electric vehicle


[News] Fisker Responds to EV Market Challenges with Pricing Adjustments

Fisker, a prominent partner of Foxconn in the EV sector, is taking steps to expedite production and deliveries of its first all-electric SUV, the “Fisker Ocean.” However, faced with slowing EV demand and the market leader Tesla initiating a price war, Fisker has joined the price reduction battle, announcing a cut in the price of their flagship model, the Ocean Extreme.

As reported by media outlets including Reuters, Fisker revealed price reductions in the U.S. market on October 23rd. The Ocean Extreme, previously priced at $68,999, has been lowered to $61,499, marking a $7,500 reduction. Customers who have already placed orders and existing owners are eligible for these reduced prices. In the Canadian market, the price has been lowered from $89,999 CAD to $79,799 CAD (approximately $58,169 USD), a reduction of $10,200 CAD.

In comparison, the Ocean Extreme competes with Tesla’s Model Y Performance, which is currently priced at $41,390 in the U.S.

Fisker’s CEO, Henrik Fisker, acknowledged the competitive nature of the rapidly growing EV market, stating, “Fisker must adapt to the realities of intensified competition in the rapidly growing EV market.”

As interest rates and inflation have both risen, impacting consumer willingness to make vehicle purchases, Tesla initiated a price reduction strategy to solidify its position as a leader in the EV industry. For EV startups that are relatively new to the market and smaller in scale, this competitive landscape can be particularly challenging.

Currently, the Fisker Ocean is available in three versions, including the base single-motor Sport, the mid-range dual-motor Ultra, and the top-tier Extreme, all featuring dual-motor all-wheel drive, with the Extreme version boasting an impressive 564 horsepower.

While Fisker has reduced the price of the Ocean Extreme, the company has simultaneously increased the prices of the lower-tier Sport and Ultra models in the U.S. market by 4% and 6%, respectively. The new prices for these models are $38,999 and $52,999, and similar price adjustments have been implemented in the Canadian market.


[News] Toyota Joins Tesla’s NACS Charging Standard in 2025

The world’s largest automaker, Toyota (TM-US), announced on Thursday, the 19th, that its North American division has reached an agreement with Tesla (TSLA-US). Starting in 2025, Toyota’s electric vehicles will adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS).

Prior to Toyota’s announcement, companies like Ford, General Motors, and BMW had already joined the Tesla NACS alliance, providing customers with access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.

In 2025, Toyota will integrate the NACS interface into specific Toyota and Lexus BEVs, including a new three-row electric SUV produced at Toyota’s Kentucky plant.

Vehicle owners can connect to Tesla’s widespread North American charging infrastructure, comprising over 84,000 charging stations, including Level 2 and DC fast chargers, using Toyota and Lexus apps.

Owners or lessees of Toyota and Lexus vehicles using the Combined Charging System (CCS) specification will have the option to purchase NACS charging connectors starting in 2025.

Notably, we have anticipated that by 2026, the global tally of public charging stations will soar to 16 million, marking an impressive threefold increase from 2023 figures. As this unfolds, the global ownership of NEVs—which includes both PHEVs and BEVs—will surge to 96 million.


[Insights] Xiaomi Aims to Lead in New Energy Vehicle Production, Potentially Ahead of Apple and Sony

In March 2023, Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun reiterated that Xiaomi’s new energy vehicles (NEVs) would enter mass production in the first half of 2024. Fast forward to October 4, 2023, and reports indicate that Xiaomi’s EV, codenamed MS11, has received certification from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Furthermore, with ongoing news about hiring, site selection, and trial production, though the exact mass production date is yet to be confirmed, it is likely not far from Chairman Lei Jun’s commitment, potentially positioning Xiaomi ahead of Apple and Sony in launching new energy vehicles.

TrendForce’s Insights:

1. Extensive Preparation: Xiaomi’s Years of Investment in Automotive Components

With the transition to the era of new energy vehicles, there is a shift from traditional gasoline to electric power as the primary energy source. Additionally, the increasing demand for advanced driver-assistance systems has attracted numerous electronics and technology companies to enter the new energy vehicle industry. For instance, smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Apple, and Sony have all announced plans to manufacture EV. Based on the progress reported by the media, Xiaomi may take the lead in commencing mass production of new energy vehicles in 2024, while Apple and Sony, the latter in collaboration with Honda, are likely to introduce their new energy vehicles after 2025.

To ensure adequate self-sufficiency and competitiveness, Xiaomi began laying the foundation early. Starting as far back as 2016, the company ventured into the field of LiDAR. Over the years, Xiaomi, along with its affiliated funds and investment entities, has made extensive investments in crucial components such as power batteries, electric propulsion systems, and electronic controls. These investments have covered more than 50 companies in the industry. Notably, in 2021, Xiaomi acquired DeepMotion, a startup specializing in autonomous driving solutions. Xiaomi’s investment strategy indicates it possesses the necessary tools to enter the new energy vehicle industry, including mastery of essential components and substantial capital resources.

2. New Energy Vehicles: High Costs, Low Profit Margins

The automotive industry is characterized by substantial capital investments, with a significant portion of revenue stemming from post-sale maintenance and services. Pioneering startups in the field of new energy vehicles, such as NIO and Li Auto, continue to grapple with financial losses. Although NIO’s President, Lihong Qin, expressed that “when a company does a series of things right, profitability will come naturally,” it remains to be seen whether Xiaomi, accustomed to the consumer electronics sector, shares the same level of patience.

