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Domestic and foreign troubles of joint-venture B-class cars

Publish Date: 2023.03.15

No one would have expected that with the deep expectation of the market, this year's Chinese auto market will enter a war era of crazy fighting. From the collective price reduction of electric vehicles at the beginning of the year, to the marketing competition of independent automobile enterprises without following the routine, and even to the recent price plunge of the whole industry led by Dongfeng joint-venture brands, the car market is bustling with chaos.


  The price war, the marketing war and the system war are so startling at the beginning. How can we predict the next market trend this year? Experts believe that with the release of consumption vitality, the car market sales will continue to grow moderately; Consumers will say that when saving becomes a major investment, buying a car is no longer the primary consumption option.


  In the case of multiple objections, what should each main engine factory do? Compared with the booming Chinese brands, can the head joint venture car companies still maintain their current share and hold the market segments in place under the current torrent of electric transformation?




  Last year, we have seen that BYD Song Plus has taken shape in the entire SUV market. The accumulated sales volume of 482000 vehicles in the whole year easily made all similar models deeply uneasy. Then, looking at all electric car players this year, they will focus on the price band of 200000 to 300000 yuan. Can we avoid fierce shocks in the B-class car market that was previously dominated by joint venture brands?


  Tesla Model 3 and BYD have changed the attitude of consumers towards B-class cars, blocking the way for the second-tier joint venture to use this type of car to achieve brand upgrading; The newcomers represented by Dark Blue SL03, Nezha S, Zero Run C01, and BYD Seals have also stepped up their offensive since the end of last year to encircle and suppress the entry-level B-class sedans


  In addition, the emergence of new cars such as Xiaopeng P7i, Feifan F7 and Aian Hyper GT, which have been eager to try this year, is believed to be closer to the node of major adjustment of the market structure.


  The times have changed greatly. How can we be independent?


  China's auto market has gone through all kinds of low points and paced in the swearing, but it has also completed the self-certification of the world's largest auto market through mutual encouragement and fighting.




  In 2022, China's automobile production and sales will reach 27.021 million and 26.864 million respectively, up 3.4% and 2.1% year on year. Among them, the production and sales of passenger cars were 23.836 million and 23.563 million respectively, up 11.2% and 9.5% year on year.


  In the post-epidemic era, such an increase can still be achieved. When the consumption momentum in 2023 is rising day by day, there is no reason to doubt that the Chinese car market will have a more fierce collision, whether in terms of reason or in terms of slowing down.


  The secret war between the new forces and the traditional automobile enterprises was the most significant industry change last year. Weilai, ideal, and inquisitive, who are standing in the air of public opinion, are always facing the multi-dimensional aggression of traditional automobile enterprises with the most eye-catching attitude. As a result, these emerging car companies have indeed faded from the past because of their advantages in terms of delivery volume and transaction price.


  What about this year? The reason why the industry is still based on the alternation of power in the market segment. To see the next development of the whole car market, I think it can not do without the continuation of these trends.




  In particular, for the B-class car market, which is used by traditional brands to settle down and build up their image, as the North and South VWs gradually fall short of their ability, Passat and Maiteng both fall below the level of annual sales of 200000 vehicles, while on the other hand, BYD and Tesla each occupy the upper hand of the market by their own ability. Almost everyone has been determined that the initiative of future development will be changed.


  BYD Han, which sold 274000 vehicles a year last year, and Tesla Model 3, which sold 256000 vehicles a year, seem to have made a breakthrough alone. In fact, in view of the fact that the capacity of the B-class car market has always remained relatively constant, the market space eroded by them must be the position originally guarded by traditional car companies.


  In addition, BYD Seals, Deep Blue SL03 and Xiaopeng P7 with similar prices launched a fierce attack on the joint venture B-class vehicles with a price range of 200000 to 300000. I believe that this battle is already irreversible.


  In the early stage, Skoda Express, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Mazda Atz had no choice but to fall into sales difficulties or even stop production in the pace of market marginalization; Then, immediately after the strategic misjudgment of the consumption trend of Nissan Sound of Nature, Volkswagen Passat and Maiteng also lost their courage. Who is the next object to be forced by the trend?




