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China EVs & More

Author: Tu Le & Lei Xing

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Electric Vehicle (EV) & mobility experts Tu Le and Lei Xing plug you in to all the latest going's on in the 🇨🇳EV & mobility space that are sure to have effects on the 🇺🇸 and 🇪🇺 regions. Specifically, Tu and Lei dissect the week’s most important news coming out of the China EV/Autonomous Driving (AV), chip, battery, ride-hailing, shared & micro-mobility verticals. Learn more about companies like: #NIO #XPeng # LiAuto #WMMotor #BYD #Arcfox #Seres #Voyah #Hengchi #Tesla #GM #Ford #VW #Audi #Merc #BMW #Didi #Meituan #WeRide #Ponyai #AutoX #Baidu #Apollo #Hesai #Innovusion #RoboSense
140 Episodes
Episode #134

Episode #134


Episode 133

Episode 133


Episode #132

Episode #132


Tu and Lei begin with a discussion about all the recent moves made by XPeng and whether it moves the needle for them or not. They turn their attention to August sales, specifically the top of the leaderboard which sits Li Auto, XPeng and NIO, the three US publicly traded Chinese EV companies who also happen to get the most attention by western media. The conversation moves over to the significance and reasoning behind BYD's acquisition of Jabil's Singaporean operations which includes two factories in China. Lei then looks back at his visits to Li Auto and NIO retail locations to compare and contrast the atmospheres and highlights the 'no pressure' environment of the NIO Houses, which could be a reason they are revamping their sales teams and tactics. The pod ends with a discussion about the appropriate number of NIO swapping stations in the EU and how to determine that appropriate number. 
Tu and Lei start this podcast out with a brief discussion about the Chengdu Motor show. Both comment on the trend towards plug-in hybrids and MPVs which includes the Li Auto MEGA that was announced that week. Tu and Lei then have a broader discussion about how hybrids weren't being focused on until Li Auto's success and now there are EREVs being launched by BYD's Yangwang, JAC, GAC, Geely and others. Tu briefly talks about WeRide's ambitions to IPO in the US and the current status of their application and then moeves onto the announcement that BYD is looking to partner with a Korean company to build battery cells in South Korea.This week's pod ends with Tu talking about the potential for EVs in the Indian market and a discussion about what they are looking forward to when they both head to Munich for IAA Mobility. 
The podcast starts with Lei being a bit nostalgic about leaving Beijing after visiting for the last 2 months. It quickly moves to a discussion about XPeng earnings with Lei summarizing the earnings call and Tu giving his readout on what it all means. This discussion evolves into a broader discussion about the price war and overalll economy that continues to struggle in China with both Tu and Lei having spoken recently with friends living in China and how they feel everything that’s going on there. Lei starts his discussion about his trip to NEO Park with a brief history lesson of how it came about and what all the acronyms and codenames mean when talking about the park. Lei also talks about the largest NIO House being open inside NEO Park. Tu and Lei then move onto a story about how BYD had shared a supply of chips to NIO during the chip crisis to keep them from shutting down their factory. Tu summarizes that in the tech sector things like that happening aren’t that unusual. Tu and Lei pivot to a brief conversation about the Fang Cheng Bao brand from BYD and who its likely competitors are. Tu closes out the pod with details about his visit to Our Next Energy for a technology update. 
Tu & Lei had such a great response from their MAX episode with Founder of carwow James Hind it ONLY made sense to sit down and chat with Philipp who's running the show for carwow in Germany. carwow is an online marketplace for buying and selling new and used cars and started in the UK but have since launched in Germany in 2016 and Spain in 2018. For those of you outside of Europe that aren’t yet familiar with carwow - in 2022, there were over 109 million visits to carwow sites with over £5B worth of cars bought and sold on the carwow platform. But not only does carwow make it easier for buyers and sellers to transact, it has the largest automotive YouTube channel in the world providing some of the most compelling and entertaining automotive content on the interwebs. The carwow YouTube channel which was launched in 2014 has over 2.6 billion views from it’s more than 8.2 million subscribers and growing. Philip takes us through his career progression, how carwow works in Germany, tells us how Germans shop for cars, and most importantly he gives 🇨🇳 EV Inc some advice for entering the ultra-competitive German market. With IAA Mobility Munich being held this week, there wasn't a more appropriate time post this conversation Tu & Lei have with Philipp - Enjoy!
