On the evening of November 2, Beijing time, China's leading automotive internet service platform Autohome (NYSE: ATHM; Hong Kong Stock Exchange code: 2518) announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2023. The company's revenue and profit increased steadily in the third quarter, with total revenue of 1.91 billion yuan, online marketing and other business revenue up 25.2% year on year, accounting for 31.4%; adjusted net profit was 604 million yuan; and cumulative revenue for the first three quarters increased 4.5% year on year. As of November 2, many leading brokerage firms, including HSBC, Citibank, and CITIC Lyon, have updated their research reports and maintained their “buy” or “outperform the market” ratings.
Longquan, chairman and CEO of Auto Home, said that in the third quarter of this year, the company's revenue structure continued to be optimized, and diversified businesses developed collaboratively. Looking forward to the future, we will continue to deepen our ecological strategic layout, open up online and offline channels, and create a full-link one-stop service system that runs through the “look at the car - buy a car - use - change the car” ecosystem, and empower the company's long-term growth with a diverse ecosystem.
Improve the systematization of the content ecosystem and build a record high in user traffic
In order to meet the increasingly differentiated content needs of consumers, Autohome is accelerating the construction of a content ecosystem, building an efficient system around tools, content and services to further enhance the platform's influence. At the Chengdu Auto Show, Auto Home opened up online and offline service scenarios, launched a “help shopping” campaign for help, selection, and purchase, organized professional editors to accompany users throughout the process, interpret model and configuration advantages from a professional perspective, and solve car purchase pain points for consumers in one stop.” Through an innovative service model, the “Help Purchase” campaign provides a more complete service scenario for people from all walks of life and wins the hearts of users.
The scene of the Chengdu Auto Show Assistance and Assistance Campaign
Facing the new energy consumption boom, the company focused on the new energy measurement system to cover models. It completed testing of nearly 100 popular new energy models in the third quarter, providing users with more comprehensive, easier to understand, and more professional tools to enhance users' car selection decision experience. At the same time, in order to expand the influence of its content, Autohome actively appeared at global events such as the Munich Auto Show in Germany and the China International Trade in Services Fair and provided in-depth coverage, focusing on an international perspective.
In August of this year, the “Auto Home 818 Festival - Jizhiyao Future” theme gala once again appeared on the CCTV finance channel. As of that day, the global exposure had exceeded 14.5 billion, and the number of active visitors to the entire 818 station had exceeded 840 million. After 5 years of hard work, “Auto Home 818”, a super IP, ushered in a new transformation, creating a feast integrating automobiles and technology for the global audience. Thanks to the comprehensive promotion of the C-side strategy, Autohome's user traffic has increased dramatically. According to QuestMobile data, the average number of daily mobile users in September reached 69.01 million, an increase of about 39.3% over the same period last year, maintaining a leading position in the industry.
The upgrade of the new retail model comes from a sharp increase in the revenue of new energy brands over the same period last year
A year ago, Auto Home innovatively launched a new retail model in the face of the new energy boom, and fully exploited the “new retail+used car” incremental business scenario to introduce the used car business into new retail stores. In the third quarter of this year, the Chengdu branch of Auto Home Space Station was grandly opened and attracted the attention of young users through a series of innovative marketing activities. Recently, the launch of the Chongqing store, the fourth city in the country, announced that the new retail model ushered in a new 2.0 iterative upgrade. The Chongqing store integrated Tiantian Auto, Home Used Car, and Home Retail to become the first three-in-one space station, providing consumers with an “All in One” one-stop service for watching, choosing, buying, and exchanging.
Autohome Space Station Chongqing Branch
Currently, Autohome's new retail business has entered a stage of rapid development. New retail stores have opened in the four cities of Shanghai, Haikou, Chengdu, and Chongqing. Currently, construction is under way in 13 cities including Beijing and Guangzhou. It can open in 17 cities in mid-November, and will open more than 20 cities by the end of this year. At the same time, the company is also continuing to expand cooperation with new energy vehicle companies. Revenue from new energy brands increased by nearly 70% year-on-year in the third quarter. In the future, the Autohome Space Station will expand rapidly across the country, achieve the declining penetration of multi-tier cities, and expand Autohome's resource advantages from online to offline, while Tiantian Auto Racing will also leverage the strategic layout of the space station to achieve nationwide exhibition more quickly.
