Financing first, then building cars

Less than two weeks after the launch of the first product, GAC Weilai has been non-stop to start the next round of financing.

According to the news of Tencent’s first line on January 9, the new round of financing has reached 1.5 billion yuan, and GAC Weilai’s pre-investment valuation is also 1.5 billion yuan. Regarding financing, GAC Weilai officially stated that “the first round of financing is already in the closing stage, and detailed information will be announced later.”

At the end of December 2017, GAC and Weilai started strategic cooperation. In April of the following year, GAC Weilai was established with a registered capital of 500 million yuan. In terms of shareholdings, GAC Group, GAC New Energy, Weilai Automobile, and Weilai Fund each account for 22.5%, and the founding team of GAC Weilai holds 10% of the shares, which can be described as full cooperation. In just two years, this car company jointly established by traditional car manufacturers and new forces has completed the triple jump: May 20, 2019, released the brand “HYCAN Co-Creation” and the first concept car, 221 days later, the first Mass production models unveiled.

It’s really light and it seems to be able to run faster.

Usually, the cycle of vehicle development and manufacturing takes 4-6 years, and the swarm of new vehicles has greatly shortened this time. On December 27, GAC Weilai ’s first pure electric SUV “HYCAN 007” announced the start of pre-sale, positioning it as a mid-to-high-end pure electric vehicle brand, with pre-sale prices ranging from 260,000 to 300,000 yuan. At the same time, GAC Weilai also returned Starship version from 340,000 yuan and private custom version from 400,000 yuan were launched.

Different from the “joint venture”, GAC Weilai chose to use the concept of “co-creation” to define its own mixed-race identity, and the official announced that it seeks to maximize the integration of all external superior resources. Backed by GAC’s technology accumulation and manufacturing experience, and Weilai’s Internet innovation blood, the advantages of integration are obvious. But GAC Weilai emphasized more than that.

Whether it is research and development technology or after-sales service, GAC Weilai claims that it does not rule out the possibility of using third-party resources other than shareholders. “Because ‘HYCAN Hechuang’ is an independent brand, we will use our own sales channels. But in Services, including after-sales services and personnel services, social resources are fair and open to everyone. “CEO Liao Bing said. At the same time, an asset-light operation model is proposed, that is, focusing on the two ends of the automotive industry chain-product development and technology, and user marketing, sales, and service, while middle-end manufacturing is done by specialized production plants. It is reported that this financing is for research and development, user operation brand and channel maintenance and operation.

Liao Bing’s words are more direct. “” Since it is a joint venture, we hope to introduce different industries and different sources of funds. We are more interested in forming a strategic synergy through this capital means. “

But can you really run further?

First, the product lacks strong competitive characteristics. It is reported that 007 is based on GAC.The new energy GEP’s new generation pure electric exclusive platform is not only based on the same platform as GAC New Energy Aion LX, but also features long battery life. The 007 is also equipped with a set of in-vehicle systems that are very similar to Weilai’s Nomi. Because of this, many analysts have ridiculed this product as the combination of GAC new energy Aion LX and Weilai ES8, lacking originality.

Second, the construction cycle is too short. HYCAN 007 will be produced at the vehicle plant in the GAC Zhilian New Energy Vehicle Industrial Park. It will be listed and delivered in April this year. There have also been reports that Liao Bing set an annual sales target of 15,000 vehicles for this. Makes people feel suspicious.

The third is the overall impact of the new energy market. In 2019, the new energy market experienced five consecutive declines. According to data from China Energy Storage Network, as of November 2019, China’s new energy vehicle sales were 1.043 million, a slight increase of only 1.3% year-on-year, which is far from the estimated sales target of 1.6 million at the beginning of the year. The new energy vehicle market is in pain, but GAC Weilai chose to enter at this time, which is obviously not a good time.

The clever woman can’t cook without rice. Li Bin, chairman of GAC Weilai, has a deep understanding of this. “For the new forces of car manufacturing, 20 billion yuan is the threshold for building cars. There is no 20 billion yuan in capital preparations, so it is best not to come in.” The 20 billion yuan figure is open to question. But there is no doubt that there is no money to burn and you can’t make a car. After all, for domestic new-builders who are having a hard time in 2019, cash flow shortages and financing difficulties are already the norm, and getting financing in 2020 will only become more and more difficult. At this point, will GAC Weilai, a “co-creation”, help more?