NIO, Li Auto, XPeng, and WM Motor are the stars of the current crop of China's emerging electric car companies, and NIO in particular has recently gained popularity in the capital markets.
Among these four companies, who will eventually be the last to laugh, Guosen Securities analyzes in a new report.
Here are the main points of the report.
NIO focuses on customer service checkups, positioning in the high-end.
NIO (NYSE: NIO) founder William Li Bin, who founded Bitauto and led it to become the largest automotive Internet company in China, has extensive experience in Internet operations, automotive software innovation, and other aspects of the capital appeal.
NIO has a balanced management structure. NIO has a balanced management structure that includes talents from the Internet, traditional well-known auto companies, new energy auto companies, and financial consulting.
XPeng: Intelligent layout
He Xiaopeng, the founder of XPeng, has no previous experience in the automotive industry. He used to work for Alibaba and was the co-founder of UC, and is experienced in Internet operation and familiar with the software field.
In order to complement the shortboard, most of the executives of XPeng come from the new energy research team of traditional auto companies. The rest of the executives have experience in well-known foreign companies to help global operations.
Li Auto: Mainly focuses on extended-range technology and practicality.
Li Xiang also comes from the automotive Internet, founding Auto Home (the world's most visited automotive website), and has accumulated a wealth of contacts and experience in the automotive and Internet fields.
The senior management team mainly comes from Internet backgrounds, most of them have worked in Auto Home before, and the cooperation is mature. In addition, some team members come from Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, SAIC Motor, etc., and are in charge of supply chain and research and development.
WM Motor: Traditional car company gene, quality & price/performance ratio.
Founder Shen Hui has worked for Geely, Volvo, and other traditional vehicle giants and has rich experience in manufacturing, strategic planning, and marketing.
Team Composition: 70% of traditional vehicle manufacturers (R&D or management positions), 30% from internet companies.
Summary of management distribution.
NIO's executive team is the most balanced, covering all aspects of automotive operations.
XPeng's executive team is more focused on software development and vehicle manufacturing, with strengths in model and technology innovation.
Li Auto's executives are concentrated in the Internet sector, with a strong focus on Internet operations.
WM Motor's senior management team is more manufacturing-oriented, with 70% traditional OEMs + 30% Internet companies.
Among the three automakers, NIO's executive structure is the closest to Tesla's. Tesla's executives are similarly distributed. Tesla's executives are also well balanced, with expertise in the supply chain, vehicle production, sales, software development, vehicle design, and other areas.
NIO (three most important models).
Product positioning and model launch trajectory is similar to Tesla's, from top to bottom penetration: positioning in the mid-to-high-end market, the initial launch of extreme products show muscle (supercar EP9) → the launch of models positioned in the mid-to-high-end (NIO ES8, medium and large SUV) → positioning in the mid-range production level models (NIO ES6, medium SUV).
ES8: Maximum range of up to 580km, 0-100km acceleration of 4.9s, and a long wheelbase of 3,010mm.
It is fully equipped with a high-performance front permanent magnet rear induction motor and a battery pack capacity of up to 100kWh for superior overall performance.
It's priced competitively against the Tesla Model X (nearly RMB 250,000 lower than the Model X) and has a slightly higher top range. But it still has room to catch up in terms of maximum torque, maximum power, fast charging time, and 0-100km/h acceleration.
ES6: It's more cost-effective (the ES6 top end is nearly CNY100,000 cheaper than the ES8 top end) and takes less time to accelerate from 0-100km while maintaining the ES8's maximum torque, maximum power, and top speed.
It competes against the Model Y, with advantages in maximum battery power, maximum torque, and maximum range.
EC6: Positioned as a coupe SUV to compete with the ES6 against the Model Y. As the successor to the ES6, the EC6 stands out for its improvements in range, fast-charge time, and battery energy.
In addition, the EC6 is equipped with a panoramic sunroof.
XPeng (G3 to open up the market, P7 to position itself at the high end)
XPeng currently has two models on sale, the G3, which goes on sale in December 2018, and the P7, which goes on sale in July 2020, with the G3 positioned as a compact SUV, priced between RMB 140,000 and 200,000, aiming to open up the market.
