Emerging Technologies


[News] Huawei Reportedly to Spin Off Car Business Unit, Changan Auto Considered as Potential Acquirer

On November 23, YICAI reported that Huawei is set to divest its Smart Car Solutions Business Unit (referred to as “Car BU”), with the business subsequently being acquired by the Chongqing State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, making it the largest shareholder.

However, to this report, the head of Changan Automobile’s strategic planning department further indicated on November 24 that the information is inconsistent with the facts.

In terms of Changan Automobile’s cooperation with Huawei, even before the establishment of Huawei’s Car BU, both parties had already formed a certain level of collaboration. In 2019, Changan Automobile, in collaboration with Huawei and battery company CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.), jointly created Avatr Technology.

Huawei provided advanced assisted driving features and Harmony OS smart cockpit technology to Avatr Technology. When Huawei officially announced its commitment to “helping automakers build good cars,” the collaboration between the two became even closer.

In 2021, Changan Automobile, in partnership with Huawei, began developing the Avatr brand based on the Huawei Inside mode. Following the launch of Avatr 11, the Avatr 12 was recently introduced to the market. Additionally, in August of this year, Changan’s sub-brand, Shenlan (BluePark), signed a framework cooperation agreement with Huawei.

Shenlan Automotive stated that the collaboration will focus on the field of automotive intelligence, jointly advancing the research and application of new technologies in the smart electric vehicle domain.

According to Changan Automobile’s data, Changan Automobile has sold 241,028 vehicles in October, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.21%. The cumulative sales for this year reached 2,110,636 vehicles, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 10.76%. Specifically, the sales of new energy vehicles under the independent brand in October were 57,399, marking a significant year-on-year increase of 57.1%. For the cumulative sales from January to October, the figure reached 364,081 vehicles, indicating a substantial year-on-year growth of 88.76%.

(Photo credit: Flickr)


[Insights] Hyundai Defies Headwinds with 1.52 Billion Groundbreaking for Electric Vehicle Plant

In May 2023, Hyundai announced a local investment of KRW 2 trillion (approximately USD 1.52 billion) to establish an EV factory in South Korea, with a groundbreaking ceremony held on November 13. The factory is expected to be completed in 2025, with electric vehicle production set to commence in the first quarter of 2026.

The initial production capacity is planned at 200,000 vehicles per year, focusing on electric SUVs under Hyundai’s premium brand, Genesis.

TrendForce’s Insights:

  1. IONIQ 5’s High Cost-Performance Welcomed in the North American Market, Serving as a Pillar for Hyundai’s Electric Vehicle Endeavors

The IONIQ 5, built on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform, boasts an 800V charging infrastructure and a 3.5-second acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h, all priced around USD 40,000. In comparison to other 800V competitors in the North American market, such as the Audi e-tron GT, Lucid Air, and Taycan, which are priced at approximately USD 80,000 to 100,000, the IONIQ 5 stands out with competitive features.

South Korea demonstrates a significant level of self-sufficiency in the strategic components of electric vehicles. Battery suppliers Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution (LGES) rank among the world’s top ten battery suppliers.

Additionally, Hyundai Mobis stands as South Korea’s largest automotive parts supplier, offering a comprehensive product line that includes various components in electric motors and controls. With robust support from a powerful supply chain, this enhances Hyundai’s market competitiveness.

According to Hyundai North America’s reported sales figures for August 2023, the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6, both built on the E-GMP platform, collectively sold 5,235 units in the North American market. This reflects a remarkable 245% growth compared to the same period in 2022.

The year-to-date total sales of the IONIQ 5 and 6 reached 28,000 units by August, showing a notable 63% growth compared to the same period last year. It’s noteworthy that these achievements were made without the benefit of the USD 7,500 subsidy under the “Inflation Reduction Act.”

The success of the IONIQ series has bolstered Hyundai’s confidence in making this platform a core element, facilitating the development of related models and further investments in the electric vehicle business.

  1. IONIQ Temporarily Pauses Entry into Chinese Market Amidst Intense Homogeneous Product Competition

With the rise of local Chinese automotive brands and the trend toward electrification, Hyundai’s sales in the Chinese market have plummeted from 1.14 million vehicles in 2016 to 250,000 vehicles in 2022, as per data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In 2021, Hyundai sold its first factory in Shunyi to Li Auto, and in June 2023, Hyundai announced plans to sell two more of its remaining four plants.

In the electric vehicle sector, the IONIQ 5 is built on an all-new electric vehicle platform, outperforming earlier models based on oil-to-electric conversion platforms in both overall efficiency and performance. With its affordable price, it presents a formidable challenge to equivalent models in Europe and the United States.

However, given China’s early development of new energy vehicle platforms and the completion of pure electric vehicle platforms by many domestic manufacturers, coupled with highly autonomous supply chains, IONIQ does not enjoy overwhelming advantages in China. Therefore, the initial focus on the European and American markets is a strategically sound decision.

As European and American automakers continue to establish pure electric vehicle platforms and competitors like Audi and Stellantis strengthen their technological exchanges with Chinese manufacturers, the advantages of the E-GMP platform will face challenges. To further enhance the economic scale of their products, the Chinese market remains a crucial challenge that Hyundai cannot ignore.


