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The speed of life and death of Weilai

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Editor’s note: This article comes from WeChat public account “Tencent Technology”, author Wang Pan, editor Gao Yulei.36 氪 Reprinted with permission.”If tomorrow is the last day of Weilai, what would you do?” In mid-2018, Li Wei, the founder of Weilai, suddenly asked Zhu Jiang, the vice president of user development, during a meeting inside the company.At that time, Weilai was in the limelight, and Zhu Jiang was asked for a moment.At the end of 2019, Zhu Jiang recalled in an interview with Tencent’s “Perspective” that Li Bin said this because he felt that the company’s awareness of the crisis was not enough and reminded everyone to be prepared for the challenges ahead.After the completion of the Weilai IPO in September 2018, Li Bin mentioned more than once internally that 2019 will be the most difficult year for Weilai.”He said that we didn’t have much good news in the next period, because the good news has been consumed in the front, unless there is a good sales after the new car is listed or ES6 is delivered,” said Ge Xin, senior director of human resources of Weilai.Li Bin also made a metaphor at the company’s management strategy meeting at the time: “We are now like the state of the plane taking off. The process of taking off and descending of the plane is the most likely to have an air crash. The most common problem encountered during takeoff is stall..Every decision and everything we make is to ensure that the plane moves forward smoothly. “The situation quickly turned sharply. Since 2018, the overall sales of Chinese cars have plummeted, the trade environment has changed, Tesla has landed in Shanghai,Reduced subsidies for new energy vehicles, spontaneous combustion and recall of ES8, all these events add up, hitting Weilai’s life gate.In particular, Tesla, its biggest competitor, entered China, and Shanghai provided a lot of cheap land for it. Bank loans of nearly 10 billion yuan even cancelled Weilai’s local factory.During this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Weilai co-founder and president Qin Lihong told Tencent’s “Perspective” that although there was no “big construction”, Weilai’s Shanghai factory had already begun construction for more than a year.The collapse of the Shanghai factory even made Weilai, a company listed on the NYSE, subject to a class action lawsuit by American investors, claiming that it contained false or misleading statements.The most direct manifestation of all these negative effects is that Weilai’s car sales fell short of expectations in the second quarter of 2019. In addition to the temporary cancellation of the conference call on the day of the financial report, market confidence was damaged, causing its stock price to plunge 28% to $ 1.97 in a single day.In the following days, it once fell to $ 1.19, a drop of more than 90% from the highest share price of $ 13.80 after listing.A Weilai vice president told Tencent’s “Perspective” that the U.S. stock market was very good at the time of Weilai’s IPO. At that time, Weilai was already worried about whether the trend of the US stock market would go down from a good state, so Weilai’s stock price would inevitably follow.It is not conducive to subsequent financing. In the end, I did not expect that the US stocks were not too bad, but Weilai’s stock price fell very badly.Five years after its establishment, Weilai has been sought after, questioned, and despised, and has grown up bumpily in the process of finding money, people, and resources.In December, in the voice of doubt, Weilai announced the delivery of 2,528 units in November 2019, setting a new high for the year for four consecutive months.Everything seems to be back at the beginning of the business, this company has started a new climb.The birth of a star company In August 2014, an automobile company held an event in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province. Li Bin and Qin Lihong were invited respectively. They were classmates from Peking University, but they did not know each other’s coming.People toasted and drank. After three rounds of drinking, the two started talking about electric car startups.Qin Lihong recalled to Tencent’s “Perspective” that one week later, he was sitting in the lobby of a hotel in the Asian Games Village, waiting for Li Bin who had just returned to Beijing on a business trip.On how to build a car, the two talked to the early morning.Li Bin said that he had been thinking about it for several years, and was about to start action recently. Qin Lihong saw that this was an ambitious goal. He felt that personal success or failure and the risks he might encounter were no longer important. So the two of them agreed and became a ChinaIndependent high-end electric vehicle brand.In the same month, the two of them started recruiting in Beijing and Shanghai at the same time.Li Bin took out 1 million and transferred it to the bank card of employee No. 004 of Weilai Wang Zhijuan, letting her be responsible for renting office buildings, renovating and registering a Beijing company.While Qin Lihong was recruiting, Li Bin was also busy financing the company.As early as 2013, Li Bin ran to Lei Jun’s office and told the other party that he wanted to build a car in the future.Lei Jun heard that he was another liar, because many people had found himself and told the same story before, but when Li Bin stated that he was willing to invest 1 billion yuan in the project, Lei Jun was moved by his determination and told Li Bin to pullTell him when he triggers that he will invest the first time.At the end of 2014, Li Bin took Qin Lihong to Liangma Qiaoshun’s capital office and asked for Lei Jun again. Lei Jun talked about how Xiaomi made the community extremely active at the beginning of the business and introduced Xiaomi co-founder Li Wanqiang toThey, Li Wanqiang, explained in detail Xiaomi’s experience of being a community, which to some extent helped Weilai App to become one of the most active social platforms for electric vehicle owners.Under Li Bin’s lobbying, Liu Qiangdong, Li Xiang, Tencent, Gao