The Zhitong Finance App learned that Qunzhi Consulting published an article stating that in the first half of 2023, the global automotive chip shortage crisis was mitigated, causing the world's major automobile markets to show a strong rebound trend. Compared with the same period last year, the sales growth rate of the global automobile market reached 11.4% in the first half of this year. The main reason is that in the first half of last year, global OEMs were all affected by COVID-19 and tight supply of semiconductor chips and auto parts, which led to poor market performance. According to Qunzhi Consulting's forecast, in 2023, when the upstream supply situation is good in the global automobile (passenger car+commercial vehicle) market, policy incentives from various countries will play an important role. Annual sales volume is expected to reach 85.5 million units, an increase of 7.3% over the previous year.
Domestic section: The “price war” intensifies, and the export and new energy sectors have become bright spots
In the first half of 2023, after experiencing a market transition period in the first quarter for automobiles in mainland China, the market situation improved markedly in the second quarter in the price war triggered by car companies, and maintained steady development overall. According to Qunzhi Consulting data, automobile sales in mainland China reached 13.24 million units in the first half of 2023, an increase of nearly 10% over the previous year, while automobile exports, passenger cars of China's own brands, and new energy vehicles became the three major highlights of the car market in the first half of the year. Automobile exports from mainland China reached 2.14 million units, and the growth rate remained at a strong level of 75%. According to relevant data from China Customs statistics, in the first half of 2023, the export trade volume of automobile companies increased by 44% year-on-year. Among them, the average export price of automobile companies' export products in 2023 increased by 2,000 US dollars compared to the same period in 2021. In addition to the continuous increase in export sales, the average export price also continued to rise. It can be seen that China's automobile industry is gradually moving towards a high-end global market leader.
Over the past two years, car companies in mainland China have enhanced their strategic development position in overseas business and increased their investment in resource management and overseas expansion. With overseas brand cultivation, channel construction, model innovation, and product information technology refinement, Chinese car companies are expected to further increase their international popularity and quickly seize global market share in the 2023-2024 period. The driving force for exports, on the other hand, is the increase in the competitiveness of Chinese brand automobile products and breakthroughs in the European and American markets. In particular, in the geopolitical context, Chinese brand cars have replaced the position of international brands in the Russian market. At the same time, the increase in the competitiveness of NEV exports has accelerated export growth. Out of total exports in the first half of 2023, NEV exports accounted for 35% of total exports. Automobile sales in mainland China are expected to reach 28.8 million units in 2023, an increase of 7.4% over the previous year. Under the premise that it will take some time for the domestic economy to recover, the growth of new energy vehicles and the export market will most likely become a structural highlight of the automobile market in mainland China in the future.
New energy article: Policy sluggishness and cost reduction are two factors in sales growth
According to Qunzhi Consulting data, global NEV sales in the first half of 2023 were 5.98 million units, up 41% year on year. Among them, mainland China is still the main region for NEV sales, reaching 3.75 million vehicles, up 44% year on year, and the average penetration rate has exceeded 28%. The rapid growth in NEV sales in China has been driven by multiple factors. On the one hand, the policy's guiding role continues to play. Although the national supplement has been withdrawn, the third extension of the purchase tax exemption announced in the first half of this year has provided incentives on the demand side. The tightening of the double credit policy has accelerated the new energy transformation of vehicle companies on the supply side; on the other hand, the product power and consumer preferences of new energy vehicles are also constantly increasing. With the development of scale effects and technological innovation, the comprehensive production cost of new energy vehicles continues to decline, and factors such as driving experience and vehicle cost are gradually becoming new for consumers to buy new products The main motive for energy vehicles, in addition to market competition such as price wars, is also promoting rapid improvements in product value.
It is estimated that sales of new energy vehicles in mainland China will reach 8.9 million units in 2023, an increase of 29% over the previous year, and a penetration rate of 31%. As China's NEV market economy becomes more mature, the market penetration rate is expected to increase further steadily. It will exceed 45% by 2025, while the mainstream mid-range market and high-end product market will replace low-priced models as the main source of growth in China's NEV market.
According to Qunzhi Consulting's forecast, the penetration rate of new cars with L2 or higher ADAS intelligent driving functions in mainland China will reach about 68% in 2023, a cumulative increase of more than 50% compared to 2018. Beginning in 2021, due to the explosion of the new energy vehicle industry, the development of electrified and electronic technology has triggered large-scale application of intelligent automotive driving and cockpit functions. It is expected that by 2028, the penetration rate of new vehicles with L2+ or higher ADAS functions is expected to reach 90%. At that time, with road regulations and policies revising standards for autonomous driving, L3 and L4 functions will also become standard for mid-range and high-end models.
Car company article: Intelligent configuration and layout have accelerated, and cost performance has become the focus of users' attention
Qunzhi Consulting has compiled statistics on the sales volume of major new energy vehicle brands (NEV) in mainland China in the first half of 2023. Among them, BYD will still top the domestic NEV sales list with a sales volume of about 1.25 million units. Tesla China, Aian, Changan, and Ideal also had beneficial performances. In addition to this, many new independent brands, such as NIO, Xiaopeng, and Nacha, are facing difficult competition in the domestic market. In addition to having excellent product capabilities, price advantages and after-sales service are particularly important to the survival of car companies.
