After Apple gave up building a car, Lei Jun was shocked, Li Xiang liked it, and Musk enjoyed it online

The essential trend for car companies is to decline.

After learning that Apple had given up building cars, Musk sent a pleasant emoji of "tribute" and "light a cigarette", and then expressed the "essence of a car company" in his eyes.

In China, the first person to speak out was Lei Jun, chairman of Xiaomi Group, who is known as "Rebus". He said on Weibo that he was "very shocked."

Equally "shocked" was He Xiaopeng, CEO of Xpeng Motors. He said that Xpeng Motors also came to a conclusion last year: all new entrants in the automotive industry will appear in 2024, except Apple.

"I didn't expect Apple to play such a card in 2024," He Xiaopeng said.

For these three car company leaders, the "violent news" disclosed by Gurman this morning means that they no longer have to be wary of Apple as a rival.

Will Apple give up building cars to benefit Xiaomi?

In March 2021, Lei Jun made bold statements at Xiaomi's spring new product launch conference, saying that Xiaomi would officially enter the smart electric vehicle industry, and claimed that building a car would be his "last major entrepreneurial project in his life."

When we heard the news at the time, we were surprised and at the same time felt that Xiaomi's decision to build a car seemed reasonable.

In fact, as early as 2015, that is, 9 years ago, Ai Faner had imagined "Xiaomi building a car". Zhuang Weihong, the main writer at the time, wrote in the article:

Let’s just imagine that there will be a “Rebus-style” launch conference in the future, and how about using Ford’s chassis, Tesla’s batteries, Bilstein’s shock absorbers, Brembo’s brake calipers, and Continental’s tires to build a “Xiaomi car” ? Not convinced by the dynamometer? Then one more thing is: this Xiaomi car, priced at 9,999 yuan.

Although from a current perspective, this paragraph is somewhat irrelevant, at that time we just wanted to express a point through this wild idea:

As the technical threshold for car production drops, more emerging chaebols will join the competition, and competition will become fierce. The "unprofitable" situation in the mobile phone market may not reappear.

Now, nine years later, the problem has really arisen. There are not many emerging brands that can make money by selling cars.

I still remember that in early February, Aifaner held the 15th anniversary annual party of "Still a Boy After Thousands of Sails". Just as I was chewing meat and drawing prizes, AITO Wenjie released a poster with the question The cumulative mass production of Jie M9 exceeded 40,000 units.

The grand occasion of "Cheering before delivering" was once again staged.

What many people don’t know is that behind this prosperity is the huge loss of more than 2 billion yuan for the parent company Cyrus. As the first partner of Huawei’s smart car selection business, Cyrus, which was supposed to be prosperous, has already It has been losing money for 4 consecutive years .

Data shows that the cumulative sales of Cyrus cars in 2023 exceeded 100,000 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 33.31%, most of which are AITO brands. With the help of Huawei, Cyrus has become a new car-making force head player.

But judging from the financial results of Thalys, the company is losing more and more as it sells. The left hand has high sales and the right hand has big losses. This is the true portrayal of Thalys at present.

According to Cyrus’ previous financial report information, when the Wenjie M7 was originally sold for 289,800 yuan, the bicycle loss was 14,000 yuan. However, after the new M7 was launched in the third quarter of 2023, the bicycle loss quickly expanded to 46,400 yuan. It was originally More than three times. Although its bicycle loss has narrowed after the new M7 was put into production, it still reached 22,500 yuan.

In short, in the new energy vehicle market, even if you sell well, it does not mean that you can make money. This is true for Cyrus and Huawei, and it is true for Apple.

Since entering 2023, artificial intelligence has been extremely popular, but Apple's car-building project has gradually faded out of people's sight. In September, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Tianfeng Securities expressed a pessimistic view on Apple Car:

Even if it can be successfully released in 2025, Apple Car will still face huge market risks.

