# The headline of current events said # "Many European experts think that China cars have a bright future. They perform well in crash tests, are usually beautifully designed, and provide reasonable equipment even in the basic version-and the price is unparalleled. " However, the article titled "What May Stop the Rise of China Electric Vehicles in Germany" in German Economic Weekly on December 10th pointed out that the China brand still has a key weakness-China automobile manufacturers lack a service point network in Germany and Europe. Many China players also have weak financial resources.
At the end of November, BYD, a China automobile manufacturer, announced that it had reached a "historic milestone": the 6 millionth new energy vehicle rolled off the assembly line in Zhengzhou, China. In just three months, BYD’s car production has increased from 5 million to 6 million. BYD is a success story: it took 13 years to produce the millionth electric car. BYD currently has offices in 58 countries around the world, including Germany.
Like BYD, Aichi, MG, Geely and Weilai have mushroomed in Germany. Chery is also expected to start selling in Germany in the second quarter of 2024.
Ergun Lumali, President of the General Union of Mercedes-Benz Group, recently visited China, where he was able to drive and inspect the cars of China automobile manufacturers. He said: "China manufacturers are ahead of us in the fields of digitalization, infotainment and autonomous driving, and the price makes it difficult for us to keep up. We are getting better, but we must hurry and act faster. "
In any case, people in China have ambitious sales plans: "At present, about 20 to 30 China brands are trying to gain a foothold in Europe," said benedikt Mayer of IfA. So far, China’s market share of new cars in Germany is about 1%. By 2025, this proportion is likely to reach 3%. The growth is enormous.
But the China brand still has a key weakness: "China manufacturers come to Europe with very strong products, but this is only one of the keys to success," said Peter Fintel, head of Capgemini’s technology and innovation. Sales and service are equally important.
Fabian Brandt, partner of Oliver Wyman Consulting and global consultant in charge of automobiles and industrial products, said that service plays an important role in the life cycle of automobiles. Service "determines whether customers are satisfied." Anyone who has just entered the European market must establish a good service network. If the player doesn’t do this, it will damage the brand. Lack of service may slow down the rise of China brands. "
But what if the China car needs to go to a repair shop? Then sometimes there may be problems. Meyer said that in order to fully enter the German market, manufacturers need at least 100 auto repair service points.
Not all China automobile manufacturers have established a comprehensive service point network. For example, Weilai mainly passedmove""WeilaiService center ",to provide users with on-site service. In any case, there are not many users. From January to September, 2023, the newly registered number of Weilai Automobile was only 885. This is not enough to cover the high cost.
In contrast, taking MG as an example, it is estimated that there will be 20,000 newly registered cars in 2023. "This goal seems to be achievable at present," said MG. Polestar has set up more than 200 service points in Germany and cooperated with Volvo Car Germany. Polestar 2 has registered more than 15,000 vehicles in Germany. Aichi Auto relies on ATU auto repair service chain. Customers can go to any of about 500 ATU branches in Germany. Up to now, Aichi Automobile has sold about 3,000 U5 SUV models in Germany. BYD dealers also sell Mercedes-Benz in Germany.
The way to establish contact with large retail chain stores is particularly promising. They not only have dozens of car dealerships in the region, but also have affiliated repair shops. This is how sales and service are combined. For example, Great Wall Motor relies on Emile Frey Group, an importer in Germany. So far, the manufacturer has sold more than 4,000 Great Wall Euler 03 cars in Germany alone.
There is another risk: according to consultant Brandt, many players from China also have "fragile financial resources". Therefore, he estimated that "half of the brands currently targeting the European market will disappear again". The risk faced by car owners in China is whether they will continue to get spare parts, especially software updates. If the manufacturer withdraws from the market again, in theory, it must abide by the law and continue to provide spare parts to existing customers.
Therefore, if China manufacturers want to gain a foothold in the European market, it is imperative to build a perfect service point network to give European drivers who have bought China cars and want to buy China cars a "reassurance".
# New energy vehicles #