From the perspective of specific manufacturers:
In the first half of 2023, BYD's sales volume continued to set a record of 1.25 million units, an increase of 56% over the previous year, and continued to be the number one in domestic sales. In addition to continuing to iterate and upgrade the two core product lines of Dynasty and Ocean, BYD Auto's high-end brand Tension has also contributed greatly to sales volume. With the launch of high-end brands such as Equation Leopard and Yangwang, intelligent and driving assistance functions that BYD was not good at before will also begin to enter the public eye. According to Qunzhi Consulting data, the proportion of cameras equipped with front-view ADAS functions in BYD in the first half of 2023 was only 15%, and is expected to rise to 20% in the second half of the year. The pixels currently concentrated on 1-2M will also gradually be upgraded to 8M in the future along with the layout of high-end intelligent driving models.
Tesla China sold about 480,000 new energy vehicles in China in the first half of 2023, an increase of 62% over the previous year. It is still only BYD, but brands such as Ideal and Aian are gradually catching up. With the strong rise of self-branded electric vehicles, Tesla's advantages are gradually being reduced in mainland China. Brand advantages outweigh product advantages, and intelligent driving, which was once the leader before, is also gradually being overtaken and surpassed by domestic manufacturers Xiaopeng and Questionnaire. As Tesla's Model3/Y and others are upgraded to the HW4.0 platform one after another, the high cost performance ratio brought about by further reductions in production costs will be the key to its continued competitiveness.
Geely Auto (00175)
In the first half of 2023, the domestic sales volume of new energy models under Geely Automobile was about 159,000 units, an increase of 45% over the previous year. Geely is continuously adjusting its market strategic layout. In addition to using the Zeeker (Zeeker) brand as a high-end product in the EV field, and the Geely and Lynk brands relying on the Thor Dynamics platform to seize the hybrid market, the Galaxy brand launched in the first half of this year is particularly important for Geely New Energy's strategic goals. It will later compete with many manufacturers such as BYD as the main product. However, due to the diversification of Geely's products, some models have competitive relationships with other brands at the same price, so it may limit the sales volume of Geely Link or the brand. However, Geely is relatively quick to deploy intelligent driving among traditional domestic car companies. In the second half of this year, models equipped with advanced driving assistance developed by Geely will come to prominence.
Changan Automobile (000625.SZ)
In the first half of 2023, Changan Automobile's domestic sales volume of new energy was about 164,000 units, an increase of 116% over the previous year, and the best performance among traditional car companies. Entering 2023, Changan New Auto continues to update, iterate, and launch new products, with deep blue cars as the mainstay brand. In addition, it also launched a new brand origin. It can be seen that Changan Automobile is following the success of BYD to build two product sales networks at the same time. At the same time, with its excellent product power and cost performance ratio, Changan New Energy Vehicle is expected to continue to experience high growth in the future. However, Changan Automobile's layout in terms of intelligent driving is also relatively conservative. According to Qunzhi Consulting statistics, the installation rate of ADAS cameras for intelligent driving in Changan Automobile is expected to be 15% in the first half of 2023, and most of the products are within 2M pixels, which lags behind the new powerful manufacturers.
In the first half of 2023, GAC Aian's domestic sales volume was about 209,000 units, an increase of 109% over the previous year. The Ji'an brand has been widely recognized by consumers, especially in the commercial travel market, by relying on GAC's supply chain and its AIONS/Y's excellent ride space and cost performance. Currently, in the southern region of China, BYD and BYD basically have equal monopoly positions. However, the Haobo model launched by GAC Aian this year and the advanced 800V platform it is equipped with will be the key to whether it can achieve an increase in brand value.
In the first half of 2023, Chery's domestic sales volume of new energy vehicles was about 47,000 units, a year-on-year decline of 58%. In the past, Chery relied mainly on mini cars to gain market share on the new energy circuit. As other car companies launched competitor products with higher configurations one after another, its market share is gradually weakening. Meanwhile, in addition to the intelligent brand that cooperates with Huawei, the high-end racetrack also recently launched a new brand “Fengyun” to strengthen the competitiveness of its own product line. The new brand will focus on hybrid products, marking that the Chery brand's new energy strategy is progressing comprehensively. It is expected that the Chery Fengyun series will be officially released in the fourth quarter of this year, and its Kunpeng super hybrid C-DM technology will also be incorporated into Fengyun mass-produced models. Through reliable technology and quality, it is expected to expand the middle and high-end new energy market.
