can decipher the PPT car manufacturing label that consumers put on them, the so-called”internal users” and”good customers” have never been able to convince consumers.
At the beginning of 2018, Xiaopeng Motors officially announced the acquisition of capital from Alibaba Group, Foxconn and IDG. The B round of joint investment financing reached 2.2 billion yuan. After the completion of the B round of financing, Xiaopeng Automobile Market will raise more than 5 billion yuan in funds. The public opinion of Xiaopeng Motors”recycling money and renewing life” once again swept the industry.
According to public information, Xiaopeng Motors plans to build a medium-volume production line from August 2017 to August 2018, achieving an annual production scale of 10,000 to 30,000 units. From August 2018 to the end of 2020, Form a mass production capacity, with an annual output of 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles, and the annual production capacity is expected to reach 200,000 vehicles by the end of 2020.
However, in August of that year, some media learned from sources familiar with the supplier that Xiaopeng Motors’ first production car, the G3, had only ordered 95 sets of spare parts. Before at least October, Xiaopeng Motors could not start mass production. Sources said that Xiaopeng G3 was still in the”legal inspection” stage after the”trial assembly”, that is, small-batch production prototypes, which were provided to the government for relevant inspections.
2, personal leadership style leads to public relations crisis
Reason:ambiguity caused by personal terminology
Ending:Moments of Friends Clarification Press Conference for further explanation
On August 15, 2018, Xiaopeng Motors held its first brand day event in its base camp Guangzhou. However, some of the PPT screenshots of this event were full of controversy and pits, and they set off a wave of public opinion in the circle for a while,”Who is developing and manufacturing smart cars in China? SAIC, Geely, Xiaopeng, NIO“”The core of smart cars is operating, not manufacturing””By the end of 2019, it plans to obtain approximately 300 100 million yuan in financing”.
For a while,”Xiaopeng doesn’t respect manufacturing!””Contempt for peers” and”just to collect money” and other remarks raged. Before the start of the media interview the next morning, He Xiaopeng also explained in detail some of the controversial content.
He said that he should contact the context of the speech to understand the content on the PPT. Smart cars refer to the smart car ecology. Today’s traditional cars plus some smart configuration can not bring consumers a truly user-friendly and effective smart experience, so its core is in operation, not manufacturing. In addition, automobile manufacturing is a resource-intensive industry, and it is necessary to broaden investment and financing channels.
At the same time, He Xiaopeng also released a circle of friends, pointing out that in the use of some terms, he still stayed in the perspective of the Internet and did not completely change (this has led to different friends from different backgrounds. Understand), this requires learning and running-in.
3. Low price strategy brings weak scale effect
Reason:The low-price strategy is liked by consumers, but the C-end sales are sluggish
Ending:the debt ratio is as high as 71%
Different from the two other new energy vehicle companies whose prices are more than 300,000 yuan, Xiaopeng Motors is more likely to target the 100,000 to 350,000 yuan market, trying to widen the gap with competitors.
Such a pricing strategy has attracted many C-end consumers. The previously announced prospectus also shows that in 2019, the cumulative sales of Xiaopeng G3 reached 16,608, and individual users accounted for 83 of the overall sales.%, becoming the company with the highest proportion of C-end users among the new forces of Chinese car manufacturing.
Success is also cost-effective, and failure is also cost-effective.
So far, among the three companies of NIO, Ideal, and Xiaopeng, only Xiaopeng Mao Interest rates have not yet turned positive. In terms of vehicle sales, Xiaopeng also lags slightly behind. In addition, Xiaopeng’s main cost-effective bicycles are sold at lower prices, resulting in a lower overall revenue scale than NIO and ideals.
In the past two and a half years, Xiaopeng has lost a total of 5.9 billion yuan and its debt ratio has increased year by year. According to the prospectus submitted by Xiaopeng to the US Securities Regulatory Commission, Xiaopeng Motors had a net loss of 1.4 billion yuan in 2018, and the amount of losses continued to increase in 2019, reaching nearly 3.7 billion yuan. It was not until the listing of P7 that the loss situation improved slightly, and the debt ratio remained high, rising from 69%in 2019 to 71%in the first half of this year.
4. Recruit Tesla“violating” employees
Reason:Teslaemployees quit and Xiaopeng once backed up data
Ending:Has been busy with lawsuits
2019 In March 2015, Tesla sued Xiaopeng Motors employee Cao Guangzhi, accusing Cao Guangzhi of stealing Tesla The source code of Autopilot, which is an automatic driving system, is provided to Xiaopeng Motors. Later, Tesla asked Cao Guangzhi’s current Xiaopeng Motors to publish all the source code for autonomous driving.
Cao Guangzhi previously worked as a visual scientist for Autopilot at Tesla and joined Xiaopeng in January 2019 Car, as the head of perception.
