An ideal "accident" caused by a "van"

An ideal "accident" caused by a "van"

"Core Tips"

The last time Ideal encountered Darkest Hour, he staged a Jedi counterattack. This time the MEGA failed, the ideal correction, and the factory began to adjust its production capacity.

An ideal "accident" caused by a "van"

Author | Zhu Xiaoyu

Edit | Xing Yun

From the highlight moment to the fall from the altar, Ideal only used one car to prove the fierce competition in the new energy vehicle circle.

In 2023, Li Auto delivered the best answer in history, with annual deliveries exceeding 376,000 units, and the annual sales target of 300,000 units reached 125%. This year, the ideal gross profit margin surpassed Tesla, reaching 22.2%, and achieved full-year profitability for the first time.

At the end of February, the management expects to deliver 50,000 units in March and more than 70,000 units in June. Among them, the first pure electric MPV model, MEGA, will be launched soon, which is regarded as a key weapon in the new growth curve of ideal sales. As for the sales volume in 2024, Ideal has also set a target of 800,000 units.

However, a week later, the MEGA release suffered a "Waterloo", and the ideal "ideal" was shrouded in darkness. Li Auto's overall sales in March were 28,900 units, of which MEGA only sold more than 3,000 units.

On March 21, Li Xiang issued an all-staff letter and reflected on the problems of Li MEGA, and 13 days later, Li Auto made organizational adjustments, involving multiple departments. This is also the substantive error correction process promoted by Li Auto since its reflection.

After the announcement of the organizational adjustment, some employees broke the news that the approval of Li Auto's offer was suspended, and the total budget was reduced by more than 30%, and the next step will be to start layoffs. In response, Li Auto responded that it was all false rumors.

However, "Leopard Change" learned from the factory side of Li Auto and the employees to be hired that Li Auto not only lowered its production capacity target, but also entered the moment of "indefinite extension", and the offer approval of employees to be hired was temporarily shelved. Li Auto's HR response to the candidates was to "compile an inventory", which made many people fall into passive waiting.

1. The factory controls the production capacity, and the offer is extended indefinitely?

Before the launch of Li MEGA, Li Auto could be regarded as a "myth" among the new forces of car manufacturing. With the L series of king fried models, as well as the "controversial" range extension technology, it has seized the largest share of the market of more than 300,000 yuan for new energy vehicles, and has become the first profitable new force in car manufacturing. At the same time, Xpeng and NIO were still trapped in huge losses.

However, the myth did not last long. The mistake of the ideal MEGA alone made the ideal car a heel.

Li Auto then lowered its first-quarter sales guidance by 25%, and the final sales volume in March was 28,984 units, which fell short of the deadline and fell short of previous expectations. Throughout March, Li Auto's share price fell by more than 30%.

Until now, Li Xiang, who is good at analyzing himself on Weibo, has stopped for nearly a month and a half. Compared with the past, the online publicity of Li Auto has become extraordinarily "quiet", and the internal undercurrent of Li Auto is surging under the pain.

According to "Leopard Change", Li Auto's production base in Changzhou, since Li Auto announced the production cut, workers work eight hours a day, with a daily production capacity of about 720 units, and this target is likely to be lowered. In 2023, at the peak of Li Auto's sales, workers will work at least 11 hours a day, and the daily production capacity can be pulled to more than 1,000 vehicles.

The reduction in production capacity has also affected the income of factory workers. A technical worker of Li Auto roughly calculated the performance of March to "Leopard Change", and the salary received after deducting five insurances and one housing fund is at most five or six thousand yuan, and in 2023, counting overtime pay, the average monthly salary can reach 11,000 yuan, which is now directly reduced by nearly half.

At the same time, the ideal personnel structure is set according to the target of annual sales of 800,000 yuan, and when sales and production capacity decline simultaneously, personnel are relatively redundant. The above-mentioned Li Auto employee said that there is already a trend of layoffs at the plant, and if the sales of the L6 model released in April do not meet expectations, the proportion of layoffs at the plant may be around 30%.

Insiders of Li Auto told "Leopard Change" that there are two reasons for the decline in Li Auto's production capacity, and from an external perspective, it is difficult for the entire new energy market to break through in the first half of this year. At the same time, the hot sales of the M7, M9 and other competing products also put some pressure on Li Auto, and from an internal point of view, the sales of Li MEGA far exceeded expectations, which seriously dragged down the sales and production rhythm of Li Auto.

In addition, whether it is the factory or the Beijing headquarters of Li Auto, except for the outsourced personnel, the students to be hired are "postponed indefinitely", and the candidates have no other solution than to actively break the contract. The ideal HR's response to the candidate is a normal compilation inventory, and there is no specific notice of how long it will be delayed.

A student who was supposed to join the headquarters of Li Auto before the Qingming holiday was postponed and still has not received a clear answer. He said that he had rejected offers from other car companies in order to join Li Auto, but now this result makes him unacceptable, if he gives up directly, he will worry about missing the opportunity, if he does not give up, he will worry that the sunk cost of investment will be higher, and if he does not take the initiative to break the contract, he will not get compensation.