The P7 is positioned as a coupe (flagship model) with superior performance, benchmarked against the Tesla Model 3. The new B-segment SUV is planned to go on sale in 2021 and is expected to further improve in terms of range and 0-100 km acceleration.
G3: Divided into 460, 460i, 520, and 520i sub-variants, the price is within 200,000 RMB, top speed up to 170km/h, 0-100km acceleration 8.6s, range up to 520km, battery capacity 66.5kWh, fast charging 0.5h. Competition.
P7: Takes on the Model 3, outperforms the Model 3 in interior space, maximum torque, battery energy, fast-charge time, and range, but still lacks in top speed and 0-100 km/h acceleration, combined with a lower price relative to the domestic Model 3.
Li Auto (Positioned as an extended-range model)
The Li ONE (medium and large SUV) is currently available only as a model and is the first new energy vehicle in China to use extended-range technology.
The car was officially launched in October '18, went on sale in April '19, and deliveries began in December '19.
Li Auto plans to launch a new full-size premium extended-range electric SUV in 2022.
The Li ONE: a superior performer compared to the BMW 5 Series PHEV (high 328,000 vs. high 537,000), with big advantages in terms of interior space, capacity, range, battery power, and driving style.
When compared to the Model Y, the Li ONE has an advantage in terms of interior space and capacity, but a disadvantage in terms of key performance indicators such as top speed, 0-100 km/h acceleration, pure electric range and battery energy.
WM Motor (Positioning EV popularizers with a focus on value for money)
Bottom-up, main models within 300,000 yuan, focus on manufacturing aspects.
EX5 & EX6: large space, high range, moderate price, positioned in the post-transition SUV market; EX6 (medium-large SUV), priced at $189,900-239,900.
Model release rhythm
Perception of sales, the new car-making force is equal to Tesla in 2015 (WM Motor, Li Auto ) / 2016 (XPeng ) / 2017 (NIO ).
New forces in car manufacturing: survival line (30,000+ annual sales), earnings break-even point (100,000-150,000 units)
NIO: OEM + direct sales, ES6 for volume models
The ES8 is positioned as a medium and large SUV, and sales continued to rise after delivery in July '18, with a total of 11,000 units delivered from July to December '18.
In April-June 2019, three spontaneous combustion incidents occurred consecutively in ES8, triggering consumers' concerns about safety hazards, and superimposed on the ES6 delivered in June 2019, which had a certain impact on ES8 sales.
With the release of the new ES8 in 2020, sales have started to recover gradually.
The ES6 has been selling at a consistently high level since its June '19 delivery, with sales declining in Q1 2020 due to the epidemic.
It returned to high sales in Q2 and hit a new monthly high on July 20 (up 165%). from January to July 2020, the ES6 ranked fifth among new energy vehicle sales.
Complementing the model matrix from high-end to low-end, NIO sales are expected to grow at a compounded rate of 46.6% over the next 5 years. The sales of ES8/ES6/EC6 are expected to be 12/24/0.5 million units in 2020.
XPeng: Join pre-sales + direct aftersales, XPeng P7 is the flagship model
The compact SUV to which the XPeng G3 belongs is a popular model, selling well after delivery in April 2019. The XPeng G3 is ranked in the Top 15 overall for the full year 2019 (overtaking the NIO ES6).
XPeng added three new G3 sub-variants (460, 460i, 520i) with X-pilot L2.5 and Xmart OS in April to revitalize G3 sales, following the sluggish sales in Q1 '20 due to the epidemic.
XPeng P7 deliveries started rolling in from 28.06.20 and reached 1,641 units in July.
Li Auto: only ONE model
Li Auto is currently available only in the model Li ONE. Positioned as a mid-size SUV, it is the first new energy vehicle to use extended-range technology and was officially launched in October '18, launched in April '19, and deliveries began in December '19.
Li Auto has no new models to launch in 2021 but plans to launch a new full-size premium extended-range electric SUV in 2022 to continue to plow through the SUV market.
From a sales perspective, Li ONE sales were in a fast-growing state once it was delivered. Combined 20 years of H2 sales performance, in the hybrid market sales ranked second.
