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Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

On February 18, Gaohe Automobile reported that it had stopped work for half a year. Although the outside world has long speculated about this, what I didn't expect was the first day of resumption of work during the Lunar New Year. Since the release of the Gaohe automobile brand by Human Horizons, the outside world has described Gaohe as being born with a golden key and being the first car brand to shout that it wants to make 800,000 yuan. With the rumors of Gaohe falling into a shutdown, people can't help but ask who killed Gaohe? Was it because the founder Ding Lei did not have enough reading of the market? Or was the execution of the Gaohe team not strong? Or was the market environment not giving Gaohe a chance?

These may be the crux of the problem, but in addition to these, there may also be Gaohe's own problems. Gaohe, who was born with a golden key, leads to its perception of market changes, which is not as sensitive as those new car-making forces that are in crisis at all times, and this kind of dullness to the market leads to the deformation of Gaohe's reading of the market, especially in terms of products. In addition, the last straw that overwhelmed Gaohe may also be its over-reliance on a single capital. All kinds of problems are blocking the outline of Gaohe's current situation.

01

Gao He, who was born with a golden key

As of now, Gaohe has fallen into a shutdown, but there is still a certain period before its death. To be precise, there were some problems with Gaohe, but it was not completely silent. The half-year shutdown means that there are two directions for Gaohe in the next development, one is to recover, and the other is to completely withdraw from the market. People naturally hope that Gaohe can achieve the first direction, but at present, there is no new force in car manufacturing to realize the transformation from the outside world perception to the line.

Why Gaohe can come to this day is to turn the time back to the early days of Ding Lei's business. In 2017, when Ding Lei founded Human Horizons, everyone thought that Gaohe Automobile was born with a golden key. Ding Lei, who has made achievements in the fields of business, politics, international, and science and technology, is undoubtedly a ceiling-level entrepreneur with various resources. Because of this, Ding Lei has a feeling of pride when observing anything.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

In the senior management team of Human Horizons, Ding Lei is surrounded by a group of automotive talents such as Murphy, Chen Weixu and Li Qian, who have fought with him. In Ding Lei's concept, Human Horizons is committed to the strategic layout of smart cars, smart transportation, and smart cities, and Gaohe Automobile is only one part of the "three intelligences" strategy, assuming the role of smart cars.

Ding Lei also said in the early days of entrepreneurship that Gaohe is not short of money and is never in a hurry to finance, when Gaohe launched 800,000 products, the outside world did not understand, how Gaohe survived, how to go far. From the perspective of these problems, the golden key is sometimes intoxicating and breeds a "lie to win" mentality. In five years, HiPhi has only launched three cars, but in the first three years, HiPhi X has neither increased its scale nor achieved profitability, nor even played the high brand power of Jia Yueting FF91. People only know that Gaohe has an 800,000 car, but they don't have that strong perception of it.

In that era when the capital market was still relatively active, Ding Lei ignored the capital attraction brought by brand premium. Up to now, except for the initial financing of 5 billion yuan in November 2021, the outside world has not found any other financing news from Gaohe. This means that Gaohe has two possibilities, one is that Gaohe does not need more money, and relies on the exchange of many resources with Jia Yueting and Ding Lei to achieve development. The other is that Gaohe has no desire for financing.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

At a public car forum, the organizers put Ding Lei and luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover in a salon session. Different from everyone to discuss the problem, Ding Lei said that he was lowered as soon as he came up, and Human Horizons is an ultra-luxury brand, and being with these luxury brands is to set them off. Although it is a small episode, it can be seen that Ding Lei's spirit is very high, but he is not sensitive to the market crisis. Gaohe Automobile, which was born with a golden key, did not use this golden key well.

02

The engineer's self-congratulatory car

In addition to the reasons of capital, management and talent team, there are also engineers who build cars on the product side. Especially in intelligence, we don't really understand the needs of consumers.

Some car owners said that HiPhi X's hyped light show, when trying to experience the selling point of the light show, sales and car owners registered for half a day, and it took nearly an hour to bundle the car machine, and the complexity of the operation of the system is a great loss of consumer interest for consumers with a unit price of 800,000 yuan. For the light show of HiPhi X, some people describe that in addition to the stunning moment, whether it is sound or lighting, everyone does not perceive a sense of luxury.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

Although the HiPhi X full LCD instrument cluster is the largest in the industry, it does not display the full navigation map. HiPhi X lacks scalability, does not support the mapping of Apple mobile phone CarPlay and Android mobile phones, does not have an app store, and cannot expand its functionality through various third-party apps. Its voice control will be biased in the recognition of some words, which needs to be put in another way to achieve, and cross-functional compound language commands cannot be successfully executed.

