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Beiqi New Energy and Magna build a joint venture to produce high-end electric vehicles

On June 18, Beijing New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “BAIC New Energy”) and Magna signed a list of terms of cooperation agreement in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. The two parties announced that they plan to set up a joint venture company to build a high-end intelligent pure electric power that is open to the public. Automotive R&D and Manufacturing Center. Industry insiders said that this cooperation with Magna will benefit Beiqi New Energy to enhance its own manufacturing strength. With the new energy vehicles becoming the strategic focus of the entire BAIC Group, how to achieve independent brand upwards will become an important issue facing Beiqi New Energy in the future.

Joint venture company

According to the list of terms signed on June 18, after the establishment of the joint venture company, BAIC New Energy and Magna will jointly develop the high-end smart electric vehicle sharing platform and customize the specific model products according to customer needs, and provide new energy. Automotive Engineering Services.

It is understood that Magna is one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive parts, and has both vehicle development technology and high-end manufacturing capabilities. It has 328 manufacturing plants in 29 countries around the world. It is a luxury brand for Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The brand provides product development and manufacturing services. In the field of new energy vehicles, in recent years, Magna began to provide electric drive systems for various car companies, after the independent development of pure electric concept car Magna also officially unveiled.

According to the plan, the BAIC Group's existing plant in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province will serve as a base for the establishment and operation of the two joint ventures of Beijing New Energy and Magna. Among them, the Zhenjiang plant will be upgraded and transformed into a manufacturing joint venture company production base. The first mass production model is scheduled to be put into production in 2020, and the annual output will reach 180,000 units. It is planned to first put into production the relevant models of BACF New Energy high-end brand ARCFOX.

Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group, stated that BAIC New Energy and Magna established a joint venture company under the guidance of Beijing Automotive Group “2025 Strategy”, based on the concept of open and shared management, integrating global quality resources, and committed to the development of a new generation of high-end intelligent pure electric vehicles. The important move.

In April 2018, during the visit to Austria by the President and Prime Minister of Austria, Beijing Automotive signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Magnaast, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magna. After signing the contract, BAIC New Energy and Magna will advance the project according to the work plan and approval process.

Industry sources said that with the help of Magna's technological advantages in vehicle platform development, manufacturing, and research and development of new energy vehicles, BAIC New Energy will have stronger strength in the development and production of high-end models. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the cooperation between the two parties can promote the high-end strategy of BAIC New Energy.

Dispute with Bei Ben

Although the joint venture Beiqi New Energy chose Magna, BAIC did not forget to pull its old partner, Daimler, in the layout of high-end vehicles. In March 2015, Beijing Automotive Group and Mercedes-Benz Technology Corporation formally established a joint venture company, Beiqi Deben. Beiqi Deben positioned the BAIC high-end vehicle technology research and high-end vehicle platform and vehicle development work. The two companies each held 51% and 49% of the shares. And set up R&D centers in Beijing and Stuttgart respectively.

At the same time, Daimler chose to cooperate with BAIC Group in advancing its high-end new energy vehicle strategy. In July 2017, Daimler signed a framework agreement with BAIC. The agreement shows that both parties will establish a pure electric vehicle production base and a power battery plant in Beijing to produce Mercedes-Benz brand pure electric vehicles. In May 2018, the Beijing Benz strategic reorganization project was officially signed in Shunyi with a total investment of 11.9 billion yuan, which will become Mercedes-Benz's first domestic high-end new energy automobile production base.

In addition to technology and manufacturing, Daimler has also increased its cooperation with BAIC at the capital level. In March 2018, Daimler Greater China Investment Co., Ltd. announced that it acquired a 3.93% stake in Beijing New Energy, a subsidiary of BAIC Group, for a total consideration of 630 million yuan. Daimler relevant responsible person said that the investment is based on the framework of the company's long-term joint venture partner Beijing Automobile, the agreement aims to expand cooperation in the field of new energy vehicles.

However, this time Beiqi New Energy and Magna have worked hard to launch high-end new energy vehicles. Some people think that in the future, there will be positive competition with BAIC and Mercedes-Benz's new energy vehicle cooperation projects. In this regard, industry insiders believe that this time Beiqi New Energy's layout of high-end electric vehicles, not only will not conflict with the previous cooperation between BAIC and Mercedes-Benz, but will complement each other. Prior to this, BAIC and Mercedes-Benz had been cooperating on traditional fuel vehicles, and the two sides had little interaction in the field of new energy vehicles. Daimler had only some investment in BAIC New Energy.

In fact, the cooperation between Beiqi and Magna and BAIC and Mercedes-Benz in the development and manufacture of electric vehicles is more similar to the relationship between Geely and Volvo. In October 2016, Geely Holding Group, Geely Automobile Group and Volvo Cars jointly established a high-end brand of lead, Volvo brand and the lead brand formed a complementary relationship. The relevant person in charge of Geely said that the lead brand was developed for the global urban consumer groups. The introduction of the lead collar improved the brand portfolio and market coverage of the Geely Holding Group. The lead position was followed by Volvo in the luxury market and Geely Auto in the independent market. After the important strategic supplement, the lead fund made up for Geely Holding’s vacancy in the joint venture market.

Get out of sleep with Magna

It is worth mentioning that this time BAIC introduced Magna to set up a joint venture company in order to get rid of the image of manufacturing low-end pure electric vehicles. At present, there are three series of BAIC New Energy vehicles in sale, including positioning A00-level EC, positioning A-level EU series, and positioning small-sized SUV EX series. According to statistics, in the first five months of 2018, the cumulative sales of BAIC New Energy reached 51,000 units, which continued to rank first in the pure new energy vehicle market. Among them, the sales volume of the EC series targeting the low-end market was 39,000, accounting for nearly 80% of the total sales. The rapid expansion of low-end models has made Beiqi New Energy the first domestic electric vehicle manufacturer with an annual output of more than 100,000 vehicles.

In fact, over-reliance on the low-end models represented by the EC series, ignoring the development of mid-to-high-end models has gradually become a clear short-board for BAIC new energy. Although BAIC New Energy released its new mid-to-high-end brand ARCFOX as early as November 2016, the sales of BAIC New Energy mid- to high-end models have been unsatisfactory. Car analyst Jia Xinguang said: "Beiqi New Energy single product sales accounted for 80%, this phenomenon is very dangerous, the original Brilliance is so, a SUV sales accounted for 80%, when the market changes, it is too late to adjust."

At present, BAIC New Energy's market share in new energy vehicles has begun to be impacted by competitors. According to the data released by the CLUCC, in addition to the January automaker winning the monthly championship of domestic new energy passenger vehicles in 2018, it has already lost three consecutive months with this title. In April, BAIC New Energy sold 10,100 vehicles, which is more than 3,000 less than the champion BYD.

In addition to the traditional car companies, BAIC New Energy is still facing mass production pressure from new energy makers. Since 2018, Weilai, Weimar, and Xiaopeng have entered the mass production delivery period. On May 29th, Xiaopeng Motors held a ceremony at its headquarters in Guangzhou and delivered 100 listed Xiaopeng vehicles. On May 31, Weilai Motor also delivered 10 vehicles to the first users. ?

In the view of auto industry analyst Cao He, China's new energy auto industry is ushering in a new round of knock-out matches, and the competition is also showing a trend of intense development. As for the current battery, charging time and other technical issues faced by BAIC New Energy, this is a common problem faced by the industry. Compared to some emerging companies with pure capital operation, the first batch of BAIC new energy bases are solid and fundamental. Deep, in this round of competition, the "winning" is still worth the wait.