Vanessa Moriel, LIASE Group Managing Director Asia (center) answers a question during a panel at the CBU/CAR 21st Annual International Conference in Beijing. She is joined by Jack Perkowski, Managing Partner, JFP Holdings (left) and Shah Firoozi, Founder and CEO, PAC Group (right).
LIASE Group Managing Director Asia Vanessa Moriel joined a who’s who of automotive executives in Beijing on May 24 and 25, 2016, for the CBU/China Automotive Review (CAR) 21st Annual International Conference. Held in the prestigious Grand Metro Park Hotel and proudly sponsored by the LIASE Group, the conference gathered to discuss the theme of “Smart EV: How it Defines Made-in-China 2025.”
This year’s topic and discussion was partially a response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for growth and innovation in China’s automotive industry in the coming decade. The President challenged carmakers to put 5 million Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) on the road by 2020 and has offered generous subsidies toward this goal. With this shot in the arm, it is up to auto’s incumbents and newcomers to seize the opportunity provided by a rapidly evolving industry and create a new generation of smart electric vehicles (EV).
LIASE Group Managing Director Asia Vanessa Moriel highlighted the human resources aspect of this entirely new market landscape. She also discussed how newcomers to the auto industry are shaking things up.
As Ms. Moriel noted, one way through which the new “Internet carmakers” are competing with traditional auto manufacturers is by attracting automotive talents away from traditional players. New automotive firms such as Tesla, NextEV, LeSEE and Uber draw young automotive talent with creative environments, organizational flexibility and appealing compensation packages. According to Ms. Moriel, automotive executive tend to move out of major OEM’s for the following reasons:
• Resistance to change and evolution within the OEM
• Inability of the OEM to start from scratch
• Conservative mindset and environment
• Bureaucratic organization
• Lack of agility and dynamism
• Slow internal process
• Unappealing compensation package
The recent shuffle of company executives has lowered OEM stock prices, caused much uncertainty and confusion within the organization, and decreased OEM attractiveness for top talents.
According to Ms. Moriel, OEMs have responded to disruption in the automotive human resource sector in the following ways:
• The creation of new entities and organizations
• M&A initiatives
• Hiring or promoting a younger generation of executives
• Refreshing their company culture
• Accelerating decision making
• Promoting a new company image
• Designing more competitive compensation structures
A fast evolving market
China has the fastest expanding auto market in the world by far, and its auto population is already the second largest in the world, after the U.S. Meanwhile, pressures from consumers and governments to reduce emissions and oil dependency are shifting the desirability of EVs over combustion vehicles past the tipping point.
In 2014 and 2015, new energy vehicles saw explosive growth of more than 300%, mostly in the Chinese market. With its shift of GDP share from primary and secondary industries to the tertiary sector, China is transforming from the World’s Factory to the World’s Consumer, as Jack Perkowski, Managing Partner, JFP Holdings underlined in his presentation.
In the opening talk of the conference, Xu Changming, Director, Information Resources, State Information Centre shared his outlook on the development of EVs. He cited three reasons for potential EV market growth: Large-scale demand, particularly within public transportation; a dynamic supply-side market driven by innovative newcomers and improvements in battery and charging technology; and favorable changes in government policy and EV subsidies. He also cautioned that the EV market is policy-driven and dependent on subsidies, and that charging time and convenience are still below consumer expectations. With these caveats, he explained, the EV market in China is ready to take off.
New technology at the forefront
Various speakers at the conference highlighted how new technologies will be driving the industry forward for the foreseeable future.
• Lu Qun, Chairman of Qiantu Motors, presented on the importance of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 to meet the individualized needs of consumers in an increasingly personalized and diversified car market.
• Jack Cheng, Executive Vice-President and Co-Founder of NextEV presented his company’s vision for a holistic, integrated user experience by offering connected services beyond the car.
• Kevin Quinlan, Vice President, Delphi Powertrain Systems, President, Delphi Gas Engine Management Systems shared his perspective on the emerging trends creating challenges and opportunities for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), namely exponential computing power, expansion of the internet of things (IoT) and the convergence of safe, green and connected consumer demand. He showcased Delphi’s 48-V solution to support electrification and meet these diverse challenges.
• Edouard de Pirey, President of Valeo, China presented his firm’s two-pillar growth strategy based on CO2 emissions reduction and intuitive driving; and development in Asia and emerging countries, especially China.
• Zhu Chaohong, Director, ZF E-Mobility showcased his firm’s E-Mobility solutions for the Chinese NEV industry, focusing on connectivity, mobility, efficiency and electrification.
• Chen Quanshi, Director, Auto Research Institute Tsinghua, presented his vision for the new smart EV as a mobile electronic control center, where connection is continuous and driving a thing of the past, in effect doing for the car what Apple did for the phone. He emphasized the importance of developing the smart NEV for China’s changing economy.
• Shah Firoozi, Founder and CEO, PAC Group followed-up on the impact of automotive industry newcomers in his closing presentation. These newcomers are reshaping the car as a “computer on wheels” and are setting new benchmarks for innovation, IoT integration and time to market. They may emulate the Apple model of sub-contracting manufacturing but controlling technology, design, cost, quality, marketing and distribution, as well as the Tesla/Faraday Future model of building new facilities in multiple locations. Either way, he said, the game will change for the auto industry.
Other speakers at the conference included Shen Haiyin, CEO and Founder, Zhiche Auto; Jianguo Wang, President of Bosch China; John Wang, Founder and CEO, FutureMove Telematics; Wu Gansha, Founder, UISEE Technology; Huang, Yonghe, Chief Engineer and Director of Policy Research, CATARC; Pang Yicheng, Chairman, Zhidian Interaction Group; Feng Wutang, Chery Automobile; and Paul Lin, Vice President, Yudo New Energy Vehicle Co., Ltd.
Collectively, the CBU/CAR 21st Annual International Conference was a thoroughly stimulating and successful exchange of ideas about the upcoming challenges and opportunities brought on by the coming of the smart EV.