According to "Leopard Change", a R&D student who got an offer from Li Auto outsourcing joined the company normally during this period. According to the candidate, the outsourced personnel are basically on the job as usual.

On the sales side, the number of Li Auto stores has also been reduced. According to the statistics of the automotive media, as of April 3, there were 777 ideal retail centers and showrooms, a decrease of 38 from January, of which 6 retail centers and 32 showrooms were reduced.

At the same time, Wang Xing, the founder of Meituan, reduced his holdings of Li Auto's shares for three consecutive trading days on March 26, 27 and 28, with a total cash amount of more than HK$500 million. After the completion of this reduction, Wang Xing's shareholding ratio decreased from 21.76% to 21.53%. Wang Xing's reduction in holdings also made the market think about it. For the ideal car at this stage, some negative signals are transmitted.

2. With the loss of MEGA, can L6 carry the ideal sales target?

New energy vehicle manufacturing is a marathon, and the road ahead is tortuous and long, but it is also an indispensable ability for enterprises to be good at adjusting and responding in a timely manner when facing challenges in all aspects, and finding suitable goals and rhythms for development.

After experiencing the loss of MEGA, Li Auto, which is good at self-summary and reflection, has started a new round of internal correction.

On March 21, Li Xiang, the founder of Li Auto, issued a letter to all employees, reflecting on the problems encountered since the listing of Li MEGA. Admitting that there was a misjudgment of the pure electric strategy, the company's internal focus on the desire for sales, and criticizing the chaotic rhythm of the Ideal MEGA, the sales team greatly reduced the time and energy to serve the L series users, and the main model of the Ideal L8 did not even have a store position.

On April 3, Li Auto issued an all-staff announcement, announcing the start of the matrix organization 2.0 upgrade, and at the same time adjusting the organizational structure of multiple departments, and this time it is also the most concerned adjustment since the organizational upgrade of Li Auto at the end of 2022.

Li Xiang also lowered the estimated vehicle delivery volume in the first quarter of this year from 100,000 to 103,000 to 76,000 to 78,000, a drop of nearly 25%. At the same time, the full-year sales target of 800,000 units was significantly lowered to 640,000 units. Now, Ideal has almost given up selling the MEGA as its main model, and has instead shifted to focusing on the Ideal L series.

For the ideal management, the organizational structure is also only adjusted to sell cars better. After the loss of MEGA, Ideal immediately adjusted its strategy and officially announced on April 8 that the new Ideal L6 product launch will be held on April 18.

It is understood that L6 is a "volume" model launched by Ideal Automobile, and it is also the cheapest car in the history of Ideal, focusing on the first five-seat luxury SUV for young families, which is smaller than Ideal L7, and is positioned below L7, mainly developing a market range of 200,000 to 300,000 yuan.

In fact, a number of media reported that the pricing range of the ideal L6 is between 259,800 yuan and 289,800 yuan, from the price point of view, L6 seems to have touched the sprint price of L7, and the gap between L6 and L7 has not been significantly widened.

According to Li Auto's sales, the price of Li Auto's 2023 L7 Air after subsidies is 291,800 yuan, and the auto show will subsidize another 16,000 yuan, and the final purchase price is only 275,000 yuan.

In order not to lower the high-end image of Li Auto, the official statement of Li Auto is "show car sales subsidy", in fact, according to sales, all the cars are the latest new cars pulled from the factory, and they have not been displayed at all.

Judging from the current situation, the L6 is the key to determining whether the ideal car can get back on track, and the ideal has not allowed it to make a second mistake. However, from the perspective of L6's positioning, L6, which focuses on cost-effective routes, is not very cost-effective, and it is still a question mark whether it can withstand the test of the market.

At the same time, the ideal L6 is very competitive in the same class, in addition to Model Y, M7, Mercedes-Benz GLC, AVATR 11, Xpeng G9, BYD Tang, Zhiji LS6, etc., are all in the price range of 200,000 to 300,000 yuan. Taking the Tang Glory Edition as an example, its price has dropped to less than 200,000 yuan, and Tesla has also launched a "zero interest" car purchase.

The new marketing king Xiaomi SU7 has also been launched recently, with nearly 100,000 large orders in the same price range (the official statement is that the number of large orders within 24 hours is 88,000), and the L6 market has been further squeezed.

As early as 2022, the ideal also encountered the darkest moment. Li Xiang said in retrospect that in the face of the beating of the M7, the ideal had no power to fight back for a long time. Ideal ONE's sales collapsed, production was stopped ahead of schedule, and it lost more than one billion yuan in a quarter, and "the team was disabled".

It was also this year that Li Auto made an organizational structure adjustment. After experiencing labor pains, he regained his rhythm and staged a Jedi counterattack with the excellent sales of the L series.

This time, however, the crisis is facing a more complex environment, with fierce market competition. Whether the ideal can get out of the darkest moment in 2024 will take more time to test. But fortunately, Li Auto maintained good profitability in the previous year, with cash reserves of up to 103.67 billion yuan, providing a solid foundation for grain and grass in the protracted war.

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