Ye, and Sequoia Capital all agreed to participate in Weilai.In the earliest round of financing from Weilai, Li Bin invested US $ 150 million, and Li Xiang, Liu Qiangdong, Tencent, Gao Ye, and Sequoia each invested US $ 30 million.From left to right: Co-founder Zheng Xiancong, former North American CEO Wu Sili, co-founder and president Qin Lihong, and founder and CEO Li Bin. In 2015, Li Bin went abroad 17 times in search of overseas automotive talents.But meeting European leaders in the automotive industry is not easy.In the summer of that year, Li Bin made an appointment in the name of an interview with Yiche.com at the Paris Auto Show, and met many European auto industry leaders.Eventually, Martin Leach, who previously served as COO of Mazda, CEO of Ford Europe, and global president of Maserati, joined Weilai as co-president, and led the development of the electric supercar EP9.At the end of this year, Wu Sili, who had served as Motorola CTO and Cisco Global CTO, also joined Weilai as the CEO of Weilai North America.Wu Sili brought a great star halo to Weilai when she joined, especially the attention of the US media and capital markets to this company, but it also later became a trouble that Li Bin needed to deal with.In the process of building a car, Weilai has always adopted a “dimensional reduction blow” strategy similar to Tesla. The first step is to make the highest performance and most difficult car, the second step is to do super running with performance and difficulty in the middle, and the third stepRelease of the easiest production model.On December 16, 2017, crowds of people around Wukesong, Beijing, 8 charter flights, 60 high-speed rail cars, 19 five-star hotels, 160 buses, and the popular Dream Dragon band around the world, tens of thousands of people gathered in BeijingWukesong, Weilai made a living at the launch of the first production car ES8.This press conference is hard to find. Many early employees of Weilai have already come to the venue. They would have watched the conference on the spot, but some people who are familiar with Weilai want to watch the conference. In the end, Weilai employees had to give up.With your own ticket, take a taxi to Weilai Center, Oriental Plaza, Chang’an Street, Beijing to watch the webcast.At 19 o’clock that night, Li Bin stood in the center of the stage and gave him a perfect answer to his 1,116-day car-building career.That night, many WeChat friends in the first- and second-tier cities were screened by Weilai ES8, which was called “the strongest new car launch conference on the surface” by automotive media.The last such grand occasion in the Chinese market dates back to the release of Xiaomi mobile phones in 2011.That night, Weilai App flooded in with a large number of orders, thousands of people paid ES8 intention money, and the orders spread to more than 300 cities across the country, which far exceeded Li Bin’s expectations.The conference also directly changed Weilai ’s city operation strategy. Weilai originally planned to enter only 10 major cities in the country in 2018. Even if there were orders outside these 10 cities, it was rejected, but because the orders exceeded expectations after the release,Weilai decided to choose a place with a large user base, add another 12 cities, and accept orders from all over the country.The conference also made Weilai’s financing more active.In the C round of financing in the first half of 2017, Weilai just reached the fundraising limit, but after the release of ES8 in the D round of financing, institutions have vying for Weilai’s investment share.A Weilai investor told Tencent’s “Perspective” that when Weilai raised a round of financing, a bunch of people wanted to invest, and it was not easy to get a share. At that time, an institution found Liu Erhai, the founder of Joy Capital familiar with Li Bin, and hoped that the other party would sellThe share was given to them, but Liu Erhai reluctantly explained that the landlord’s family had no food left.The conference also changed the trajectory of some people’s lives.That night, in addition to Yu Minhong, Li Xiang, Zhang Zetian and other celebrities came to the scene, there was also a celebrity in the automotive industry sitting silently on the stage. This person was named Shen Feng, former president of Volvo China R & D Corporation.Shen Feng revealed to Tencent’s “Perspective” that Li Bin had approached him through a middleman in 2015, but he had no idea of ​​even meeting Li Bin, so he directly refused to meet.In the summer of 2017, Li Bin found Shen Feng again and hoped that he would join Weilai. He still hesitated.On the night of the launch of ES8, Shen Feng sent WeChat messages to many old friends in the automotive industry and asked each other how they thought about Weilai’s press conference that day.His former colleague, Liu Yan, COO of former Volvo Car (China) sales company, replied that in three years, nothing was developed, and so many high-tech R & D that traditional car companies did not have and applied to the car should not be all money.I bought it, and asked Shen Feng what he thought of as an R & D expert. Shen Feng said that he would give the answer after a few days.Ten days later, just at Christmas, Shen Feng submitted his resignation to Li Shufu, announced that he had joined Weilai and was responsible for quality management.Convergence, layoffs and cost reductions At the beginning of Weilai’s entrepreneurship, employees recruited in industries such as automotive, internet, IT, and supply chain. The integration of employees from different backgrounds has become a problem facing Li Bin.Since its establishment, Weilai has adopted a lot of practices that are different from those of traditional fuel car companies, which has also made many colleagues with backgrounds in the automotive industry confused when they first joined.Ge Xin, senior director of human resources of Weilai, told Tencent’s “Perspective” that he once met with Li Bin to discuss the company’s overtime system. He mentioned that since overtime, employees should be paid overtime or adjusted, Li Bin asked, why do you need to do this?Li Bin further explained that he did not want employees to