It is rumored to reduce the number of supermarkets in first-tier cities, Tesla responded that the rhythm of channel expansion is normal


According to Wei Wen of China News

Recently, some foreign media reported that Tesla is re-evaluating the way it sells electric vehicles in the Chinese market, considering closing some shopping mall showrooms in cities such as Beijing, and paying more attention to lower-cost suburban stores that can provide maintenance services.


  In this regard, Tesla China responded to the first financial reporter, saying that domestic sales channels are still in a normal expansion rhythm, and it is not known where the news of foreign media comes from. The reporter combed and found that since September, Tesla has still deployed experience centers in supermarkets in Shanghai, Xi'an and other places; at present, Tesla has 26 experience stores in Shanghai, and the number of Tesla stores in Shanghai in the same period last year was 21.


  Tesla is the pioneer of the car direct sales model. The sales and after-sales services of traditional car companies are handed over to agents, and the integrated services of display, sales, delivery and after-sales are provided in the form of 4S stores. Earlier, Tesla split the display, sales, delivery and after-sales functions, and built experience stores, experience centers, delivery centers and after-sales centers in cities, and achieved greater user access and sales through the high traffic of supermarkets. sales volume.


  However, the disadvantage of the direct-sale business model is that the operating costs are relatively high. The high rental costs in the supermarket and the labor costs in the store must be borne by the company itself, and the initial terminal channel construction and expansion pressure is great.


  According to the semi-annual report disclosed by Xiaopeng Motors, in the first half of 2022, Xiaopeng Motors’ sales, general and administrative expenses were 3.306 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 88.7%. Xpeng Motors said the expansion of its sales network, related personnel costs and higher commissions from franchised stores were among the main reasons for the year-on-year increase in expenses. In the first half of the year, Li Auto's sales, general and administrative expenses reached 2.53 billion yuan, an increase of 87.9% year-on-year. The increase in rental expenses caused by the expansion of the sales network was also one of the main reasons for the year-on-year increase in expenses.


  According to data, the annual rent of Xiaopeng Motors’ store in Sanlitun, Beijing, is about 10 million yuan; the annual rent of Weilai’s store in Wangfujing, Beijing, exceeds 70 million yuan. Although exhibition halls in supermarkets can bring huge traffic to car companies, they also have to pay a corresponding price. Cui Dongshu, Secretary-General of the Passenger Federation, believes that the current domestic new energy vehicles are still in the period of penetration and development. In the stage of market shortage, the direct sales model can still win high profits for enterprises, but in the stage of oversupply, a large number of direct sales channels with heavy assets may become A heavy burden on the business.


  A marketing executive of a joint venture car company told the first financial reporter that the advantages of the direct sales model are high traffic, good brand promotion effect, and direct contact with users. The disadvantage is that there is no mature channel network to digest inventory, and market sales cannot be accurately estimated. Risk cannot be shared.

 Traditional car companies such as Volkswagen, GM, GAC Aian, and BYD are also accelerating the deployment of supermarket stores, but the cost of expanding supermarket channels is mostly borne by dealer investors; a slight difference between several traditional car companies is that Volkswagen , GM, etc. have adopted the direct sales model, and the dealers only provide services to users and do not have a direct sales relationship; BYD and other auto companies’ supermarket showrooms are operated by dealers, and their sales model is no different from traditional 4S stores.


  At the same time, with the increase in sales volume, the new power auto companies mainly operated by supermarkets and supermarkets have begun to build more maintenance and delivery centers to better maintain the service system.


  In the past two years, Tesla has begun to set up Tesla centers in China that include pre-sales services such as consultation, test rides and test drives, and after-sales services such as maintenance and sheet metal spraying. Although the form is similar to a traditional car 4S store, Tesla still adopts the direct operation model, that is, there is no intermediary agent link, and the newly built outlets are directly managed by Tesla.


  New domestic auto companies including Weilai and Xiaopeng are also expanding their supermarkets and stores, and at the same time laying out service centers that integrate pre-sale and after-sale functions. Relevant service centers have already moved out of supermarkets and started to be deployed in suburban areas, automobile business circles and other areas.

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