Lei kicks off the podcast with how he randomly bumped into Frank Wu at the Jidu, now JiYue Experience Center in Beijing. Tu believes that after seeing the features on their first vehicle, that if executed properly - could push the entire sector into the smartification phase of the EV transition. Tu moves the conversation over to Zeekr’s price cut while Lei then talks about their recent subscription service. Tu stops the podcast to congratulate BYD on building their 5 millionth NEV. Both Tu and Lei marvel at the speed at which they got to the last from 1 million to 5 million units. Lei broadens out the discussion to talk about China recently hitting 20 million NEVs built in China and what a massive accomplishment that was. Tu addresses the BYD haters by pointing to the fact that Toyota, widely considered one of the best in the biz, is using BYD tech for the China market. They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought BYD product were inferior. Lei updates about some recent news about Huawei and Tu talks about a recent announcement by the Chinese govt effectively doubling down on hydrogen technology as a viable powertrain option and how till now, very few OEMs besides one or two Japanese OEMs seem to be committed to it. Tu and Lei close out the podcast with an announcement about their latest MAX episode with Philipp Sayler von Amende, Co-founder & CEO of carwow Germany which will drop the week of IAA Mobility Munich.
Lei starts this pod out with a brief history lesson about Vitesco which was spun off from Continental’s powertrain business that had some roots at Siemens.Lei pivots to talking in detail about his time behind the wheel of the new-ish XPeng G6 including letting the City NGP function take over for parts of his journey. Tu then points out that as the price war has heated up, more and more complaints have arisen from customers who are purchasing these EVs. Tu takes a moment to differentiate between fails vs. (too) complicated design and how the latter can still be categorized as a fail. Lei moves on to a discussion about Xinzhou Wu, XPeng’s head of Autonomous, leaving XPeng to join Nvidia in the US. Lei outlined the numerous reasons this could be and they all could’ve contributed to his leaving XPeng. The pod then shifts over to a discussion of Pony and Toyota co-investing $140M in autonomous vehicles. Toyota had already made an investment in Pony and this just deepens their partnership with Toyota hoping that Pony can be their ADAS / AV solution for China. Tu and Lei close out the podcast with a discussion of the rumor that Jetta was looking at LeapMotor to advance its EV situation by licensing their EV platform, similar to Audi’s partnership with SAIC. If we are keeping score, that’s three major deals for the VW Group with a Chinese partner if we include the VW + XPeng investment as well. 
Tu and Lei take the bulk of the pod talking about Volkswagen Group's investment in XPeng. They go over the why's, how's and what's and whether it ultimately makes sense for Volkswagen and what it should say about their situation in China. Lei believes it will go down in Chinese Automotive history as one of the most notable ever. They also give a brief history on XPeng and how they got to where they are including a brief discussion about their newest product, the G6 which XPeng hopes will pull it back into high sales growth. The pod ends with Tu asking for Lei's reaction on BYD getting the Heisman from the Indian govt about a $1B investment to build a factory in India. It seems to be BYD's first real hiccup over the last several months. 
Lei gets right to it with his update that 13 ministries have combined to initiate measures to boost auto consumption as the economic growth is China has still gotten past its Zero COVID funk. Tu and Lei then take a few minutes to go over some economic data over the last few months. Tu and Lei then move the discussion over to whether Audi can turn it around even after the announced partnership with SAIC for its EV platform.  Tu then broadens out his discussion to all of ABB (Audi, BMW, Benz) and their chances to turn it around in China. The discussion moves over to BYD and their ambitions in India and the challenges that still lie ahead of them as they make are looking to manufacture locally there. Tu spends a few minutes to give a history lesson the automotive sector's previous inroads into India.Lei closes the podcast with a summary of NIO's Power Day. Tu and Lei share their thoughts on the statistics and accomplishments that were communicated for both the NIO charging infrastructure and swapping stations. 
