Spent the weekend in NYC and now sitting in an AirBnb in the burbs of Maryland typing out this week’s newsletter. It was a tough week for TikTok and it’s CEO. The Congressional hearing was brutal and his answers to many pointed questions seemed very polished and lawyerly. He knows the real deal and congress do to but ultimately will TikTok be banned from the US? I think they’ll try to and it’ll go through the courts for a final decision. Also, it’s important to note that it wouldn’t just be the US considering this but if the US ended up banning the app, it could open the floodgates with other countries following the US’s lead so alot at stake here. Starting to really see hints of spring and hope that most of the nasty MI weather is behind us. CHINA EVs & MORE We are scheduled for Thursday, March 30rd, 3pm ET this week. Will update on topics on Twitter so stay tuned for that. Join us if you want to ask questions and / or interact with us. For those that can’t join the live show, I invite you to listen to our recorded China EVs & More episodes at this site. And as always, we appreciate any feedback that will make the show better. Also, if there are any companies you want our thoughts on, let me know. TESLA - Tesla isn’t done slashing prices. Tesla just reduced the price of its Model 3 in the UK to £38,790, a £4,200 discount from the previous price. Here’s the catch, they’re trying to bleed inventory so this is only for M3 that are in stock. Not for cars you order. All of these price cuts will wreak havoc on Tesla residual values but they don’t seem to care. There are other EV products entering the UK market from, you guessed it, China EV Inc so this could be to protect sales from newcomers from Ora and MG. NEWS THAT GOT OUR ATTENTION THIS WEEK - NIO is feeling good about hitting 250K in sales this year. That would be about double what their previous best sales (122,486) in 2022 was BTW. They have a pretty strong lineup of vehicles now so my only concerns for NIO are their focus on global expansion vs. domestic traction and whether the operational challenges are truly behind them. - The US & Japan agree to work together on rare earth metals for EV batteries. This should effectively allow minerals sourced from Japan to still be able to receive the full subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). You better believe the Korean & Germans are in discussions with the US govt for similar treatments and if they make deals like the one the US has made with Japan, China is going to feel even more isolated. - The NIO ET7 to get a refresh later this year. The flagship sedan has seen sales fall dramatically since the beginning of this year so the team at NIO thinks they can make some improvements to get the monthly sales numbers back to respectable levels. Remember that it’s a large, premium sedan so that market is not huge to begin with. Chinese consumers prefer crossover/SUVs form factors but it’s a bit surprising to see that ET7 being just a year in the market needs a facelift. What is good to see is NIO’s responsiveness to changes in the market. - Lithium carbonate pricing drops dramatically as demand cools. Even with the price war, we are seeing demand for passenger vehicles slow. When or how this ends is still anyone’s guess as OEMs and EV startups alike brace for a long difficult summer season. TRENDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA - Lyft appoints a new CEO to try to right the ship. In the brutal ridehailing space, Lyft has always been the little brother to Uber and they haven’t been able to get over the hump and carve out their own niche. The share price has reflected this, down 74% in the last 12 months. With ridehailing, you’re either innovating on the product side, pushing for scale or both. I guess we wait and see what tricks the new CEO David Risher has up his sleeves. - Xiaomi on schedule to launch its first vehicle in the 1st half of 2024. The ‘auto’ team has more than 2.3K employees alone. - CATL + Texas. CATL has announced an agreement with HGP Storage where they will supply 450MWh of lithium-ion batteries for the Texas energy storage company. The obvious points that stand out with this announcement is that its for energy storage, CATL’s 2nd largest revenue generator behind EV battery cells and that it’s a partnership with a Texas/US based company. That means there are all kinds of conversations being had at the corporate and state level with China Battery Inc. INTRODUCING - The Rising Auto F7 all-electric, full-sized sedan. It comes in 6 different trims and the price ranges from ¥210K - ¥302K. It will have a battery leasing option with swappable batteries. It’s cars like these that are aiming directly at the Tesla MIC M3 and unless there’s a serious refresh that’s more than cosmetic, Tesla will continue to have a demand problem on its hands as more feature-rich, competitively priced, attractive sedans hit the streets. - NIO Battery Swapping station 3.0. It shaves 1 minute off of the old swap time and can store up to 21 batteries (up from 13). NIO’s goal is to have 2.3K up and running globally by the end of the year. BY THE NUMBERS - 300K. Li Auto hit the major milestone of 300K units total delivered to customers last week. They were able to do that in a total of 39 months. - 1,114%. That’s how much Year over Year (YoY) BYD’s net income grew in CQ4’22! BYD revenue grew by a more modest 120.39% YoY. BYD sold 683,440 NEVs in Q4’22! A reminder that the US bought about 800K NEVs for ALL of 2022. ___________________ This weekly newsletter is a collection of articles we feel best reflect the happenings of the week or important trends that have effects on the automotive and mobility sectors here and in the US, we also provide a point of view that we hope educates and sparks debate. The Sino Auto Insights Team
Sino Auto Insights is a Beijing, China-based market research and advisory firm that specializes in assisting companies analyze, strategize, and develop products and services that will shape the future of mobility and transportation. Members of our team have experience working in Detroit, Silicon Valley as well as here in China across multiple sectors and functions as entrepreneurs as well as working at larger companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, GM and FCA, and many others.