Despite Xiaomi’s focus on profitability through smart driving software-related subscription services, the challenges are significant. Current limitations lie in the complexities associated with the responsibility for advanced autonomous driving systems beyond Level 3. The automotive industry currently prioritizes Level 2 automation, and according to data from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reveals that, by 2022, the penetration rate of Level 2 (L2) vehicles had already reached 34.5%. This high level of adoption indicates a highly competitive landscape, which may present challenges for Xiaomi’s business model. Xiaomi’s typical approach involves leveraging low-margin hardware to acquire users and generate traffic, with profits coming from its ecosystem of services, including advertising and internet-related offerings.

Moreover, new energy vehicles tend to have longer product lifecycles compared to smartphones. As a result, consumers with budget constraints tend to prioritize the tangible value of hardware. This implies that building acceptance for software subscription services may require a significant amount of time.

Xiaomi might have crossed the initial hurdles of entering the automotive industry. However, the challenges post-entry, as outlined above, will genuinely test whether the Xiaomi model can be as effective in the new energy vehicle sector as it has been in its traditional domains.

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[News] Foxconn Chairman Discusses Competitive Strategy in EV Industry

Foxconn held its Tech Day on October 18, 2023, where Chairman Young Liu addressed the company’s stance and strategy in response to the high growth of the EV market in mainland China, which significantly impacts the global EV industry.

Liu began by discussing the prevailing trend of electric vehicles in China, emphasizing that while the focus has primarily been on the development of EVs, the business model has received limited attention. Foxconn’s approach in the EV industry centers on its Commissioned Design and Manufacturing Service (CDMS) business model, but Liu stressed that in China, CDMS alone is not permitted. Automakers in mainland China must engage in both manufacturing and sales.

Liu explained that the CDMS model doesn’t involve the creation of Foxconn’s own brand, a practice currently disallowed in mainland China. However, the competitive landscape is shifting, with fierce competition, particularly among domestic automakers. With an estimated 100 to 200 automakers in China, the market has become increasingly intense, prompting a focus on minimizing costs and investments. In this context, Foxconn’s CDMS model emerges as a viable solution, as investing in 100 automakers would be prohibitively expensive. Liu anticipates that China will eventually open up to the outsourcing model. While Foxconn isn’t currently engaged in EV manufacturing in mainland China, it’s gradually building relevant capabilities, preparing for the moment when outsourcing becomes permissible, enabling Foxconn to take a leading position.

Regarding the interest of Japanese automotive giants in Foxconn’s electric vehicles, Liu noted that their stance is clear. They consider themselves partners to established auto brands. Traditional automakers have traditionally covered all aspects, transitioning from internal combustion engines to batteries. However, in the age of electric vehicles, the shift can no longer be about the engine as a barrier to entry into the industry. Traditional automakers must now contemplate how to create value, which represents their most significant challenge.

Manufacturing, Liu noted, is no longer the source of value that traditional automakers can create. Instead, they should focus on marketing and services. It involves understanding how to leverage apps and scenarios to offer consumers unique experiences. Traditionally, brands like Mercedes-Benz stood for luxury, while BMW represented driving performance. In the era of electric vehicles, positioning needs to shift toward services rather than engine definitions.

Liu offered the analogy of televisions to illustrate his point. Sony was a leader during the cathode-ray tube era, but as the market transitioned to liquid crystal displays, the focus shifted to panels, and every brand became indistinguishable. Liu’s advice to potential Japanese automotive partners is to delve deeper into understanding the users, emphasizing that this will be critical in the age of electric vehicles.

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(Photo credit: Foxconn)


[News] BYD and BYD Electronic Expect Profits to More Than Double in the First Three Quarters

Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD is set to report impressive profits once again. The company announced on the 17th that it expects its net profit attributable to the parent company for the first three quarters of this year to be between CNY 20.5 billion and CNY 22.5 billion, an increase of 120.16% to 141.64% year-on-year. In the third quarter, the estimated net profit is set to reach CNY 9.546 billion to CNY 11.546 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 67% to 101.99%. This quarterly performance mirrors the profitability achieved in the first half of the year.

BYD noted that the new energy vehicle industry continued its robust growth in the third quarter, with BYD achieving historic highs in new energy vehicle sales, maintaining its position as the world’s top seller of such vehicles. Looking at BYD’s monthly sales figures for the first three quarters of this year, the company consistently achieved record-high monthly sales. In September, BYD’s new energy vehicle sales exceeded 280,000 units, with cumulative sales for the first nine months reaching 2.0796 million units.

Furthermore, BYD mentioned that there was a “recovery in demand from Android customers” for its mobile parts and assembly business. BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu previously stated, “We manufacture many phones, and most of Huawei’s phones are made by us.” This statement gained significant attention on social media. Subsequently, on August 29, the highly anticipated Huawei Mate 60 Pro was released and received a warm reception from consumers. This was followed by the releases of Huawei Mate 60 Pro+ and Huawei Mate X5, which joined the vanguard project.

BYD’s mobile parts and assembly business is primarily managed by its subsidiary, BYD Electronic. BYD Electronic also predicts strong profits, expecting its net profit attributable to the parent company for the first three quarters of this year to be between CNY 2.836 billion and CNY 3.116 billion, an increase of 129.29% to 151.93% year-on-year. The company stated that increased profits are mainly due to a rising proportion of overseas major customers, a rebound in Android customer demand, and continued rapid growth in new energy vehicles and new smart products, which have led to improved utilization of the group’s production capacity, further optimized business structure, and substantial profit growth.

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(Photo credit: BYD)

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