become an exchange relationship with the company. Today the company spent an extra hour with employees, and tomorrow employees will come to ask the company how much money.Generally, the expansion of OEMs is progressing “slowly”, and Weilai’s expansion speed has almost exceeded the expectations of all automotive background employees and executives.At the end of 2015, Qin Lihong met with the human resources department inside the company and told the human resources department to recruit 100 people every month after the 2016 Spring Festival.The Human Resources Department is completely stupid and feels that this is simply impossible. According to the practice of the automotive industry, it can only recruit up to 10 people a month.But by April or May, Weilai had more than 100 new employees each month.People from the Internet naturally like an equal and open working atmosphere, but people in the automotive industry pay more attention to the distinction between upper and lower levels and treat them according to level.Originally, Li Bin did not intend to set up an independent office for himself and the executives. However, considering that many executives with automotive backgrounds are too large to adapt, he still set up an independent office for executives above the level of vice president, but the boss’s office must not exceed 12Square meters, and all are set up without windows.In order to promote employee integration, Weilai encourages all employees to speak freely within the company and launches the Speak Out internal community to promote communication and integration.Li Bin hopes that Weilai is a flat company, and everyone can achieve equality, openness, and tolerance regardless of their position.In the summer of 2019, a Xiaomi executive went to Shanghai for a business trip and sent a WeChat message to Li Bin, and wanted to help the other party introduce a hotel within 400 yuan.Li Bin was a little surprised that Xiaomi had been so successful that it was unexpected that the core team could still suffer so hard.It seemed to be a touch. Li Bin, who had already begun to control costs in Weilai, quickly decided to reduce the standard for all first-tier cities on business trips from 700 yuan to 400 yuan, and employees who took part in excess of 400 yuan.In fact, Weilai’s initial standard for travel hotels in first-tier cities in China has been 900 yuan, which is on par with Fortune 500 companies. However, after the Spring Festival in 2018, Weilai decided to reduce costs and change the standard to 700 yuan.With reference to Xiaomi’s travel standards, many people will feel that Weilai is spending money arbitrarily, but if we look at the standards of the automotive industry, Weilai has not exceeded the industry average.Huang Chendong, senior vice president of Weilai, once worked for SAIC Group. The standard of his travel hotel was 1500 yuan. He could live in Beijing for four seasons, and his flight was always in business class.But in Weilai, Huang Chendong can only take economy class, and the excess of the hotel needs to be paid out of pocket.Reducing travel and accommodation standards is a microcosm of Weilai’s cost control. Weilai’s other major cost control strategy is layoffs.On August 22, Li Bin issued an internal letter announcing that the company will reduce 1,200 jobs worldwide by the end of September, and the adjusted company’s staff size will be about 7,500.It is reported that Weilai’s layoffs this time are mainly concentrated in non-core business and operational support departments, which has little impact on strategic core departments such as research and development and user service.Before Li Bin’s internal letter was issued, Weilai internally had prepared for this matter for two or three months.Weilai’s human resources department was involved in the whole process. Before Li Bin’s email was released, the human resources department needed to prepare from the legal level. More importantly, it was necessary to determine who was leaving. This was an extremely painful process.”A lot of people left in tears. We all fought together and had feelings for this company.” Said Ge Xin, senior director of human resources at Weilai.However, Weilai a year ago was not in this state at all, and the human resources department was busy recruiting people every day.Throughout 2018, Weilai recruited about 6,000 people and more than 100 new employees went to work every week.But by the end of 2018, changes in the internal and external environment forced Li Bin to immediately brake. He needed to allow the company to land smoothly, even if it was slower.In addition, in August 2019, in order to help the company survive the crisis as quickly as possible, several Weilai executives took the initiative to apply for halving their wages.If people from different backgrounds in the Internet and the automotive industry just caused friction for the team, then the integration between the Chinese and American teams gave Li Bin a head start.In March 2017, Li Bin brought Weilai’s core management to Austin, Texas, the capital of the United States, and merged with Weilai North American CEO Wu Sili, who brought a brand new Weilai concept car from the Weilai North American headquarters in Silicon Valley, California.Airlifted to Austin to participate in the South-West South Music Festival to show the design and R & D capabilities of Weilai to the outside world.In the morning of March 11th, in a stylish space in Austin, dozens of cameras were aimed at the center of the stage. As core executives such as Li Bin, Qin Lihong, Zheng Xiancong, and Wu Sili opened the car’s cover, the Weilai conceptThe car EVE showed its true colors to the public for the first time. Almost everyone was moved by the design of EVE, and the applause was thunderous.Several Weilai executives were also very excited. They embraced each other, shook hands, and posed for a group photo. Then Li Bin and Qin Lihong came to the car to take a group photo with them, and the scene was very harmonious.However, a Wei Lai North American employee revealed to Tencent’s “Perspective” that in the summer of 2017, Wu Sili saw that autonomous driving was a good direction, and the outside world recognized