China to redefine premium EVs: Bloomberg

(Xinhua) 08:47, March 13, 2024

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- In the Chinese market, electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with built-in fridges and in-car karaoke systems are no longer cutting-edge, and automakers are now pivoting towards more unconventional features, such as beds and cooktops, in a bid to stimulate lackluster sales, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Leading EV makers are encountering a domestic demand deceleration as consumers tighten their purse strings, coinciding with geopolitical strains with major Western economies, which cast uncertainty over export prospects, said the report.

Chinese electric car manufacturers have rolled out a range of novel products: the "one-click-to-bed" function on Xpeng's G9; the "In Sync Heartbeat" on the Geely Galaxy E8 and its 1.25-hertz vibration -- the same as a human heartbeat -- to eliminate the feeling of imbalance for some drivers and passengers; and the BYD Yangwang U8 with onboard drones.

These high-tech offerings underscore the risk Western manufacturers face if they further lag in China, the world's largest automotive market. For smaller enterprises, the ability to think creatively is core to their survival, read the report.

Traditional automakers still focus solely on driving performance, but Chinese companies are more ambitious, said sales representatives from XPeng, adding that the company is considering lifestyle and entertainment factors to enhance its cars.

The report suggests that the ambitions signal automakers' continuing emphasis on innovation despite an uncertain consumer demand outlook.

"In the EV era, China is attempting to redefine premium," said Bill Russo, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based advisory firm Automobility. "They may come up with some real off-the-wall ideas, but that's what experimentation is all about."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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