Tesla’s allegations show that in November 2018, Cao Guangzhi used his personal iCloud account to createTesla backup copy of high-level confidential information to back up the entire repository, Ap and neural network source code library, including more than 30 Ten thousand independent files and directories.
and will be Teslabetween December 26, 2018 and January 3, 2019 >Disconnect the provided work computer from its iCloud account, log in to the Tesla secure network, delete its browsing history and more than 120,000 file.
On March 22, Xiaopeng Automobile issued a statement that before and after Cao Guang’s implantation, no one was foundTess Pull allegations of”any possible violations”.
But this matter is not so easy to end. On April 25, 2020, Bloomberg published an article saying,”Tesla Ask the judge to force Xiaopeng Motors to disclose its self-driving source code and hand over the images of the hard drive, and even let an employee (Cao Guangzhi) be interviewed.” According to an insider’s analysis, it was the second paragraph of Xiaopeng. When the mass-produced car P7 was launched, Tesla challenged Xiaopeng Motors. The motive behind it was intriguing, and it was more like a horror.
5. The”quality barrier” that is difficult to pass
Reason:The battery quality is not good enough
A Xiaopeng car The G3 car advocates to light (a pseudonym) to the pencil road. The G3 car that has only been carried forward for 10 days was suddenly powered off during an uphill section of the highway, and the brakes were also in a state of failure after turning on the hazard lights.”Slide the car back”. After losing control for 20 seconds, the vehicle had an accident.
For the occurrence of this accident, not only did Zhang Liang question the safety of Xiaopeng Motors, Zhang Liang also believed that the other party lacked sincerity in communicating with Xiaopeng Motors.
Pencil asked Xiaopeng Motors for confirmation. It said that Zhang Liang’s revelations were not true. For this incident, Xiaopeng Motors concluded through technical analysis that the shift lever signal was normal throughout the process. The cause of the accident was that the shift lever was shifted to the N position during driving, the vehicle stopped power output, and the vehicle gradually decelerated to 0 and then slipped back. During the back slip, the shift lever was shifted to the R position and then switched back. N file. The brakes were not stepped on during the whole process, and the car behind was finally rear-ended.
Coincidentally, in August 2020, the smoke and fire of the G3 once again brought Xiaopeng Motors to the spotlight, arousing public attention. Later, Xiaopeng officials explained to the accident that the appearance of the vehicle was intact, but there were obvious and serious bumps on the bottom of the battery box, which caused severe damage to the battery. The preliminary judgment was the cause of the accident.
6. The concealment will produce a new car with higher cost performance
Time:July 2019 em>
Reason:The iteration speed is fast, and the new car is more cost-effective than the old car
Ending:Issue an apology letter
On July 10, 2019, Xiaopeng Motors launched the 2020 G3 model car. Some consumers found this model to be more cost-effective than the 2019 G3 model that was delivered just two months ago.
“177800 (car) + 2000 (battery) -15000 (discount)=164,800 yuan, the same new car now costs 179,800 yuan, which is only 15,000 yuan more expensive than the old car, battery life and safety configuration But it has improved significantly. The most important thing is that the old model insurance is paid at the original price of the vehicle at 241800 yuan, while the new car insurance has to be paid at 179,800 yuan. In this way, the price of the old model and the new model is almost the same.” Xiaopeng G3, Li Qing (pseudonym) calculated an account with Pencil Road.
In addition, he believes that Xiaopeng not only failed to give a reasonable solution, but also deleted posts, restricted speech, and invited naval forces, which once again broke the hearts of”Peng fans.” Consumers have previously consulted whether there will be a high-endurance version, but the official has not given a clear response; when the new car has entered the countdown stage, Xiaopeng is still promoting the price increase of its products, suspected of deceiving consumers.
After that, He Xiaopeng issued an apology letter on Weibo. He explained that the price difference between the two cars was caused by misunderstandings due to differences in configuration and discounts. It was the mid-to-higher version of the 2019 G3 model (and No discount) compare with the minimum configuration of 2020 G3.
At the same time, he said that one thing will not change, that is, continuous innovation, change and iteration.
7. Play word games for product promotion
Reason:80%of the electricity charged in 30 minutes is suspected of playing word games
Ending:Official website rectification
On October 27, 2019, a propaganda about Xiaopeng Motors playing word games was circulated on various media platforms.
The incident started with a Xiaopeng G3 car owner in Hangzhou. He bought a Xiaopeng G3 car because the merchant stated that it would be able to charge 80%of the electricity in 30 minutes. After actual measurement, he found that in any case, it cannot be charged from 0 to 80%in 30 minutes, and it takes about 1 hour to fully charge 80%.
In the process of enquiring the staff later, he learned that”80%charge in 30 minutes” refers to charging from 30%to 80%, rather than starting at 0 power.