As an ultra-luxury brand, in addition to not focusing on the perspective of consumers in terms of technology, Gaohe does not fit in with its own high-end positioning in terms of service. Some car owners complained that when they went to pick up the car, the sales introduction was all about the gift crystal cup and other things that were not related to the product, and there were no technical highlights for consumers to experience the driving pleasure of HiPhi X.

Gaohe will pull the car owner into a service group, which is no different from the service of the new force of 400,000 yuan car-making. Treat a high-end consumer as an ordinary person to serve, these after-sales personnel only care about cramming explanations, such as talking about the operation of the car machine system, and the three electric technicians are talking about the three electrics, and do not take care of the acceptance of the car owner. For car owners, they seem to be serving, but it doesn't matter who they ask about. What Gaohe car owners need to experience is a real one-to-one service, and it is obvious that Gaohe's service does not meet the needs of consumers for ultra-luxury positioning.

03

Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

In 2015, when he decided to leave Shanghai Tang to join Jia Yueting's team, Ding Lei already had a vague dream of Jia Yueting in his heart. People have seen the so-called LETV ecological replica from Human Horizons, that is, the "three intelligences" strategy of Human Horizons. Ding Lei vaguely has Jia Yueting's dream, but he does not have Jia Yueting's action.

Over the years of Human Horizons' development, many executives have fled, and Chen Weixu, Murphy, Wei Yanqin and others, who founded Human Horizons with Ding Lei, are now left with only Wei Yanqin and a Ms. Zhang Rong. Ding Lei did not maintain a complete team structure in the early stage of entrepreneurship like Weilai, Ideal, and Xiaopeng, and lacked a team that could fight.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

Although Ding Lei is dreaming of Jia Yueting, compared with Jia Yueting, Ding Lei does not understand the support of internal and external human resources. Even Jia Yueting's turnaround needs to find a steady stream of resource levers such as Xu Jiayin and Gree to leverage, and Ding Lei always seems to want to control everything by himself.

In addition, from the perspective of the capital market, the financing information publicly found by Gaohe so far shows that it is 5 billion yuan. As of September 2023, it has raised a total of 16.4 billion US dollars, about 114.8 billion yuan. Since its establishment, Xpeng Motors has gone through 11 rounds of financing before its listing, with a total financing amount of more than 18.8 billion yuan, and Li Auto, which has always been cautious, has more than 10 rounds of financing before listing, with a total financing amount of more than 10 billion yuan. Compared with Wei Xiaoli and other enterprises, it is obvious that the financing scale of Gaohe cannot transfuse blood for the long-term development of enterprises.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

In addition to the small scale of financing, Gaohe also has a huge risk, that is, it relies heavily on a single shareholder investor. Although the early development of new EV manufacturers relied on a single investor, as they develop, companies will quickly dilute the shares of large investors to prevent a financial crisis from over-relying on a single investor. But as of now, Human Horizons still relies on a 30% stake in Chaoshan real estate developer Man Jinghua. With the recession of the real estate industry, it has led to the loss of blood in Manjinghua, which is also one of the important factors for the development crisis of Gaohe Automobile today.

Who killed Gao He: The engineer's self-esteem, Jia Yueting's dream, Ding Lei can't afford it

For this reason, Gaohe had to find new capital to enter the game. In June last year, information showed that Human Horizons and the Saudi Ministry of Investment signed an agreement worth 5.6 billion US dollars, or about 40.1 billion yuan. According to the information learned from other sources, except for NIO to get Middle Eastern capital, no Chinese car company has been able to attract the attention of Middle Eastern capital such as Saudi Arabia. Especially the local tyrants from the Middle East have injected money into Lucid, the "Tesla killer" who is far away in the United States, and it is still unknown when it will be Gaohe's turn.

From the current point of view, the problem of survival faced by Gaohe is that individual cases are also common, and other new power car companies that are going to decline, in addition to committing their own problems, Gaohe's problems will appear more or less in them. No one wants Gao He to fall, but the times don't wait for anyone. In the past, many people thought that new car makers should squeeze into the first team as soon as possible to prevent an existential crisis. But now, the shutdown of Gaohe means that the new car-making forces have an existential crisis no matter how many they rank. Who can live longer, must do three things, constantly improve the scale, continue to self-profit hematopoiesis, and constantly optimize the iterative technology and cost. Otherwise, anyone could be killed by this era.

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