Huawei wants to build a million-dollar luxury car. Can the “Chinese Maybach” be successful?

When you mention JAC, which model do you think of first?

For many people, what comes to mind is a NIO. After all, in the past seven years, JAC has been manufacturing new cars for NIO, which has no production qualifications. The JAC NIO logo also follows each NIO. , traveled all over the country.

At the end of the year, NIO purchased the NIO advanced manufacturing base and NIO's second advanced manufacturing base, namely the NIO F1 factory and the NIO F2 factory, which once belonged to JAC, for a total price of 3.158 billion, successfully "redeeming themselves." After obtaining production qualifications, NIO started to fly solo. There is no more "JAC NIO" in the world.

As soon as the transaction was completed, the public's attention was focused on the buyer NIO. NIO also announced its third quarter financial report on the same day of the transaction. "Does NIO have a future?" naturally occupied the front page of the media. The transaction The other side of Jianghuai has not received much attention.

After parting ways with NIO, JAC chose to join hands with Huawei. To be precise, it joined Hongmeng Zhixing, which was upgraded from Huawei's smart car selection model, as its new future.

Millions of Jianghuai, no name yet

China Merchants Securities recently released a research report on the cooperation between Huawei and car companies to build cars. In addition to the already released Zhijie and Wenjie, JAC and BAIC have unreleased products.

As can be seen in the JAC column, the new car cooperating with Huawei is code-named X6. It is a sedan and is positioned to compete with Maybach. The price is up to one million yuan and will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2024.

To be honest, if it weren't for the China Merchants Securities logo printed on the upper left, this would really look like an advertisement for Jianghuai.

In terms of cooperation model, this new car will continue to follow the previous Wenjie/Zhijie route. Product development will be overall responsible for JAC, and Huawei will step in to further define the product. At the same time, in terms of sales channels, like other "world" models, this million-level new car will also be sold in Huawei stores.

According to relevant information from Tianyancha, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. recently applied for registration of a series of trademarks such as "Zunjie", "Qingjie", "Yunjie", "Chengjie", etc., and from the million-level and benchmark Judging from the positioning of Maybach, it may be most appropriate to call this new car from JAC "Zunjie".

▲ Zhijie S7

It’s a million-level car from the start. Compared with all the models currently on sale by Hongmeng Zhixing, JAC’s new car is indeed far ahead in terms of positioning.

But Jiang Huai couldn't bear the overwhelming wealth.

JAC launched a new new energy brand Yttrium Wei this year. The first model Yttrium Wei 3 is priced at RMB 89,900-127,900 yuan. It has a sleek appearance and a large space design. It is clearly positioned in the comfortable commuting market similar to Baojun Yunduo and other models.

JAC has high expectations for Y-3. Li Ming, general manager of Jianghuai Automobile Group Co., Ltd., once said that the monthly sales target of Y-3 is 10,000 units.

So how much did Yttrium 3 sell in the past November?

A total of 1318 vehicles.

It has been on the market for more than four months, and the total sales volume of Yttrium 3 has just exceeded the previously set monthly target. It is not easy to start a thunderstorm.

In addition, the current JAC does not have a viable pure electric passenger car product in a practical sense.

On the other hand, JAC's profit situation is not ideal. It has been losing money for six consecutive years after excluding non-net profits. After losing NIO, JAC's income will be reduced again.

No matter how you look at it, JAC is in urgent need of Huawei's help.

Today's JAC is a bit like Jinconselis, which just started cooperation with Huawei in 2021.

Before cooperating with Huawei, the main products of Dongfeng Xiaokang, the parent company of Cyrus, were mostly vans, and there was no mid-to-high-end new energy passenger car products.

After cooperating with Huawei, Cyrus launched its first model, Cyrus SF5. However, this new car, which was launched under the halo of Huawei Smart Selection, continued to have problems after its launch. The shortcomings of the initial cooperation between the two parties that were not fully integrated gradually became apparent. In the end, the Cyrus SF5 was only sold for less than a year before it was hastily withdrawn. Ask the world to make way.

It can be seen that it is not advisable to rashly break away from the brand's usual pricing range. If you want the brand to improve, you still have to pay the tuition fees.

But today's Jianghuai is obviously much luckier than Jin Conselis, and has successfully embarked on the "fast track paved by predecessors."

Its "predecessor" is none other than King Concelis.

After SF5, the cooperation between Cyrus and Huawei further deepened and gradually got on the right track. Wenjie M5 and Wenjie M7 became the vanguard of Hongmeng Smart, successfully making people realize Huawei's potential to "empower" car companies.

The AITO brand's upcoming flagship SUV, the Wenjie M9, is expected to be priced at RMB 500,000-600,000. This is Hongmeng Zhixing’s further exploration. Whether it can successfully win the luxury market, Wenjie M9 will play a decisive role.

In other words, the performance of Wenjie M9 will directly affect people's views on JAC's million-class sedan.

Fortunately, for now, Wenjie M9 seems to be developing in the right direction. If Wenjie M9 can successfully gain a foothold at the price of 500,000 yuan, Hongmeng Zhixing's ability to create high-end models will be further solidified, heading towards the million-level, and there will be more convincing reasons.

Huawei "empowers"

In a sense, you can think of Huawei as the white knight that rescues sluggish car companies, bringing already powerless brands back to the mainstream market.

But on the other side of this story, Huawei is regarded by many people as a "necromancer". If you want to return to life, you must first hand over your "soul".

The "soul theory" comes from Chen Hong, chairman of SAIC Group. In 2021, Chen Hong once said:

This is like a company providing us with an overall solution. In this way, it becomes the soul and SAIC becomes the body.

In order to let everyone retain their "soul", after Huawei established Hongmeng Intelligent Technology, it sent invitations to car companies such as Cyrus, BAIC, JAC, Chery, and FAW to invest in the company. With the opening of independence and equity, Che BU will no longer represent Huawei, but will become a complete supplier.

But in fact, what consumers really recognize and consume is the "Huawei brand car" that has never been explicitly stated, rather than the brand behind it that actually makes the car.

Car companies in Hongmeng Zhixing are facing the risk of brand value being diluted.

A circumstantial evidence of "buying Huawei for empowerment, rather than buying the car company behind it" is the new brand Blue Power launched by Cyrus itself, and the Chery Star Era ES, the "brother" of Zhijie S7.

After breaking away from Huawei's endorsement, relying solely on their own product and brand power, the new products of Cyrus and Chery still received a mediocre response, which shows the core of Huawei's role.

At the same time, for non-leading car companies, cooperation with Huawei can also force them to improve their manufacturing levels——

In this situation, Hongmeng Zhixing’s internal brand competition involves more competition in manufacturing quality.

Since they are all "Hongmeng Cockpit", which one has good interior assembly technology, excellent mechanical quality, and even which one has a better door closing sound, has become the most obvious differentiation among models in the same price range.

In this context, interesting souls are all the same, and good-looking skin is the only one .

Turning our attention back to JAC's new car that cooperates with Huawei, we still don't know what kind of success the "million-level luxury car" can bring.

But what is certain is that this will be a new test of Huawei’s brand value and JAC’s manufacturing capabilities.

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