the team’s work very well.The team’s running-in and conflict for a period of time, she wanted to be independent and lead Weilai’s North American team to raise funds separately. This incident also affected the user experience of Weilai’s ES8 delivery to a certain extent.What happened to the delivery of ES8 in North America was the beginning of the challenge of Weilai’s high-end brand image.ES8 is impeccable at the hardware level, but it has repeatedly encountered problems with the software system at the beginning of delivery.The upgrade of the ES8 system in Changan Street for an hour and a sudden black screen of death during driving are all negative news that Weilai has seen.Many people think this is the responsibility of Zhuang Li, then the vice president of Weilai Software, but this is not the case.It all starts with the division of labor between the Chinese and American teams.A person who had worked with Zhuang Li told Tencent’s “Perspective” that Weilai Software was partly completed by the Chinese and American teams. The Zhuang Li team was responsible for the upper layer software, the U.S. team was responsible for the bottom layer software, and the multinational, time, and cultural departmentCommunication, it is difficult to keep up with Wei Lai’s ever-changing needs in the software business. For the things delivered by the American team, the Chinese team had to conduct secondary development according to the latest requirements.It is not that the two parties are unable to keep up, but there is a big problem in communicating with each other.According to the above sources, Zhuang Li and colleagues in North America who were in charge of the underlying software often quarreled, even arguing openly during meetings, and their rhythm was not on a channel at all. The last two had reached the point where they did not speak.Beginning in the second half of 2017, Weilai North America CEO Wu Sili hopes to lead the North American team to raise funds independently, which will worsen the communication between the Chinese and American teams. Many resources at the Chinese headquarters cannot be mobilized.A person in charge of NIOPilot told Tencent’s “Perspective” that NIO Pilot, the autonomous driving assistance system of NIO, had a clear division of labor. The U.S. team was responsible for the hardware and the underlying software, and the Chinese team was responsible for the upper-level software.The team has a stronger say, and the Chinese team in this business needs to report to the United States.Originally the NIO Pilot could be fully functional, but at that time it was only partially functional.The deeper reason behind this is that because Wusi Li wanted North American independence, the US team reduced communication with the Chinese team.The above-mentioned Weilai North American resigned employees told Tencent’s “Perspective” that in the second half of 2017, Wu Sili officially showed off to Li Bin, indicating that she did not want Weilai North America to be a research and development center for Weilai, but a separate company.Go financing yourself.In the process, more obstacles appeared in the Sino-US team communication, and Weilai’s software system was no longer completely under the control of the headquarters.Li Bin finally agreed with Wu Sili’s proposal, and Weilai North America started its independent financing.But unfortunately, things did not follow the path planned by Wu Sili. The capital pursuit she had expected did not come, and the lack of Weilai’s car as a carrier. American investors did not recognize the autonomous driving made by Weilai North America alone..In early 2018, Wu Sili failed to raise funds and had to return Weilai North America to its headquarters again.A few months later, Wu Sili’s management rights in Weilai North America ceased to exist, and she chose to resign within three months after Weilai’s IPO.In the summer of 2018, Weilai readjusted the organizational structure and reporting relationship of the North American team, appointing Yi Gaitian, who was once the vice president and chief information officer of Tesla, as the managing director, chief information officer and global of Weilai’s North American office.Vice President of Digital Development and Operations, reporting to Li Bin.Although this matter was finally resolved, it also delayed precious months of time.If ES8 had the stability of software operation at the beginning of delivery, then the early negative information could be avoided.Wei ’s arrival in North America may remind Li Bin that when he asked Lei Jun for advice, Lei Jun asked him what his biggest challenge was. Li Bin said whether the product could meet user expectations, but Lei Jun said that the biggest challenge was team integration.When all executives’ phones rang simultaneously on July 10, 2018, the Shanghai Municipal Government and the United States Tesla Company signed a memorandum of cooperation. The Tesla factory is determined to be located in Shanghai, which means that Weilai will face direct competitors, at leastFrom the price of the new car, the two directly benchmark.When people thought the war was about to start, the two companies stepped on the same thing.On the evening of April 21, 2019, a Tesla car suddenly emitted white smoke in an underground garage in a community in Xuhui District, Shanghai, and then caught fire.That night, Huang Chendong, Weilai’s senior vice president who was informed of the incident, was very nervous and had a premonition that something might be wrong.Early the next morning, he called the director in charge of the battery and asked him to remotely check the battery safety of the owner of Weilai.In the afternoon, many executives from Weilai gathered in the office of Building 20 of Anting Headquarters in Shanghai for a monthly meeting.When everyone was discussing the work plan for May, the mobile phones of all the executives on the scene were dialed at the same time almost every second, and almost everyone knew that something must have happened, which triggered the system to automatically give all executives in the companydial number.Huang Chendong immediately picked up the phone to answer, and the other end of the phone rang: “An abnormal