Digital products help reduce the burden on customers, and the penetration rate of used cars continues to increase
After the launch of Autohome's digital products, it has played a major role in the transformation and upgrading, cost reduction and efficiency of its partners, and has continuously upgraded the core capabilities of the products and improved the quality of product services. At the same time, we will continue to deepen the application of AI in intelligent products, expand application scenarios, reduce labor costs, and provide cost-effective services to dealer customers. In the third quarter, the company launched the long-term lead incubation product “Cloud Smart Choice” and the private domain customer operation product “Enterprise Communications”. Cloud Smart “can carry out fully automatic long-term incubation based on dealer customer pools, automatically achieve customer stratification and provide targeted operation strategies. It has already served more than 1.2 million unique leads, and the activation rate is 16.5% higher than traditional methods.” “Enterprise Information Communication” can connect online and offline customers with full contact points for car purchase and use, and provide full-process data analysis to help brands and dealers grow operations across the entire link. It has served more than 2,000 dealers, and the IM conversion rate has increased by 20.5% compared to natural transformation. In the first nine months of this year, various core indicators, including the number of cooperative products per store and average store revenue, continued to maintain a double-digit year-on-year increase.
Since the launch of quality inspection products, we have continued to provide dealers with refined management grips to help them improve the transformation of offers, and at the same time build quality inspection models for multiple brands to deeply match business scenarios. Autohome has a market share of over 60% of the communications market. Through technology and information channel upgrades, service stability of 99.99% has been achieved. Currently, more than 40 brands have chosen to cooperate with Autohome and integrate systems. In the third quarter, the total network communication service lead volume exceeded 30 million, an increase of more than 20% over the previous year.
In the used car business field, in addition to business collaboration between new retail and used cars, the company has also launched a one-stop car price inquiry platform. The platform is based on used car auctions and new car terminal transaction data, combined with the computational power of large models, to provide used car dealers with actual vehicle transaction prices and valuation tools to provide a basis for accurate valuation of used vehicles. In the third quarter, the penetration rate of information matching and auction services on the Autohome platform continued to increase, affecting the volume of used passenger car transactions nationwide by about 24.4%, an increase of about 3 percentage points over the previous year.
One-stop price inquiry platform for used cars
Fulfilling corporate social responsibility to help achieve the “double carbon” goal
While ensuring the quality and efficiency of business development, Autohome is also actively implementing social responsibility and strengthening ESG construction. The “Youth Car Unlimited Creative Contest”, which was specially supported by Auto Home for three consecutive years, ended successfully at the end of September. During the event, 50 youth works were unveiled at the 2023 World New Energy Vehicle Conference in Munich, Germany, bringing the automobile culture and green environmental protection concept of Chinese youth to the world stage. In addition, it also collaborated with the Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers and other industry organizations to organize science school trips to spread and popularize automotive technology knowledge, build a normalized platform for popularizing science, and enhance the scientific literacy of the vast majority of young people.
Under the “double carbon” goal, Auto Home actively supports and participates in the promotion and popularization of new energy vehicles. The “New Energy Caravan” debuted at the 818 Gala to promote a low-carbon strategy, and went deep into numerous county and rural road shows to help new energy vehicles go to the countryside and transform the industry. In August of this year, the “Arctic Miracle” team from the polar research project “Arctic Miracle”, jointly created by Auto Home and GAC Trumpchi, arrived at Huanghe Station in the Arctic of China. While showing the world the technical capabilities of China's new energy vehicles and conveying the concept of green development, it also protected China's Arctic research project.
The “Arctic Miracle” project team arrived at Huanghe Station in the Arctic of China
Recently, the Passenger Transport Federation released a report saying that with the continuation of consumer promotion policies in various regions, offline activities such as various auto shows are booming, and new energy trips to the countryside have become a good vehicle for exhibiting and buying cars, and the automobile industry will continue to improve in the future. In this context, Autohome will focus on seizing the major opportunities brought by new energy vehicles and digitalization, promoting the integration of online and offline services, supporting the business transformation of partners, continuously expanding service boundaries, building a one-stop, full-link automotive ecosystem, and helping the company achieve the next stage of high growth through diversified business.