Although electric vehicles are widely considered to be the dominant force in the future of the automotive industry, recent weakening market demand and changing market conditions have forced many auto companies to begin to rethink their strategic direction. This includes not only the "leading boss" Tesla, but also giants such as General Motors, Ford, and Honda.

As for the Xiaomi SU7, which "has to be launched when the arrow is ready", Lei Jun seems very optimistic. He believes that if Apple does not build a car, "it will definitely be good for Xiaomi Automobile", not only because Xiaomi SU7 is a rare new energy vehicle that supports CarPlay, but also It also supports hooking up iPads in the back row.

After Apple quits car manufacturing, Xiaomi SU7 is definitely the best choice for Apple users to buy smart electric cars.

Who supports switching careers to AI? Who objects?

According to a report by Bloomberg, some employees from Apple’s car-making project team will be transferred to the machine learning and AI department led by John Giannandrea to shift to generative AI projects .

Almost all industry insiders expressed support for this matter.

This afternoon, Zhou Hongyi, founder of 360 Group, released a video to express his views. He believes that Apple gave up cars and switched to AI not because cars are difficult to make, but because developing AI is more important than building cars.

Once Apple makes up its mind in the manufacturing industry, it can solve any difficult problem, so it is definitely not a difficulty.

Apple actually doesn't pay much attention to its competitors, because Apple has its own huge fan base and very loyal user base. Generally, users will pay for Apple products, so it may not be a problem between competitors and user base.

All companies in the United States are All in AI. Every company must embrace AI. If it does not embrace AI, it will be killed.

Li Xiang, CEO of Li Auto, also has the same view. He believes that Apple’s decision to give up building cars and choose to focus on artificial intelligence is not only an absolutely correct strategic choice, but the timing of its announcement is also just right.

First, if toC's artificial intelligence is developed, Apple will become a US$10 trillion enterprise; if artificial intelligence fails, Apple will become a US$1 trillion enterprise. Artificial intelligence will become the top-level entry point for all devices, services, applications, and transactions, and it will be a must-win for Apple.

Second, if the car is built and becomes a big success, Apple will increase its market value by US$2 trillion, but the necessary condition for the car's success is still artificial intelligence. The electrification of cars is the first half, and artificial intelligence is the final.

"The AI ​​on mobile phones is bits, and the AI ​​in cars is atoms." Apple, on the other hand, hopes to use AI to span the digital and physical worlds.

In the digital world, Apple is planning a major upgrade for iOS 18, which is expected to become the "most significant" software update in the history of the iPhone. Among them, in terms of AI Siri, Gurman also predicts that iOS 18 will use generative AI technology to improve the capabilities of Siri and Messages applications in question and answer and automatic sentence completion.

It is worth mentioning that Apple, which has always been silent, made frequent moves on the generative AI track last year. Not only did it publish a number of revolutionary papers, it also actively negotiated with major news publishers to obtain content licenses to help develop AI systems.

At the same time, according to Macrumors, Apple has recently been internally testing a generative AI tool "Ask" similar to ChatGPT to help AppleCare customer service answer users' questions.

In the physical world we live in, although Apple has spent ten years without building a car, its impact on the automotive industry is actually not small. "The Atlantic Monthly" believes that Apple, with its huge scale and ubiquitous devices, has changed the entire automotive industry with its software alone without actually selling cars.

10 years ago, Apple pioneered the use of connecting smartphones to car screens, so that "smartphones on wheels" became a common term in the automotive industry.

The Apple Car actually already exists, and chances are you've already ridden in one.

You'll probably never see an electric car with an Apple logo on the road. However, a large number of car owners already use their cars to navigate, answer calls, or dictate text messages through voice assistants, and more will be done in the future.

Finally, Li Xiang also listed three necessary conditions for the success of artificial intelligence: talent, data, and computing power. But before meeting these three conditions, "you must first have money," Li said.

And money is exactly what Apple lacks most.

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

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