battery was found in XX district of Xi’an. Please ask your team to contact the relevant personnel as soon as possible to prepare for the problem.” Weilai has a background system.Safety monitoring of the battery usage of all cars. Once a battery is found to be abnormal, the system will automatically alarm and give Li Bin, Qin Lihong, all vice presidents, local city managers, front-line service personnel, etc. for the first time.Everyone makes a call at the same time. Everyone receives a call and enters a combat state within 5 minutes in order to solve the problem as soon as possible.After learning of the incident, the local team in Xi’an had arrived at the scene as soon as possible.In the early morning of the next day, Wei Lai’s three vice presidents Shen Feng, Huang Chendong and Shen Fei flew to Xi’an to communicate with the car owner and the local government, hoping to find the cause of spontaneous combustion in time to avoid similar incidents from happening again.When the cause of the accident has not been found, everyone hopes that this is just a case.On the evening of May 16th, Shen Fei, Vice President of Weilai Power Management was talking to someone in Pudong. The phone rang again. He picked it up and dialed it automatically by the system. His face suddenly changed. There was another car in Jiading, Shanghai.ES8 spontaneously ignites.Other colleagues who received the call, like him, had previously hoped that only the fluke of the case was shattered.Within 15 minutes, the frontline staff of Weilai had arrived at the scene of the incident, and Shen Fei felt that it was too late for Jiadong to be too far away from Jiading, so he understood the situation over the phone and arranged for work.In the early morning of the next day, Shen Fei drove to the scene of the accident. While passing by the high speed, Liu Huan’s “Restart” was playing in the car. He was desperate and nearly collapsed. Was this not alive?Is everything really going to start again?As he got off the highway, he finally calmed down his mood and did not want colleagues to see his fragile side.Fortunately, through analysis of the battery data of the two previous accidents, Weilai found the commonality between the two in terms of current, voltage and temperature differences, and began to predict the possibility of accidents in other batteries.Inside Weilai, there are two teams responsible for battery management. Huang Chendong’s team has 10 engineers on duty 24 hours a day. They are specifically responsible for being “prosecutors”, setting standards, and judging which batteries are normal and which owners’ batteries based on the data.There may be problems. They give Shen Fei’s team a list of batteries that may be abnormal every day. Shen’s team is responsible for being the “police”. They contact the general managers of cities around the country according to the list given by the “prosecutor” and then contact the car owners.I communicate and retrieve the abnormal battery for inspection.For a period of time after the spontaneous combustion, the engineers of Huang Chendong’s team will list a list of the batteries that are most likely to be in trouble that day. Since there is no reference precedent for predicting car battery failures worldwide, they do not haveBe assured of any problems with these batteries.However, because the list is updated daily and the workload has increased greatly, they can only hurry to contact the owners, but they still lose in this race against time, just in the process of Weilai contacting these owners to get back the battery,All Weilai executives’ phones were dialed again at the same time, and a third ES8 spontaneously ignited in Wuhan.When they went back and looked at the list of potential batteries, they found that the car was on the list of the day.On the morning of June 27, an engineer from Huang Chendong’s team submitted a list of ES8 batteries that may have hidden dangers on that day. One of the Shijiazhuang owners’ batteries ranked among the top ones. As Weilai was about to announce some batches of ES8 on that dayThe battery was recalled. Huang Chendong said that after the recall was announced in the afternoon, the cars were recalled as soon as possible.However, at almost the same time, all the senior executives from Weilai were called again. The Shijiazhuang owner ’s battery became the fourth spontaneous combustion. A few hours later, Weilai announced some batches of ES8 battery recall plans.4803 units.After this incident, many departments within Weilai conducted many reviews and reflections.Li Bin was pleased that it took two months to complete the recall of the 4803 vehicles, and it took less than one month to complete.The above person said that there was an internal meeting and some executives talked about the recall and said that it was undoubtedly unfortunate, but the only thing that made people feel a little lucky was that Weilai had used the power exchange model from the beginning.Separate the car from the battery so that the battery only needs to be replaced if the battery fails. This recall also only requires the owner to change a battery. The whole process takes only a few minutes.In the process, Weilai also trained a set of mature battery monitoring technology.Shen Fei told Tencent’s “Perspective” that on the day Weilai announced the recall, he “lied on him” and said that you need to be prepared. The recall of so many cars takes time. In order to avoid more accidents, WeiThe first time to recall the high-risk batteries, except for the Shijiazhuang accident that day, no similar situation occurred.However, the damage that the incident has brought to the Weilai brand is also obvious, and many reports have used titles such as “Weilai ES8 has spontaneously burned again”.”Every year, tens of thousands of auto-ignitions occur. If you do n’t believe you search, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Tesla have more auto-ignition accidents than Weilai. But only Weilai has made big news every time.Come in the middle of public opinion? “Said a former employee of the communication department of Weilai.During that time, many car owners or prospective car owners were also worried. Car owners who paid