Had lots of fun with Sixie, one of the flagship store sales guides at Xiaopeng’s show room as he arranged test of the different models and variants of the XPEV offerings earlier today. Another great chap to chat and share ideas with. I observed that Most of the elite sales guys at Xiaopeng’s store have been educated overseas, and have great command over English. This made the engage my a palatable one.
The EV space is heating up, and yet it’s not yet begun, really.
NIO has got a good strategy, and must be commended for it, I live NIO, but Xiaopeng has an a great strategy, which could see it as a main contender in the EV play, thus upending the top guns like Volvo, Byd and NIO.
There is no doubt though, that it’s got a long way to go. Handicuffed by “leveraging” Tesla’s original source code, Xiaopeng’s has an Achilles’ heel that it’s got to unbridle from as soon as possible. As it seeks to be king of the auto software play, listening to consumers and acting very very fast will be in its favor. This will be key for future versions of its Xpilot, and critical to delivering on the “car-as-a-service” vision.
By outselling most other Chinese EV’s in September 2020 — by sales and deliveries — this is a brand that is ploughing a formidable path for itself, and as a National brand of pride. (Think Datsun or Toyota/Lexus of Japan).
Having the backing of Alibaba, etc. makes it have a muscle for the “as-a-Service” business play, and it will come at a zero effort trying to pull this off. Sadly it must shake of the heritge of “copying” Teslas original software as soon as practicable.
As with all cases, copy can get up to speed quickly, but it’s the maintenance of the momentum that breaks most copy cats.
My hope is that Xiaopeng is acting on this and is putting in the right efforts to emerge fully in control of Its software and hardware strategy. Nevertheless who said it must do everything? It can leverage Nvidia for autonomous hardware, as it does now, leverage Porsche for drivetrain and perhaps get a supplier for Software.
Leveraging Porsche as a brand and platform to design its drive train was undeniably a clever clever move. A win-win move that also speaks to possible future prospects of the two brands. This was an expensive play though, but a very calculated move that will pay off in 2 years — given its current traction.
While Xiaopeng is still a young company compared to Tesla, the achievement thus far by way of business strategy elates me. Listening to the Vice Chairman, am even more convinced about the ingredients that they are cooking up for the soup and it’s going to “taste” pretty good too very soon.
Watch out for this brand by December 2022. It could be the EV romp shaker in China if it dials in on its software and business model strategy by expanding and deepening it’s partnerships.