Interview with He Xiaopeng: Customer-oriented, that is, he admits that he did not do well

"I've seen car companies change the time of the press conference, and they will also change the offline press conference to online due to irresistible factors, but two days after the press conference, it is very rare in history for companies to drastically change product names and even configuration . Even mobile phone manufacturers don’t dare to play like this.” This is the lament of a friend of Dong Chehui who has worked in the leading automotive media for many years.

In less than 48 hours since the press conference on September 21, Xiaopeng Motors announced that in response to user feedback that the product configuration is complex and unreasonable, it has adjusted the naming and configuration of the G9 model , and listed some of the original optional items. For the standard , introduce a few key points:

  • Standard 800V platform and 3C battery pack, 650 battery life version optional 4C battery pack
  • Standard XPILOT intelligent assisted driving system, Max version upgraded to XNGP intelligent assisted driving system
  • Pro version and above models come standard with 5D music cockpit, including Xiaopeng Concert Hall and various comfort configurations
  • 650 Commemorative Edition model, with exclusive car color and electric rear tow hook on the basis of full configuration, adding 8 owners' rights

Since then, online public opinion on G9 has improved. The complaints of users before are mainly concentrated on: too many SKUs, most models of 5D music cockpits require extra money to be installed, and low-end models do not have high-speed NGP but only cruise control.

Why does Xpeng Motors do this? In addition to online public opinion feedback, it also originated from an exclusive interview with He Xiaopeng on September 22. He answered questions about the G9 product definition, the company's future plans, and SKUs that everyone cares about.

Xiaopeng Motors claims to focus on autonomous driving, why does it still make low-profile models that do not even have ACC?

Xiaopeng Motors is the first car brand in China to start full-stack self-development, and He Xiaopeng once said on Weibo in 2020, "In China's autonomous driving, someone in the west must be prepared to be beaten by us. As for the international, we will meet" .

A few days before the official release of the G9, Xiaopeng realized the first mass-produced high-level intelligent assisted driving in urban scenes in China on the P5 equipped with XPILOT3.5, while those assisted driving hardware are more luxurious than other brands of models, but it is too late Did not land.

As the flagship model of Xiaopeng Motors, the G9 was previously used on the low-end model 570G with a price of 309,900. The assisted driving function only supports cruise control, and does not support ACC adaptive cruise and 360 panoramic images, not to mention that it has been in the G3 era. The automatic parking function has established a reputation. On the contrary, Corolla priced from 109,800 can be equipped with adaptive cruise as standard.

Regarding the media's doubts about low-end models not paying attention to assisted driving, He Xiaopeng said:

There is a discussion within us, we expect a standard XPILOT4.0, and XNGP will be used in the future before unmanned driving.

However, the current name of 570G has been changed to 570 Plus, the price remains unchanged, but XPILOT that supports high-speed NGP is added.

There are too many SKUs, how do you view the complicated problem of optional equipment?

The mid-spec models at the G9 conference, such as 570E, 702E, and 650E, need to add 22,000 yuan to the optional 5D concert hall (including Xiaopeng Concert Hall and seat comfort configuration). The 28,000 yuan XNGP assisted driving system equipped with lidar has the problems of complicated optional logic and high price. These look like traditional luxury brand car companies, especially Porsche's gameplay, but not optional Porsche naked cars, because it is difficult to make money, few 4S stores will sell them, forcing you to choose.

Faced with the controversial SKU issue since P7, He Xiaopeng revealed his pressure, "To be honest, we have never had so many customers, potential users and friends message and call us as we did last night, including now. Many friends and businessmen are very concerned about our matter, from another point of view, the attention of the optional equipment in the G9 system this time is much higher than that of our previous cars.”

These core-competitive configurations have become optional on many models, or even cannot be optional, and how to solve the problem of expensive optional accessories? He Xiaopeng said the most important sentence after the press conference and before changing the configuration:

Yesterday we released the G9. Many friends want to choose the optional equipment, but some can't choose it, and some think it is expensive. We will definitely change it. As for how to change it, I will push it and give you the results in a day or two. Customer-oriented is to admit that you have not done a good job, you just want to help customers solve problems, you do not say that you do not do well and do not help customers solve problems.