a deposit stated that they should wait and see. They did not worry about the accident itself. After all, almost all brands had car spontaneous combustion accidents. They were afraid that Weilai would reduce the negative impact.Announcing the cause of the accident, or shirking responsibility like some foreign brands, ultimately leaves nothing to be desired.Fortunately, Weilai’s final treatment approach has made the owner group see sincerity.Li Bin stated in an open letter at the time that this situation was very self-blame and sad, and replacing battery packs to eliminate hidden safety hazards was the most costly method, but it was the most reassuring way for Weilai.A person working near Li Bin told Tencent’s “Perspective” that it scared Li Bin from the beginning. During that time, he was almost sleepless, apparently anxious, if it was because of Weilai, But brought a huge disaster to the owner, which is contrary to Li Bin’s original intention to start a business.”Until he really found the reason and announced the recall, he finally breathed a sigh of relief.” In the five years since the establishment of the “two” Weilai Weilai, an incredible thing has happened that it is no longer in the hands of anyoneThe ground was split into two extremes by public opinion.The Weilai you see from the circle of friends should be a company that continuously burns money, has troubles, is unreliable and even dying; and you see Weilai in the eyes of the owner from the Weilai App, but it is a veryHonest, good service, good reputation, responsible and responsible company.In short, two completely opposite “Wei Lai” appeared on the planet.At present, Weilai has delivered nearly 30,000 cars, and has established its own two strong axes-service and word of mouth among the owner group.During the time when the ES8 spontaneously ignited, some interested car owners were frightened and afraid to place orders.However, the existing car owners’ approval of this company has not changed much, because they are more concerned about Weilai’s coping and handling attitude towards this matter than the incident itself, especially compared to the self-igniting Tesla on the same day.In a haughty response, Weilai did have a lot of sincerity to deal with.Tesla’s “4.21” spontaneous combustion accident, which has also received attention from the outside world, as the fourth spontaneous combustion of the Model S within two months worldwide, has not attracted enough official attention.Tesla issued a statement on June 28 stating that there are no system defects, which are individual accidents, caused by a single battery module failure at the front of the vehicle.It is worth noting that Tesla mentioned that the over-the-air update of the charging and thermal management system has taken measures to limit the battery capacity of the vehicle.On July 31, 2019, three months after the Weifang ignition event occurred, the authoritative quality inspection agency JD Power released a study on China’s new energy vehicle experience. Weilai surpassed BMW to become the first place in the quality of new energy vehicles. This is based onConclusions from 30 provinces, 21 brands, 41 models, and 2770 respondents.In addition, Weilai ES8 has also become the first place in the quality of large and medium-sized pure electric vehicles.Shen Wei, Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Quality Management Committee of Weilai, was invited to JDPower to receive the award. At the scene, he met several old friends in the automotive industry. One of his colleagues said that Weilai has set an extreme benchmark in service.This puts a lot of pressure on other manufacturers. Once Weilai becomes bigger, what should other manufacturers do?”Everyone will compare each other. Not long ago, a Weilai ES8 collided with Mercedes-Benz GLC. How did we serve Weilai owners at that time, that Mercedes-Benz owner was dumbfounded after reading it.” Shen Feng said.Compared with traditional car companies, the biggest difference between the Weilai model is that it does not pass through intermediate dealers such as 4S shops, but directly docks with the owners. Owners who buy traditional luxury cars often encounter problems and often encounter 4S shops and car companies.In the case of delaying or kicking each other, Wei Lai is Li Bin who took the lead to serve the users in person.The owner of Guangzhou ES8, who had previously requested to withdraw from the car on Weilai App due to an operational failure, has become a super fan of Weilai because of the timely handling of customer service and the comfort of Li Bin himself.Come and regret a lot of negative reports.On November 14, 2019, the son of an ES8 owner who was just over the age of one in Shanghai was in danger of life and needed to be immediately transferred to the hospital for surgery, but he found the necessities in the ES8 car downstairs of the previous hospital when he arrived at the new hospital and was unable to walk awayTo call a friend to drive also required the other party to get the key first. It was too late, he thought that the ES8 could be licensed to Wei Lai service commissioner to drive.So he called the official Wei Lai, who soon arranged for a commissioner to drive the car to the new hospital. The commissioner put a large bag of snacks on the child’s bed, sent a message to the car owner, and left.The owner was very touched and came to the NIO App on the night of the operation to thank him publicly.It can be said that Weilai’s reputation in its owner group is built on such a small matter.Under such word of mouth, many things that seem strange to the outside world have actually happened.Since August 2019, dozens of car owners from Shanghai, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Jinan, Shenyang, Wuhan, Dongguan, Jincheng, Binzhou and other places have spent their own pockets to spend money on advertising for Weilai.On November 1st, Shanghai ES6 owner Xi Xianbo even paid for his own money, and all the taxi screens of Shanghai Johnson & Johnson Rental Co. were put on Weilai’s advertising.Watching 12,000 mobile large screens carrying Weilai advertisements walking back and forth on the street, Weilai President Qin Lihong was moved