Weilai’s new car is about to be released, priced at 200,000 yuan, and the cost is 10% lower than Model Y!

Following Li Auto, NIO also released their fourth quarter and full-year financial reports for 2023 today.

Let’s take a look at the key numbers first:

  • In the fourth quarter, Weilai’s revenue was 17.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.5%
  • The gross profit margin of the vehicle was 11.9%, reaching double digits for two consecutive quarters.
  • Cash reserves were 57.3 billion yuan, a significant increase of 12.1 billion yuan from the previous quarter.
  • R&D expenditure was 3.97 billion yuan, exceeding 3 billion yuan for five consecutive quarters
  • For the whole year of 2023, NIO's total revenue hit a new high, reaching 55.62 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 12.9%
  • Annual R&D expenditure was 13.43 billion yuan, exceeding 10 billion yuan for two consecutive years

In terms of delivery, NIO delivered a total of 160,000 new cars throughout the year, a year-on-year increase of 37%. However, this result is still far from CEO Li Bin's expectation of "stabilizing at more than 20,000 vehicles", and it only completed the full-year sales target. 65%.

Li Bin admitted frankly at the beginning of the year that although NIO had made progress in many fields, such as the smooth launch of second-generation products, the release of NIO mobile phones, and the cooperation with Changan, Geely and other brands in battery swap stations, the overall performance did not meet expectations.

Weilai said that it expects revenue in the first quarter of 2024 to be between 10.5 billion yuan and 11.09 billion yuan, while the market expectation is 157.4 yuan; the estimated delivery volume in the first quarter is 31,000 to 33,000 vehicles, failing to reach The market expected 44,000 units.

After the financial report was released, NIO's stock price fell, once falling to 4%, and the subsequent decline narrowed. But in the just-concluded earnings call, the upcoming Alpine brand has given us new hope.

NIO’s 2023, from the pain of generational change to making allies

NIO’s 2023 is not off to a smooth start.

In the first quarter, NIO's total revenue was only 10.68 billion yuan, and its adjusted net loss reached 4.15 billion yuan, an increase of 165.9% compared with the first quarter of 2022. The most shocking thing is that Weilai’s gross profit margin dropped to 5.1%. NIO’s money is getting less and less.

In the second quarter, despite the good market response to the newly launched ES6, NIO's total revenue was even 2 billion less than in the first quarter, only 8.772 billion yuan, directly back to the level of 2 years ago .

In terms of costs, NIO's total sales costs in the second quarter reached 8.685 billion yuan, gross profit was only 87 million yuan, and gross profit margin was only a pitiful 1%, a 50 basis point decrease from the previous quarter.

The only good thing is that NIO's automotive gross profit margin increased from 5.1% in the first quarter to 6.2%. Objectively speaking, this is related to the fact that it has survived the pain of the NT1.0 to NT2.0 replacement, and its production capacity utilization has recovered. But it should be noted that a gross profit margin of 6.2% is not considered healthy. In the same period of 2022, NIO's gross profit margin was 16.7% – this number is barely considered healthy.

At that time, NIO's sharp decline in vehicle gross profit was not unrelated to its continued high investment – NIO's R&D expenditure exceeded 3 billion yuan for three consecutive quarters , far exceeding Xpeng's 1.37 billion yuan and the ideal 2.43 billion yuan during the same period. billion.

NIO’s revenue did not improve until the third quarter.

NIO's revenue in the third quarter reached 19.07 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 46.6%, and the month-on-month growth was as high as 117.4%. At the same time, thanks to the increase in average selling price, the continuous reduction of vehicle costs and the scale effect, NIO's overall third quarter revenue Vehicle gross profit margin returned to double digits, reaching 11%, returning to a leading position in the pure electric field.

Thanks to the rebound in gross profit margin, NIO's net loss began to narrow, falling 24.8% month-on-month. It can be said that the third quarter of 2023 is the best quarter for Weilai.

NIO stated in its financial report that with the breakthrough in revenue, a number of core indicators including gross profit margin will be comprehensively improved.

Entering the fourth quarter, despite the decline in total revenue from the previous quarter, the gross profit margin of complete vehicles has indeed improved as Weilai did, and cash reserves have also increased. Of course, this is inseparable from the excellent product strength of the NT2.0 platform, but in the final analysis, it is because the market has more confidence in NIO than before.

In November last year, NIO and Changan Automobile signed a cooperation agreement on battery swap business in Chongqing. The two parties will cooperate around battery swap and jointly promote high-quality development and low-carbon transformation of the automotive industry. Specific cooperation contents include:

  • Establish standards for battery replacement
  • Building and sharing power exchange network
  • Develop battery swap models
  • Establish an efficient battery asset management mechanism

According to the agreement, Changan Automobile's first swappable passenger model that shares a battery pack with NIO is planned to be launched in 2025. As the cooperation progresses, users of some brands of models owned by both parties can share the public battery swap stations built by both parties.

From the first day of its charging and swapping business, NIO decided to open it up to the entire industry.

During the signing ceremony, Li Bin talked about NIO’s original intention of doing power swapping. He said that after five years of development, NIO’s power swapping network and NIO Energy Cloud have accumulated rich experience in R&D, construction, and operation. The power exchange business is ready to be opened to the industry.

Soon, NIO waited for its second "ally" in battery swapping. Geely Automobile became the second company to cooperate with NIO in the field of battery swapping after Changan Automobile.

With the entry of Geely and Changan, Qin Lihong's words "Nio will not go bankrupt, and it is impossible to go bankrupt" seem to have become louder.

In 2024, NIO will usher in a new life

Regarding the Alpine brand, Li Bin revealed a lot of information during tonight's conference call.

He said that the Alpine brand launched in the second quarter will have an independent sales network and adopt part of NIO’s after-sales system. At the product level, Alpine will focus on the family market, "launching very competitive models for different families," Li Bin said.

It can be seen that Li Bin has sufficient confidence in the Alpine brand. He believes that NIO has a deeper understanding of the needs of home users and also has the advantage of being a latecomer.

Alpine's first product will be a household pure electric SUV model, scheduled to be unveiled in the third quarter of this year and delivered in the fourth quarter. Regarding this SUV, two spy photos were exposed today. The overall shape of the new car is similar to the Tesla Model Y, but Li Bin said that its cost is "about 10% lower than the Tesla Model Y."

For the Alpine brand, making money is the top priority. Li Bin said that the brand's vehicle gross profit margin target is 20%.

"In the next two years, the automotive industry will undergo more drastic changes and competition will become more intense." Li Bin is very sure of this. He previously sent an internal letter asking employees to be mentally prepared to face the challenges head-on. It also emphasized that employees "must use investors' funds efficiently."

At the sales level, as a luxury brand among new forces, NIO has to stabilize sales by improving the cost-effectiveness of its products in the face of the "turmoil" this year.

On February 22, NIO’s 2024 models went on sale, with a total of seven models including ES8, ES7, and EC7. All new cars use the new central computing platform ADAM and are equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon SA8295P cockpit chip. Each model also has Corresponding functional improvements.

We all know that the major trend in the auto market in 2024 is "increase quantity and reduce price", but for NIO, quantity can be increased, but price cannot be reduced. "NIO's main brand will not launch a cheaper car than ET5, and new cars will be more expensive." The 200,000 yuan market under the NIO brand will be handed over to the Alpine brand.

After launching the first model, the Alpine brand will also launch an MPV model with more space. "But that's for next year. It's a bit too early to talk now." Li Bin said.

At the same time, he also made it clear that Alpine will share the power swap network with NIO, and NIO’s fourth-generation power swap stations will be deployed starting in April this year.

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

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