The pod begins with the announcement that China EVs & More (CEM) had gotten it's 25K download - Congratulations to us!Tu moves the discussion over to the rumors about Audi kicking the tires on an SAIC EV platform in order to try and catch up with Tesla and the other China EV Inc. and a broader discussion about how Audi got here. Tu points back to when he said every automaker is going through a 'Make vs. Buy' decision on every strategic (large) software / hardware move they make due to the lack of a tech culture at their companies but in a broader sense, in Europe in general. The discussion also focuses on the lack of speed at each of the European Legacy automakers and how that contributes to their inability to catch up.Tu pushes the conversation over to Li Bin being quoted in an FT article that the US should open their market to companies like NIO rather than put up protectionist measures that make US entry more difficult. Lei then takes a moment to discuss what he's been up to while he's been in Beijing including a visit to Baidu Apollo, trying out the WeRide autonomous vehicle. and trying out the ADAS system on the Avatr 11. The podcast closes out with charging in China and how that experience differs from the US. 
The pod starts with a review of June sales with Tesla and BYD dominating the market while many other brands breaking sales records including Tesla and BYD.Tu points out for the EV purists that BYD beat Tesla for sales of BEVs in China for June. He also points out that breaking sales records are fine but the real test is whether monthly & quarterly sales are growing faster than the market. Lei moves the discussion over to the pledge by 16 automakers that they would play fairly and vow to not continue the price war. Both Tu and Lei think it’s nothing more than lip service. Tu and Lei jump to VW and their complaints to the Chinese govt about the ongoing price war and the current competitive environment. Lei goes further by summarizing some of Volkswagen Group China CEO - Ralf Brandstätter’s comments at the China Auto Forum going on this week.The pod moves over to Tu’s trip out west and his update on what he sees while visiting Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA. The pod ends with Tu giving an update on China’s credit system for ICE and NEV manufacturing. It is a system China uses that was largely based on California’s years before.  
Lei kicks off this episode with his experience going to a Beijing Guoan game - Beijing’s professional soccer team. Tu then talks about the pollution blanketing MI with the smog coming from Canada and how it reminds him of his time living in China. Onto a detailed discussion about the XPeng G6 which just began delivery this week. Tu and Lei agree about how important this vehicle is for XPeng and the high expectations for the vehicle. Tu emphasizes that the Chinese economy has not fully recovered from Zero COVID and that it will be important to keep a close eye on what the Chinese govt is doing to try to jumpstart it and that vehicle purchase is one of the levers to try to do that. Tu and Lei compare and contrast XPeng’s strategy and results so far against Li Auto and their success over the last few quarters with new vehicle launches and debate whether Li Auto can achieve 1.6M sales by 2025 that Li Xiang outlined as a goal for the company. Tu moves on to give a brief history lesson about how automotive companies used to acquire and develop brand portfolios in order to follow a person’s journey through life with a brand / products for your first job and then having a luxury brand for when you are older and an executive. It looks like some of the EV companies that are launching multiple brands want to also try to use that strategy as well. Lei talks about how he’s still getting used to seeing brands and products that he’s not yet seen or heard of while Tu reassures him that he had trouble keeping up with all the news, brands and products that were consistently coming out each week. Tu closes out the pod with a summary of some of the news he highlighted in this week’s SAI Newsletter. 
In this episode, Lei broadcasts for the first time in Beijing and Lei talks about his immediate thoughts about being back while Tu reflects on some of his experiences driving in Beijing and China. Tu and Lei then shift the discussion over to the China NEV purchase tax exemptions and the announcement that they’d be extended but capped while also being reduced over time. Both Tu and Lei expected this announcement while Lei throws out how much the exemptions have totaled to date. Tu expects that we should know by the beginning of Q4’23 whether the exemption extension helps boost sales.Tu shifts topics to Volkswagen’s Capital Markets day and Tu and Lei spend a few minutes unpacking their thoughts and interpretations about what was announced. Tu then asks for Lei’s thoughts on the $700M investment from the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government totaling ~7% of the company. The podcast ends with Tu discussing some of the things that he thought were interesting this week that he wrote about in the SAI Newsletter. 