to tears: “We must have saved the Milky Way in our last life, and only repaired the best users in this life.”According to the data disclosed by Weilai in September this year, nearly half of its new users came from the recommendations of old car owners, which is ridiculously high compared to traditional car companies.Xu Mingjun, owner of a restaurant in Qingdao, invited 31 friends to test drive Weilai within 12 months after buying ES8, and 14 of them eventually bought Weilai ES8 or ES6.The car owner group’s love for Weilai is quite surprised even by its car industry counterparts.The vice president of marketing of a traditional car company told Tencent’s “Perspective” that they had in-depth research on the high activity of Weilai App and Weilai car owners’ ability to “carry goods”, and found that these two things really ca n’t learn, veryThe important reason is that the two models are different. Traditional car companies generally do not directly contact users, mainly through the intermediate link of dealers.However, even if the owner likes it, the situation that Li Bin expects to quickly increase sales by the owner ’s word of mouth has not arrived, because the voice of these owners is masked by another louder voice, which is also important for Weilai to face a dilemmathe reason.Since the delivery of Weilai ES8, the company has faced a polarized world with clear love and hatred and no middle ground.Although the car owner group has very high recognition of Weilai, many car reviewers did not recognize Weilai’s model from beginning to end. They questioned the article one after the other without interruption. They thought that Weilai’s model was not sustainable.Good service is achieved on the premise of burning money, and it is tomorrow when overdraft Weilai comes.Keystone Capital Chairman Zhang Wei said that Weilai ’s answer sheet submitted last year can only be evaluated as “failed”. There is no new energy car company in China worth investing in, because the entire vehicle industry is a company that needs to burn more than 20 billion yuan.It takes at least a decade to test the success of the industry.The real opportunity for new energy vehicle manufacturing is still in traditional vehicle companies.A former employee of the communication department of Weilai told Tencent’s “Perspective” that there are many similar evaluations of Weilai and questions about its business model, some of which are directly passed to Li Bin. He told his colleagues that as long asDoes not affect the mood of the owner, these questions are normal, the world does not owe you an understanding.The former employees of the above Weilai Communication Department said that most authoritative media are generally based on facts or data, which is considered “normal” by Li Bin, but some of the three views of Li Bin have to be refreshed from the lower limit of the media show.Already.The car has repeatedly questioned Weilai on the 38th, but many Weilai owners did not agree, and the two sides had an argument. On the 38th, Weilai publicly scolded Weilai ’s owner as a dog. Li Bin could not bear it and thought it had risen.To a personal attack, No. 38 asked for a public apology.Li Bin once had a subordinate, Liu Yue, on Yiche.com, and later became the “self-media” of the automobile self-media. He has always disapproved of Weilai’s model. He has repeatedly written articles and questioned.According to Liu Yue himself, Li Bin came out to talk with him for several hours in order to show his sincerity, but he was unmoved and the two sides broke up.In the end, because the conflict was irreconcilable, the two parties directly faced each other.During the court hearing, “Jiejie” published an article “Weilai is negotiating bankruptcy and liquidation with many law firms”, which caused widespread reprint, which directly caused some interested owners to change their purchase decisions until Weilai claimed that the other party was suspected.The crime had been reported, and the “world” had taken the initiative to delete the article.Soon after, “Jiejie” issued the article again, but did not push it, but let the article spread in the circle of friends in the form of a link.An CEO of a new car manufacturer analyzed Tencent’s “Perspective”: Li Bin originally thought that Weilai could run as fast as he could, and thought that after passing a hill, he could pass by, but he did not expect that it was because you were alone in frontThe fastest you run, you are fighting alone, all the enemy’s artillery will blast at you, so you can say that Weilai to some extent is blocking the gun for the entire electric vehicle industry.An investor from Weilai once hit Didi Express in Beijing. The driver saw a Weilai in front of him. He said that Weilai had a lot of negatives, and it was so expensive to sell. It was unreliable at first sight. The investor was helpless.I had to explain to the other party that he had been driving and the experience was very good.However, the investor’s investment in Weilai has not earned a penny so far, and is still in a trap. He said to Tencent’s “Perspective” slightly dissatisfied: “I also know Weilai’s car is good, and I knowOwners praised it very high, but why did it end up in this situation, even taxi drivers on the street felt a lot negative, shouldn’t Weilai and Li Bin also reflect on it? “It is foreseeable that the next longFor some time, the debate based on “two Weilai” will not end.The most difficult and important year. As Li Bin had expected a year ago, 2019 is indeed the most difficult year for Weilai since its establishment.Under such circumstances, Weihuai also became a mainstream, and some people even thought that the company was going to close down, but Li Bin did not think so.On the one hand, Wei started a series of “slimming” changes from the end of 2018 to save costs; on the other hand, after Li Bin invested 1 billion yuan in the early days of his business, he once again invested his money in Weilai in 2019.During this period, Weilai not only carried out layoffs, but also recruited core talents.One day in June 2019, Zhang Lei, a Silicon Valley Chinese who was then the chief architect of Huami Technology, received an invitation to join Weilai.A