Such propaganda messages undoubtedly induce consumer behavior, which arouses heated discussions. In the evening of the same day, the public relations department of Xiaopeng Motors responded to the media saying that the model information provided by Xiaopeng Motors had always been charged from 30%to 80%, and provided screenshots of relevant documents.
After media reports, Xiaopeng Motors adjusted the relevant description of the official website, and the relevant charging column has been revised to”charge from 30%to 80%in 30 minutes at the fastest”. And once again fell into a crisis of trust. Some netizens commented that they suggested changing the slogan to”80%in 2 minutes, starting from 79%.”
8. Financing lags and almost lacks money. Over the winter
Ending:Financing was completed only one year after its initiation
In 2019, black swan events occurred frequently, and the cold winter of capital made this early stage only rely on new energy that burned a lot of money The automotive industry is struggling. Some car companies have fallen into an unprecedented predicament, and even some frail car companies have fallen because of overwhelming burden.
At the beginning of the year, Xiaopeng had already started the C round of financing, but compared with the A and B rounds of financing, the financing was not smooth.
On March 26 of that year, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the”Notice on Further Improving the Financial Subsidy Policy for the Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles.” Compared with 2018, national subsidies for new energy passenger cars, buses, and special vehicles have declined by more than 50%; if the full cancellation of local subsidies is included, the overall reduction of new energy subsidies will reach 75%.
Immediately afterwards, the introduction of the National Sixth Emission Standard caused a large number of fuel vehicles to dump goods. In order to clear the inventory of National V models, dealers have already carried out large-scale price reduction promotions. A salesperson at Lynk & Co 4S stores stated that most of the National V models on sale at the time were 5,000 yuan more discounted than National VI vehicles. A travel package worth 1,000 yuan.
At the end of the year, the shareholder Ali was encountering the strategic investment department to upgrade the organization. Next, all the investment departments (except Ant Financial’s strategic investment department) scattered in various business entities were all assigned to the group investment Department of unified management.
Until November, Xiaopeng Motors completed the C round of 400 million US dollars in financing. The capital was blessed by Xiaomi Group, new strategic and financial investors, and existing shareholders. He Xiaopeng followed the A and B rounds Bless this round again as an individual investor. In addition, in addition to US$400 million in equity financing, Xiaopeng Motors has also obtained unsecured credit loans totaling billions of RMB from a number of Chinese and foreign banks, including China Merchants Bank, CITIC and HSBC.
9. Adhere to the short board theory and low recognition of brand image
Reason:Weak brand power
Ending:Low user recognition
He Xiaopeng once said, Car manufacturing is a short-board theory and resource model. There are many short-boards in automobiles. Any one of the short-boards will lead to deviations in the safety, quality, sales, and brand of the car. Long-boarding is not enough to do well. But Li Xiang said that almost all companies don’t know where Tesla will win, because the reasons for winning are too elementary. It was not so glamorous, but was ignored.
Tesla’s deeply bound brand image with Musk allows Musk to market himself every time , Have become corporate advertisements, affecting stock prices. When most users buy Tesla, the reasons given are more or less related to Musk. In addition to the performance of the product itself, they all expressed their appreciation for Musk, such as extreme, cool, legendary, and going to Mars.
However, the current users’ brand recognition of Xiaopeng needs to be improved, and the”brand label” of Xiaopeng Motors is not clear.
10. It is difficult to achieve results with heavy investment in smart technology
Reason:Sales are only 20,000 units
In the past few years, Xiaopeng has been investing heavily in technical development, but has not been able to obtain the same proportion of returns.
The prospectus shows that in 2018, 2019 and the first half of 2020, Xiaopeng Automobile’s research and development expenses will be 1.05 billion yuan, 2.07 billion yuan and 630 million yuan respectively. In 2019 and the first half of 2020, research and development expenses accounted for 89.2%and 62.9%of the company’s total revenue, respectively.
The company has 3676 employees, and R&D personnel account for about 43%. In the R&D department, the proportions of researchers in automotive design and engineering, autonomous driving, and intelligent operating systems are 66%, 17%, and 17%, respectively.
In He Xiaopeng’s vision,”Our goal is to diversify revenue sources and profit opportunities by providing advanced software systems… I hope that the sales of smart software can increase gross profit margin.”
However, in the first half of this year, Xiaopeng Automobile had a net loss of 775 million yuan, and Xiaopeng’s”service and other income” income was only 89.6 million yuan, accounting for 9%of total revenue. This income mainly relies on automotive after-sales service and online car-hailing business, and the contribution of autonomous driving software is small. Xiaopeng Motors seems to have a long way to go if it wants to sell money through software.
According to He Xiaopeng’s vision, Xiaopeng Motors currently has only 20,000 cars running on the road, and the value will only be reflected when 100,000 cars are sold.