[Insights] Infinite Opportunities in Automotive Sector as IC Design Companies Compete for Self-Driving SoC

In TrendForce’s report on the self-driving System-on-Chip (SoC) market, it has witnessed rapid growth, which is anticipated to soar to $28 billion by 2026, boasting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2026.

  1. Rapid Growth in the Self-Driving SoC Market Becomes a Key Global Opportunity for IC Design Companies

In 2022, the global market for self-driving SoC is approximately $10.8 billion, and it is projected to grow to $12.7 billion in 2023, representing an 18% YoY increase. Fueled by the rising penetration of autonomous driving, the market is expected to reach $28 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of approximately 27% from 2022 to 2026.

Given the slowing growth momentum in the consumer electronics market, self-driving SoC has emerged as a crucial global opportunity for IC design companies.

  1. Computing Power Reigns Supreme, with NVIDIA and Qualcomm Leading the Pack

Due to factors such as regulations, technology, costs, and network speed, most automakers currently operate at Level 2 autonomy. In practical terms, computing power exceeding 100 TOPS (INT8) is sufficient. However, as vehicles typically have a lifespan of over 15 years, future upgrades in autonomy levels will rely on Over-The-Air (OTA) updates, necessitating reserved computing power.

Based on the current choices made by automakers, computing power emerges as a primary consideration. Consequently, NVIDIA and Qualcomm are poised to hold a competitive edge. In contrast, Mobileye’s EyeQ Ultra, set to enter mass production in 2025, offers only 176 TOPS, making it susceptible to significant competitive pressure.

  1. Software-Hardware Integration, Decoupling, and Openness as Key Competitors

Seamless integration of software and hardware can maximize the computational power of SoCs. Considering the imperative for automakers to reduce costs and enhance efficiency, the degree of integration becomes a pivotal factor in a company’s competitiveness. However, not only does integration matter, but the ability to decouple software and hardware proves even more critical.

Through a high degree of decoupling, automakers can continually update SoC functionality via Over-The-Air (OTA) updates. The openness of the software ecosystem assists automakers in establishing differentiation, serving as a competitive imperative that IC design firms cannot overlook.


[News] MediaTek Teams Up with Meta to Develop Next-Gen AR Smart Glasses, Edging Out Qualcomm

According to anue’s news, during the recent MediaTek 2023 Summit, major IC design firm MediaTek held an overseas summit in the United States and announced a new collaboration with Meta. MediaTek will take charge of developing the chip for Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, replacing the competitor Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip.

Notably, in October 2023,  Meta launched the new generation of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. These feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip, a 12-megapixel camera, and 5 microphones for sending and receiving messages. It is the world’s first smart glasses with Facebook and Instagram live streaming capabilities, enabling the recording of high-quality videos.

MediaTek has long been dedicated to developing low-power, high-performance SoC. This collaboration with Meta focuses on jointly creating a custom chip specifically designed for AR smart glasses, meeting the requirements of lightweight and compact devices. The collaborative product, Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, is expected to be launched in the future.

(Photo credit: MediaTek)


[News] Xiaomi’s Car Appears in China Gov’t Catalog, Said to Launch in February Next Year

Xiaomi’s venture into automotive industry takes a significant stride as the company’s latest models, SU7 and SU7 Max, makes its debut in the latest catalog from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The listed entity is Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC), marked by the distinctive “Beijing Xiaomi” emblem on the rear.

Sources from Xiaomi’s car supply chain suggest an imminent small-scale trial production phase, hinting at the first model’s market introduction in February 2024, reported by UDN News.

As per the disclosure, the cars boast a 3,000mm wheelbase. SU7 will feature Fdbatt’s lithium iron phosphate batteries, and SU7 Max is complemented by CATL’s ternary lithium batteries. Interestingly, the smart driving features will not include an optional optical radar package.

The catalog showed Xiaomi’s car brand as Xiaomi, while the declared corporate entity is Beijing Automotive Group Off-Road Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BAIC ORV). The product’s rear proudly displays “Beijing Xiaomi.”

Despite leveraging BAIC’s production qualifications, Xiaomi’s car has its declared production address at the site of its self-established factory.

The car factory’s construction unfolds in two phases, with the first, covering approximately 720,000 square meters, achieving an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles by June 2023. The second phase is slated to commence in 2024, concluding in 2025. Public records confirm the successful acceptance inspection of Xiaomi’s car first phase factory workshops on June 12.

Xiaomi Group Chairman Jun Lei’s October announcement highlighted smooth progress, anticipating an official launch in the first half of 2024.

Since Lei’s announcement of Xiaomi’s foray into smart cars, industry observers have closely monitored Xiaomi’s car dynamics. Internal sources reveal that Xiaomi’s car will leverage ICT industry experience to enhance operational efficiency across research, production, supply, and sales.

Xiaomi plans a US$10 billion investment in the automotive sector over the next decade. Operating in a wholly-owned model, Xiaomi aims to provide users with a comprehensive smart ecosystem and enrich their smart living experiences.

At the October Xiaomi product launch, the introduction of the HyperOS was a highlight, applicable not only to mobile devices but also set to feature in Xiaomi’s cars.

A notable addition revealed by National Business Daily, citing a supplier who visited Xiaomi’s car factory, is that the four major manufacturing process production lines (stamping, welding, painting, and final assembly) in Xiaomi’s car first phase factory are operational, engaging in small-scale trial production. With mass production scheduled to commence in December, Xiaomi’s car is poised for market launch in February next year.

(Image: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology)

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