NIO Li Bin: The executive sedan market is a difficulty that Chinese brands must overcome to break through | 2024 Beijing Auto Show

NIO CEO Li Bin and co-founder Qin Lihong may be the executives of automobile companies who appear most frequently in media interviews, often on a quarterly or even monthly basis. On the first day of the Beijing Auto Show on April 25, Li Bin and Qin Lihong accepted interviews including Jiemian News after the launch of the ET7 executive version.

Jiemian News Reporter | Wei Yongmeng NIO CEO Li Bin and co-founder Qin Lihong may be the executives of automobile companies who appear in media interviews most often, and the frequency is often calculated on a quarterly or even monthly basis.
On the first day of the Beijing Auto Show on April 25, Li Bin and Qin Lihong accepted interviews including Jiemian News after the launch of the ET7 executive version.
Xiaomi Motors is an unavoidable problem for all car companies. Li Bin once publicly stated that the launch of SU7 will put a lot of pressure on NIO\’s upcoming new brand Letao.
In this interview, Li Bin believes that there is still a lot of room for growth in the market penetration rate of pure electric vehicles. Letao did face direct competition from Xiaomi after its listing. However, as the products in the pure electric market become more and more abundant, the market and consumers are increasingly The acceptance of pure electric vehicles will also increase.
Data shows that in the first quarter of 2024, the total domestic sales of new energy vehicles were 2.09 million units, a year-on-year increase of 31.8%, and the penetration rate was 31.1%.
Among them, plug-in hybrids (including extended-range models) surged 95.1% year-on-year to 784,000 units, while pure electric sales increased only 15.5% year-on-year to 1.305 million units.
Judging from the year-on-year growth rate, pure electric vehicles are far lower than the overall plug-in hybrid and new energy markets.
The biggest impact Xiaomi’s car-making has on car company bosses is traffic anxiety.
Weilai and Li Bin also realized that the brand needed to increase its visibility. At the end of last year, they began to try to live broadcast a 1,000-kilometer long test. This year, Li Bin participated in two live broadcast events and frequently posted short video content on social platforms.
Compared with new marketing methods, Li Bin has repeatedly emphasized that products and services are the first competitiveness.
\”Traffic is definitely important, but users will ultimately buy your car because of the product, not the traffic.
Returning to the essence of business, product technology and services are the real long-term competitiveness.\” Li Bin added that improving brand awareness is indeed an aspect that he will work hard to study in the future. He had almost never been on Douyin before.
NIO emphasizes that the ET7 executive version is the world\’s first pure electric executive sedan with a tested range of more than 1,000km.
The second-row space and ride comfort are the most obvious differences between this new car and the old version of the ET7. Li Bin recalled that the second-row space was the most criticized when the ET7 was launched two years ago. The launch of the executive version is to make up for the biggest problem of the old model. The shortcomings are also better able to meet the user needs of executive-class cars.
Li Bin said that when ET7 was launched two years ago, it was not that he failed to correctly understand the market demand, but that he was too optimistic about the development of intelligent driving technology. At that time, NIO believed that high-end intelligent driving technology would develop rapidly in two to three years, and executive-class cars would be more advanced. The valuable space will be moved from the second row to the front row, giving up the latter when choosing between driving feeling and ride comfort.
On the other hand, users of executive-class sedans in the European market are more likely to drive their own cars. In fact, the old ET7 is indeed selling well in Europe. To some extent, NIO also believes that the Chinese market will also see this change.
NIO defines the launch of the ET7 executive version as an effort to improve Chinese automobile brands and technology.
Co-founder Qin Lihong pointed out that among European and American brands, the market segment that has both high-end attributes and a certain sales volume is executive sedans, which is also the strongest market for traditional multinational companies.
\”Chinese automobiles have been booming in recent years, but they have made little progress in this market (executive sedans). NIO\’s ET7 has accumulated sales of 30,000 units in two years. This number is insignificant, but NIO has already sold 30,000 units of executive sedans among Chinese brands. Ranked No. 1.\” Qin Lihong believes that this just shows that it is extremely difficult for Chinese brands to break through in the executive-level sedan market.
NIO has no clear sales expectations for the ET7 executive version. It hopes to gain a foothold in the market segment and have its own sense of presence. Market capacity determines that the sales volume of executive cars will not have a big breakthrough.
One noteworthy detail is that Ledo, which focuses on the mass market, did not participate in the Beijing Auto Show. Li Bin said in a joking tone that what Ledo is going to do is called \”jumping on the spot\” and does not require more warm-up and preparation. bedding.
This strategic decision points to Li Bin and NIO’s different understandings of differentiated brands.
Li Bin believes that as a high-end brand, Weilai should use leading technology, more comprehensive services and original advanced concepts to lead changes. In the early days, Weilai worked more in the \”education market\”, but the mainstream mass market is different. Dao adopts a late-mover strategy, as long as it has the best cost performance, \”the mainstream market is fighting for operational efficiency and execution.\”
The NIO ET7 administrative version starts at 428,000 yuan and will be delivered nationwide on April 30.
At the end of the interview, Li Bin left the venue early and hurried to receive Zhou Hongyi, the founder of 360. This new \”traffic\”, who was usually wearing a red POLO shirt, was surrounded by people and walked from the ideal booth.

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