Weilai Auto (09866)
In the first half of 2023, NIO sold about 56,000 units, an increase of only 8% over the previous year. However, since NT2.0 series products have completed all model iterations, the installation rate of high-pixel ADAS cameras has increased to more than 40%, leading the world. The main reason for its slow sales growth was that it failed to respond to the market in a timely manner during the automobile price war in the first half of this year, so sales declined significantly in the first quarter. And as all of its products complete the NT2.0 platform iteration in the middle of this year, and with the divestment of power exchange benefits and a certain drop in prices, NIO Auto's market performance in the second half of this year will be relatively optimistic, and its newly launched mobile phone terminal products will also bring a certain improvement in the efficiency of its smart connectivity. After entering 2024, as NIO Auto begins to lay out a new NT3.0 platform and a new sub-brand, market performance is expected to grow further, gradually stabilizing the first tier of domestic sales force.
Xiaopeng Motors (09868)
Xiaopeng Motor's sales volume in the first half of 2023 was about 41,000 units, down 41% from the previous year. The main reason sales volume was blocked in the first half of the year was that the G9 model launched at the end of last year did not receive strong market feedback. Coupled with the popularity of competing L9 and L8 models, Xiaopeng Motor's sales volume was suppressed to a certain extent. However, after entering the second half of the year, with the facelift of the P7i/G9i model and the high cost performance ratio of the G6, sales volume is expected to pick up somewhat. If Xiaopeng Motor wants to achieve steady growth over a long period of time, in addition to being able to maintain the competitiveness of its own products, it also needs to make sufficient preparations for marketing, after-sales, etc. It is believed that with its leading intelligent driving technology and the importance that Volkswagen Group places on its technology, Xiaopeng Motor will continue to shine on the new energy circuit and continue to launch products that are recognized by consumers.
IDEAL CAR (02015)
Ideal Auto sold about 139,000 units in the first half of 2023, an increase of 132% over the previous year. It is the best-performing car company among the new powerful brands. Ideal Auto relies on the hard work of segmenting the racing track for medium and large household SUVs. With its household, spatial, and intelligent product concept, and thorough understanding of the needs of end users, it continues to launch products such as L9, L8, and L7 that meet market needs, which are widely recognized by consumers. In the first half of the new energy circuit, Ideal Auto was already in the lead. In the future, with the investment of more models and the layout of the pure electric market, it is expected to continue to maintain its market position in the second half.
In addition to the outstanding smart cockpit, Ideal Auto is also very active in investing in intelligent driving. According to a Qunzhi consulting survey, the penetration rate of 8M pixels and ADAS applications for smart cameras in the first half of 2023 is already close to 50%, ahead of other manufacturers.
Zero sports car (09863)
Entering the second half of the year, in addition to optimizing the product line of the current model C11/C01, Zero Sport Auto will also build a model with a large space and high configuration based on a better and lower cost platform to strengthen competitiveness. The keywords of the price war filled the whole of 2023, and the first to drive this trend was Zero Run. The launch of the C10 model in the second half of the year will be the first car company to include advanced intelligent driving functions within 200,000 prices. The existence of Zero Sport will be a benchmark for speeding up the popularity of smart cockpits and intelligent driving in China.
Nacha Auto performed well in 2022, and its annual sales volume ranked at the top of the sales list of new powerful car companies. However, after entering 2023, there are some problems with Nacha Auto's product layout route. While its cost-effective products are seizing the market, it has not been able to continue to lay out a high-end product line. Achieving brand improvement is difficult for Nacha Auto under the current situation. In the first half of 2023, Nacha Auto's domestic sales volume was about 62,000 units, down 2% from the previous year. As a result of the all-out price war, Nacha Auto's main middle- and low-end market will face more challenges, while car companies that have never been good at workmanship and quality will dwarf competition from traditional manufacturers.
With the support of Huawei technology, AITO Auto achieved sales volume of 80,000 units in the full year of last year. However, since entering 2023, due to the rapid iteration of new products in the domestic market and the impact of price wars, sales volume of AITO Auto has stopped ahead. The AITO brand sold about 23,000 units in the first half of 2023, with a year-on-year increase of 15%, but there was a significant decline in shipments compared to the second half of last year. With the update and price drop of the M5 and M7 smart driving versions, it is expected that the second half of 2023 will usher in a turning point in car sales in the second half of 2023. In particular, with the launch of the M9 model at the end of the year and the installation of Huawei's new high-end intelligent driving and smart cockpit, I believe that with its excellent product capabilities and channels, Zinjie Auto is expected to experience growth in the coming year.
Summary: The global economy is still in a weak recovery stage, and the trend of consumption polarization is obvious. Improving product price levels will be the key to growth
The global economy is still recovering slowly in 2023. Without strong policy support during this period, it is difficult for the current level of terminal consumption to bring about a significant increase in car market performance. With the development of network informatization, the car-buying concept of Shida consumers is also becoming more and more rational. Only strong support from consumer policies combined with concessions on excellent products by car companies can increase consumers' desire to buy cars in the short term. It is also because of this that the automobile market continues to expand. 2023 is bound to be the most competitive year for car brands. Only when car companies maintain product experience, evaluate reasonable prices, and achieve a good reputation after sales will consumers be more willing to choose and stand out in the fiercely competitive Red Sea market.