Lei starts the podcast a deeper dive into the NIO price cuts and a bit of commentary on the quick after effects.Tu poses a few questions to Lei about whether the ¥30K cut was enough to build positive momentum.  Tu thinks that the price cut will offer a temporary positive push but that NIO still needs to reconcile its product and business strategy to ensure that the gains are longer term.Tu moves the chat over to Li Auto's bullishness and whether Li Auto will be able to outsell ABB. Lei doubles down on his thoughts that the China market will reach 9 million units including exports. Tu jumps on his soapbox about what he believes to be the misperception of German engineering being best-in-class after Dieselgate & their current challenges with EV products. Tu and Lei spend the last few minutes answering questions from listeners about NIO. 
Tu and Lei discuss the recent policy announcements in China to encourage the purchase of an NEV in the lower tier cities. This includes forecasts for higher numbers of PHEVs sold in the coming months. Tu moves the conversation onto the NIO ET5 Touring that’s aimed squarely at the Zeekr 001 customers. Lei and Tu agree that folks should be looking out for Zeekr sales numbers getting a boost in the coming months now that the Zeekr X Job #1 has rolled off the line. Tu anticipates that the Zeekr X could do some damage in Europe as well. Topic of discussion moves to Ford in China. Tu heard that layoffs started happening but this starts a discussion about what Ford products will still be sold in China including the Bronco and Ranger. Lei & Tu touch on the Volvo X30 being recently unveiled and share their thoughts on it. Tu closes the show with a few of the articles he highlighted in his newsletter this week. 
Tu & Lei have a chat with James Hind, Founder and CEO of carwow.carwow is an online marketplace for buying and selling new and used cars and started in the UK but have since launched in Germany in 2016 and Spain in 2018. For those of you outside of Europe that aren’t yet familiar with carwow - in 2022, there were over 109 million visits to carwow sites with over £5B worth of cars bought and sold on the carwow platform. But not only does carwow make it easier for buyers and sellers to transact, it has the largest automotive YouTube channel in the world providing some of the most compelling and entertaining automotive content on the interwebs. The carwow YouTube channel which was launched in 2014 has over 2.6 billion views from it’s more than 8.2 million subscribers and growing. James talked us through his background and how he founded the carwow platform. I learned a lot about how his platform works and how they’ve developed their stickiness. James also talks to us about the trends he’s seeing the UK and German markets and how aspiring companies that are new to the automotive space can build their awareness and make a big splash. James has built carwow into a key resource for new brands and a key tool for directly engaging potential car buyers. Don't miss this terrific conversation!
Tu and Lei talk May EV sales and Lei calls the top group BATL BYD, GAC AION, Tesla, Li Auto are clearly the front runners consistently outperforming the rest of their competitors, specifically NIO.Tu and Lei also anticipate Li Auto to continue their strong sales with Tu spotlighting Zeekr to be potentially a future sales leader once the Zeekr X ramps. Elon, Tesla and China - The discussion moves over to Elon’s recent visit to China and Tu briefly reads an excerpt from this week’s newsletter that summarizes his take on Elon’s visit. Lei sees Elon and Tesla as an example of the better parts of the challenging US & China diplomatic relationship. Tu then compares and contrasts Nvidia’s need for the China market vs. Tesla’s need for the China market and how they differ quite substantially. The topic moves to BYD and its brand strategy as Yangwang and the F brand establish themselves in the next several years. They discuss whether it makes sense to launch a new brand and who it might work. Lei discusses why he’s in Cali and that’s to cover the ID.Buzz event. The pod closes with Tu and Lei discussing which EV startups are on life support and which should actually be able to weather the storm. 
Tu starts this podcast off with his thoughts on the latest reorg of Volkwagen Group's Cariad software group wondering why they installed another 'car' guy to run Cariad when Blume had a real opportunity to catalyze real change at the division.He then compares and contrasts that with the recent hire of Mike Abbot by GM to run their software team. After Tu's take, Lei spends a few minutes giving his counterpoint on Tu's thoughts.Lei transitions the conversation over to two product launches, one by BYD and the other by Wuling that caught his attention due to the price reductions both launched with. Lei briefly talks about Li Auto's product portfolio over the next few years and how its different then their competitors. The podcast closes out the podcast with Lei giving a brief history lesson on the Geely & Changan relationship and a bit of speculation on how they've moved past their differences and may work more closely together to help each other. 
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