What kind of thinking is this based on when comparing the sales volume to the Audi Q5?

He Xiaopeng once said at the G9 press conference, "We have enough confidence in sales, and believe that it will exceed the scale of Q5 next year. We expect G9 to achieve monthly sales of 10,000 consecutive units in the field of five-seat luxury SUVs."

According to Dong Chehui, the current data released by the Automobile Dealers Association shows that the sales volume of Audi Q5L from June to August was 17,000, 12,000 and 12,000 respectively, and the total sales volume in the past year was 125,000.

At the media interview, He Xiaopeng also revealed that almost 50% of the orders placed by customers are from BBA owners . Based on the above background, he set the goal that the sales volume of Xiaopeng G9 should surpass Audi Q5 in the future.

The ideal L8 is about to be launched, how does the Xiaopeng G9 convince consumers?

When the media mentioned this embarrassing issue, He Xiaopeng was reluctant to comment directly, but he still talked about his thoughts on pure electric platforms and plug-in hybrid platforms.

He believes that for an electric car at the price of the G9, there is no need to worry too much about the battery life. Its CLTC battery life covers 570-702km.

In the face of the energy replenishment experience, he also ridiculed that the price difference between oil and electricity is very large, and the feeling of using the battery once a week is different from that of charging it several times a week . He feels that charging every day and every other day is quite troublesome. .

He Xiaopeng is not anxious, what is he most afraid of?

At the first quarter results meeting in 2022, He Xiaopeng once said, "With the launch of G9 and subsequent new platforms and new models, we will structurally improve the gross profit margin of models. Our medium and long-term goal is to increase the company's overall gross profit margin to 25% or more".

However, judging from the financial report data released by Wei Xiaoli in Q2 2022, the gross profit margin is 16.7% for Weilai and 10.9% for Xiaopeng, and the ideal is 21.5%. Although Xpeng Motors was still the sales champion in the second quarter, its gross profit margin was at the bottom and its average selling price was the lowest. Obviously, the higher-priced Xpeng G9 is the key to Xpeng Motors' 25% gross profit margin.

Some media asked He Xiaopeng whether he was anxious when he built a car, and he said, " I feel a little anxious every day when I build a car, especially in such a busy market. I think anxiety can be divided into different levels. , I think the most important point has improved a lot recently, we have seen a lot of problems, and we know how to correct them.”

Intelligence has always been one of the most important labels of Xiaopeng Motors. He Xiaopeng believes that intelligence actually has a deep threshold, which does not mean that things can be done well by relying on hardware or self-research.

In the process of promoting the brand upward, He Xiaopeng believes that it is necessary to do a good job in details, do less things, and do certain things well. In the face of more models of Xiaopeng Motors in the future, the number of SKU packages will drop significantly. Facing anxiety, He Xiaopeng revealed:

Today, I feel most afraid that there is no food in our hands, and we have enough food in our hands; secondly, you don’t know what problems you have; thirdly, your current market is a roll market, in the roll market and in the stable market The logic of competition is too far apart.

That's right, He Xiaopeng was anxious after the G9 conference, and quickly changed after knowing that there was a problem with the SKU.

I don’t agree that large-scale companies lack long-term planning and make changes . They should formulate a plan to balance the interests of car owners and the company before the press conference as much as possible. Because it affects the whole body, the small one is to replace all the communication and sales materials, and the large one involves the upstream and downstream procurement strategies, stocking, and cost accounting of the supply chain, which wastes extremely high labor costs and is not conducive to fostering a sense of trust with suppliers. bargaining power.

But I appreciate He Xiaopeng's courage to accept the owner's suggestion. Under the premise that the price of Xiaopeng G9 remains unchanged, some options are changed to standard configuration, and the owner does get tangible benefits.

The question is, this time it sets a precedent. When Xpeng Motors launches new models in the future, what if a large number of users give their opinions after the press conference?

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