Smart is a product of iteration and continues to make breakthroughs.
At the 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show, smart left the "embrace" of Mercedes-Benz for the first time and stood on the stage of the New Energy Pavilion alone. This time, smart decided not only to focus on genetic inheritance, but also to fully strengthen the "new luxury" attributes.
What are Smart's long-term plans and goals in the new energy market, which are ready to fight a tough battle? How is the internationalization going? What kind of brand label does smart want to maintain? Zhang Mingxia, vice president of sales, marketing and after-sales of smart brand global company, gave the answer during the auto show.
Natural selection, survival of the fittest
"If we look at it from the perspective of 'survival of the fittest', I would like to make a smart interpretation of 'fitness'. The first thing about 'fitness' is to do what suits you, and the second 'fitness' is It is to adapt to the development of the industry.”
Following last year's product plan of "three new models in three years" from 2022 to 2024, smart officially announced at the Guangzhou Auto Show that the plan will be extended to 2025 and upgraded to "four new models in four years."
For smart, if it wants to "suit itself", it must continue to innovate in the fields of hardware and branding.
According to Zhang Mingxia, smart Pilot Assist 2.0 has the latest HWP high-speed pilot assist function and NSP intelligent pilot assist function. It can not only realize high-speed and point-to-point intelligent pilot driving on highways, but also support intelligent lane changing and overtaking, and automatically go up and down ramps and curves. With functions such as automatic car following, the actual experience is close to that of real driving. Currently, these functions have been launched in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Ningbo.
At the same time, smart Pilot Assist 3.0 is also under development and testing. It will have the ability to assist driving in urban areas and is planned to be launched by the end of next year.
In the field of smart cockpit, smart will use AMD V2000, the industry's most powerful computing chip. It has a CPU computing power of 394K DMIPS, which is twice the computing power of the 8295 chip.
"People used to say that smart is good-looking and is designed by Mercedes-Benz, but we are also very confident about smart's hard-core capabilities. Various brands of hard technology can be stacked up, but how to bring everyone a different companionship experience is what we want to do . So we create warm technology to make the car a close friend to accompany you, not just a tool to get from A to B."
"Just like the arrow on our brand LOGO, its English meaning is to look forward. This is the value of the brand. Dare you be innovative and do something different from others. We want to bring warm technology and do something This brand wants to convey spiritual things. Look forward and pursue your own things bravely.”
China-Europe dual-core global layout
Adhering to the forward-looking development strategy of "China-Europe dual-core, global layout", smart has entered a new stage of full-speed operation, continuously accelerating the expansion of global business networks, and continuing to evolve in terms of brands, products, services, etc., and is committed to bringing smarter products to close friends around the world. A new experience of urban pure electric travel.
Europe plays a ballast role in setting the tone of the smart brand. Therefore, smart's future direction will be to expand from Europe and then assist other overseas markets.
Up to now, smart has established more than 300 sales and service outlets in 13 countries in Europe. In the process of promotion, there are some difficulties that need to be constantly overcome.
"How to make European users accept the change of smart from two seats to four seats is very difficult. Domestic sales of fuel vehicles were stopped in 2019 and will be renewed in 2021, but fuel vehicles are still sold in Europe. We are also trying to use channels We will start by building a smart showroom in a Mercedes-Benz store using a 'store within a store' approach, so that there is a legacy and consumers are more familiar with it."
In addition, smart also has a global R&D team that will conduct localized R&D on the basis of globally unified products, especially in the selection of software ecosystems to suit the local environment.
The high recognition of Chinese new energy products by European users has given Zhang Mingxia a big surprise.
"We were pleasantly surprised to find that European users are willing to try new things. The Western world will be more accepting and recognized of China's new energy products. China's new energy products are world-leading, and they have a higher acceptance of products from China. This is different from previous fuel vehicles, and it is a big industry background."
Zhang Mingxia hopes to use new technologies and new products to appeal to more users, perceive electrification and intelligence, and agree that smart is a better urban travel tool.
At present, smart Elf #1 has been officially launched in Malaysia on November 21. Based on local market demand and user habits, smart has collaborated with Proton Motors to carry out localized adaptive development to better meet the diversified travel needs of local users.
In addition to Malaysia, Smart is also planning to enter Southeast Asian markets such as Thailand and Singapore, and continues to accelerate its "Southern Expansion and Westward Expansion".
"In the long term, we hope that China's sales will account for 50%-60%, Europe's sales will account for 40%-50%, and other overseas markets will be more strategic layout. The purpose of this is to resist the single market risks of. "
Born with electricity, return to original intention
This year is the first full year of smart product sales after its refresh, and it is also a crucial year for smart.
“Smart has the gene of being ‘born electric’. Our engineers wanted to use pure electric solutions to solve problems such as pollution and noise in urban travel 25 years ago. Now we use pure electric methods to return to the original intention of 25 years ago. "
Smart hopes to make users instinctively associate smart with electric vehicles. Therefore, smart enters the stage of the New Energy Pavilion for the first time. It no longer only focuses on genetic inheritance, but also strives to strengthen its "new luxury" attributes.
The smart brand D2C direct sales agent business network is rapidly taking shape. Online, smart has created a super APP that integrates all scene functions - smart car, and built a user digital ecosystem consisting of official mini programs, websites and APPs.
Offline, smart has worked with outstanding partners in the industry to build a multi-level sales and service network consisting of flagship centers, retail showrooms, service stations, and service centers. It has currently completed the construction of 181 offline independent channel outlets, covering more than 53 first-line, New first-tier, second-tier and third-tier cities are seamlessly connected to the digital ecosystem.
It is expected that by the end of 2023, smart's nationwide channel layout will exceed 200, covering more than 60 first-tier, new first-tier and second-tier cities across the country.
Smart is actively exploring the brand's self-operated charging and replenishing network, so that every charge "understands you" better. Destination charging, supermarket fast charging, and cross-city ultra-fast charging are simultaneously launched to radiate the diverse needs of users in actual travel and life scenarios.
It is worth mentioning that smart also announced the Discovery brand’s self-operated charging and energy replenishment network for the first time at this auto show.
"The charging and replenishing system currently being developed by Smart is called Ability to Understand You Better. We choose different destinations to create different business formats. Destination charging, supermarket fast charging, and cross-city ultra-fast charging are all rolled out simultaneously. Radiating users’ diverse needs in actual travel life scenarios.”
Among them, cross-city ultra-fast charging supports 800V DC ultra-fast charging technology, which has higher heat dissipation efficiency and reliability, lighter cable, longer service life, and smaller charging noise.
During the year, the first batch of smart self-built charging station pilot projects will be launched one after another. Among them, the first commercial super fast charging station has been launched in the mountain city of Chongqing, and the first destination charging station has been opened in Chongli. More pilot projects are also being planned and constructed.
"2023 is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the smart brand. In the past 25 years, smart has practiced inspiration with courage and has long become a trendy cultural symbol of urban transportation. In the face of fierce market competition and a complex and diverse world, it is far from enough to talk about feelings. Don't Think smart small, we will use the triple global strength of brand, enterprise and R&D to start the next 25 years of smart."