few days later, Zhang Lei met Li Bin and Qin Lihong at the Shanghai headquarters of Weilai. After the three of them had a deep chat, he found that the two bosses were very frank, acknowledged the dilemmas they encountered, and pointed out that these dilemmas were still under control.Among them, it is not unprepared.Zhang Lei pretended to be an intentional owner and came to Hefei Weilai Center. After experiencing ES8 and ES6, he thought that these two products were indeed very competitive among similar products.But after searching the relevant reports of Weilai on the Internet, he found that it was much more negative, so he began to hesitate again.Zhang Lei told Tencent’s “Perspective” about whether he should join Weilai. He then consulted six friends in detail. Among them were investors, Weilai insiders, former employees, and executives of a traditional automobile company.Wait.After a detailed discussion, three of them advised him to make a careful decision, and two said that they could consider it. Only the executive of this traditional car company advised him not to miss it, because Weilai is still in this wave of new car companies.Is in the first place.Two months later, Zhang Lei came to Beijing Zhongguancun Software Park, submitted his resignation to Huangmi CEO, Wang Wang, and later joined Weilai as vice president of software development.However, Li Bin faces not only the entry and exit of talents, but also the entry and exit of company funds. The number of new car owners is fast or slow.Li Bin once said in Weilai that to start a business you must be able to withstand the ultimate pressure. Now he is under the ultimate pressure. On the one hand, he needs to complete the next round of financing and on the other hand, he needs to increase car sales.With the decline of China’s new energy vehicle subsidies in June 2019, monthly sales of new energy vehicles have shown a year-on-year slump since July, and the year-on-year slump in October and November even reached more than 40%.However, in the case of almost everyone’s disappointment, Weilai completed a contrarian rise in car sales in the second half of the year.Since August, the sales of Weilai Automobile have increased month by month, and the delivery volume has reached an annual high for 4 consecutive months. It is estimated that the annual delivery volume will be nearly 20,000 units.Xia Qinghua, general manager of Weilai Shanghai City, told Tencent’s “Perspective” that if production can keep up, in fact, the delivery volume can be more, at least from the Shanghai city side, there is still a certain gap between the actual delivery and the number of new orders..Xia Qinghua explained that compared to all previous car owners who placed orders through the Weilai App and waited for production, from the second half of this year, there is a subtle change that Weilai stores are selling cars like other car companies. Many peopleAfter the test drive, I asked if I could drive away immediately, which brought Wei Lai a sweet trouble, which caused many places to even sell exhibition cars, so I had to hurry and relocate the car from other places.In other words, in the past, car owners went online to offline, first learned online, and then booked cars through the app. Going offline was only for test drive and finalization, but now many car owners get directly through offline channels.In the sales of new cars, Weilai ’s reputation in the car owner group has played a large role. Taking Shanghai as an example, more than 50% of new car sales come from recommendations from old car owners.Xia Qinghua’s team has a number of store leaders from Mercedes, Lexus, Tesla and other counterparts. These people sold cars in other luxury brands that year, and 20% to 30% of new car sales came from old car owners’ recommendations.And 50% is almost an unthinkable number.Based on such data, Xia Qinghua determined with certainty that with more and more car owners in Weilai, word of mouth effect will only get stronger and new car sales will grow faster and faster.The newly established offline store NIO Space outside NIO House in the second half of the year has been rapidly promoted, which has also helped the sales increase significantly.There are three NIO Houses in Shanghai, each covering an area of ​​1,000 square meters. There are also four NIO Spaces, each covering an area between 50 and 200 square meters, but each NIO Space brings sales and NIOHouse is almost the same.Xia Qinghua told Tencent’s “Perspective” that one day in early November, Li Bin and the general managers of cities around Weilai held a full-day meeting at the Shanghai headquarters. After the end, they invited everyone to dinner together.Li Bin told the city general managers at the dinner that with a single monthly delivery of more than 2,000 units and a monthly cash income of nearly 1 billion yuan, Weilai has become more and more a healthy company.In addition, Li Bin also said that the increase in sales will increase the confidence of the capital market in Weilai.At an internal meeting, Vice President Zhu Jiang of Weilai asked Li Bin, how did you spend the most difficult time in the past?Li Bin replied that when Yiche encountered difficulties, he gritted his teeth and carried it down. He also looked for someone to borrow money to pay his salary. At that time, there was not much money in his pocket. He could only commute to work every day..Through these remarks, Li Bin told colleagues that startups will definitely go through very difficult times.Back in August 2014, Li Bin and Qin Lihong talked late into the night in the lobby of a hotel in Beijing. Li Bin said that electric cars are a rare opportunity in China to be domestically produced high-end brands. Since this matter is so ambitious,Once he decides to do so, his personal success or failure and the risks he may encounter are no longer important.”This situation today, we have thought of it from the first day. The automotive industry is a long-distance race, do not talk about winning or losing easily in ten years.” Qin Lihong said.For Li Bin, this is a war that cannot be lost, because he knows that once Wei Lai loses, the chances of latecomers winning will only be slimmer..