  This year is the year when Toyota's eighth generation Camry won millions of sales, and it is also the key year when Honda's new eleventh generation Accord entered the market.


  No matter how the outside world changes, their mission is not to focus on the hematopoietic capacity of Toyota and Honda. In the era when the joint-venture B-class vehicles are fully attacked, every step of them will be related to the image of the joint-venture brand in China.


  We can't deny that until today, some people still feel that the tide of electric transformation will not threaten the status of powerful joint venture brands in the Jianghu so quickly. It will take time to drink back Camry and Accord, which sell nearly 250000 vehicles annually. However, from the actions of Honda and Toyota in recent months, anxiety and hesitation are written on the face of the high-speed fission market.


  Who dares to conclude that traditional enterprises can stand alone in this wave of protagonist rotation. Who is doomed to be stabbed by the market in the increasingly fierce market situation until no one is willing to pay for it.


  There is not much time left for reflection


  In recent days, the market upsurge caused by the crazy price reduction of Dongfeng brand really shows to the outside world the determination of traditional car companies to compete with the market. The Citroen C6, which has almost faded out of the market, is also trying its best to sell a B+class car by means of selling A class cars.


  However, it is precisely because of this desperate price reduction that we can see more and more clearly how miserable the Chinese car market will be in 2023. The pattern reshaping triggered by the new energy industry has not only inspired the ambition of emerging car companies to seize the market, but also cast a layer of gloom on the foundation of the joint venture brand that has been kept for 20 years without hesitation.


  The sequelae of price reduction have not been shown so quickly, but the feedback from the end market is already pointing out that the product premium of traditional joint venture brands will be much lower than before. If so, can the traditional B-class sedan, as a carrier of all this, still be high in the future market?


  As early as three years ago, when the price of Chevrolet Meribe and Buick Regal fell into the range of 150000 yuan, they did not hesitate to trade their brand image for the market, the camp of the joint venture B-class car had split up. However, after breaking up with these crazy friends, Toyota and Honda, instead of passively falling into the sales mire, became more and more brave.




  It can be seen from this that there is reason to believe that as China's car market is gradually separated from its infancy, price war is obviously not the shortcut for any car enterprise that expects sustainable development to survive.


  In other words, whether this wave of price reduction, which started at the beginning of this year, will bring short-term benefits to any car company participating in it now, and it is impossible to take it once and for all.


  Toyota and Honda are worried that the industry transformation will make consumers' tastes too strange, and they will face a bitter face under the relentless attack of the new forces. However, by contrast, they may be more deeply touched by the fact that their brand image has been gradually faded in the expectation or clamour of "cheaper, cheaper".


  In the era of Camry and Accord, how long will it be turned over? This is the speculation of the whole market, and it is also the time point that all joint venture brands are on guard.




  In order to meet the new life, Volkswagen ID. 7 has been eager to try under the established timetable, and Toyota has not been shy of using hybrid technology to label the Camry as a new energy vehicle. The plug-in version of Accord e: PHEV, which is exposed on the street, is more revealing Honda's determination to increase the code of electrification... The kings of the old era have become so active, which shows how bloody the Chinese car market is.


  With the past glory and the support of conservative customers, the Chinese auto market in 2023 can continue to provide protection for the remaining joint venture brands in the current situation. But in the context of the new era, we just want to ask a question, which is related to the consideration of value and the development direction of the story. Will it be as these brands wish?


  Not surprisingly, under the guidance of the mainstream voice, BYD Han and BYD Seals will seize the market scale of nearly 500000 vehicles in the range of 200000 to 300000 this year alone. With the overall improvement of the delivery level of Weilai ET5, Tesla continues to increase the supply of Model 3 to China. Even if there are 100 unwilling brands in the joint venture, the market pattern of B-class sedans will eventually disintegrate in the near future.


  At that time, for a Japanese brand that has just completed comprehensive hybrid, or a German giant that can't walk out of the strange circle of pride, if it hasn't submitted a feasible, controllable and deliberative war strategy, losing the voice of the B-class car will only be the beginning. Just like what is happening in the AO-class sedan and small SUV fields at present: there are internal reasons for everything.


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