WM Motor: Franchise mainly + self-managed supplemented, 2021 for the model release period
Sales of EX5 and EX6 are expected to be 15,000 and 0.8 million units respectively in 2020, and the new models EVOLVE and Maven are expected to further boost sales in 2021.
Earnings inflection point estimation
Key factors affecting profitability: For fuel-efficient vehicles and Tesla, which has been profitable for five consecutive quarters, the factors affecting the profitability of new carmakers include vehicle gross margin (mainly due to production and sales volume), R&D expenses, and SG&A expenses.
It is estimated that NIO, XPeng, and Li Auto will sell 180,000, 120,000, and 60,000 units respectively when they reach profitability.
Intelligent Driving Business
Tesla, the industry leader in intelligent driving.
Tesla's electrical and electronic architecture consists of three core components: CCM (Central Computing Module), BCM LH (Left Body Control Module) and BCM RH (Right Body Control Module), which integrates intelligent driving, safety systems, powertrain, entertainment systems and body electronics functions to reduce the fragmentation of ECU applications.
Tesla - Gradually leaning from hardware to software.
Tesla has constructed a software profit model for initial-stage automakers, divided into three models: FSD payment, software application mall, and subscription service.
NIO - Self-Developed NIO Pilot+NIO Power+NIO Service+NIO Life+NIO App
NIO Pilot: Independently developed driving assistance system. Equipped with a total of 23 sensors including multi-functional cameras and millimeter-wave radar, and the world's first Mobileye EyeQ4 with 2.5 TOPs of computing power.
24 functions are available, including self-parking and auto-assisted navigation driving. The NIO Pilot is $39,000 for the full package and $15,000 for the select package.
NIO Power: charging stations (over 300,000 public charging stations), battery swap stations (supported by the state), and mobile charging vehicles (nearly 500).
NIO Service: carefree service is an insurance and maintenance service, the ES6 is priced at CNY 12,600-14,100/year, the ES8 is CNY 12,600-23,600/year. Worry-free insurance is RMB 1,680/year.
NIO Life: IP-based derivative selling of products and services such as home, clothing and food.
NIO App: Build the user community ecosystem and enhance the stickiness of fans.
XPeng --- Self-developed Xpilot, leading electrical and electronic architecture in China.
Based on the Bosch system, Xpilot was successfully developed independently and is equipped on the P7 model. The system enables high-speed navigation, fully automatic parking, assisted driving function on crowded city roads, and ASL automatic speed limit adjustment.
Xpilot 3.0 is priced at RMB 20,000 (RMB 36,000 for a rear-mounted upgrade), compared to Tesla AutoPilot:
Developed software algorithms for Chinese driving scenarios and user habits, with a higher success rate of scene recognition than the Tesla Model 3.
In terms of hardware configuration, compared with Tesla's 360-degree perception system composed of 21 sensors, XPeng P7 is equipped with 31 sensors to strengthen the perception of safe driving and make the feedback of the visual system more detailed and comprehensive.
In terms of chip computing power, G3 uses Mobileye Eye Q4, while P7 uses two sets of NVIDIA Xavier (computing power up to 30 TOPs), which is more powerful than NIO and Li Auto, but still far from Tesla's self-developed FSD chip.
Li Auto &WM Motor--L2 level autopilot.
Li Auto has achieved L2 autopilot, with feature upgrades available via OTA.
In terms of hardware, it is equipped with sensors such as ultrasonic sensing, surround-view camera, forward millimeter-wave radar, and assisted driving forward view camera.
As for the chip, Mobileye Eye Q4 is used.
In terms of smart interaction, the Xiaomi Xiao AI voice system is introduced.
Another feature of Li Auto in terms of intelligence is the use of the Linux-Android Automotive dual system architecture, the two can operate independently.
The Linux-based system is mainly used for vehicle driving control, while the Android Automotive-based system is mainly used for in-car entertainment and interaction.
Its function screen is cut into four panels corresponding to multiple operating systems, giving the driver and co-driver the possibility to operate separately.
WM Motor is mass-producing the L2 in 2019 with seven full eco-FOTA upgrades and plans to release its next-generation chip platform (10x increase in computing power) within the year.