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      Automotive parts, value chain flowing to China
      Source: | Author:Tencent | Published time: 2021-12-21 | 153 Views | Share:

      Cars are one of the most complex and precise industrial products in human history.

      From the engine, gearbox, axles and body to the screws and nuts, the production of a car requires thousands of different components. These thousands of components are ultimately combined into a complete car, with consumers paying for the value.

      It can be said that the advantages and disadvantages of the automotive industry represent the strength of a country's industrial strength, and the automotive parts industry is the most important component, occupying a huge proportion in the entire value chain.

      With the continuous integration of electric vehicles and intelligent technology, cars are gradually transforming into a new intelligent terminal. Chips, sensors, AI artificial intelligence, cloud computing... High precision and cutting-edge technologies are constantly being used to "arm" intelligent cars, and the connotation and extension of automotive accessories are rapidly expanding.

      Although China has become the world's largest producer and seller of new energy vehicles, it is regrettable that China's automotive parts industry is even more vulnerable than complete vehicles.

      Generally speaking, the output value of the automotive parts industry in developed countries can often reach 1.7:1 compared to the whole vehicle, while in China it is only around 1:1. In other words, China's automotive core components heavily rely on imports and have long been the second largest industrial product imported by the country, second only to integrated circuits.

      However, the historical opportunity for overtaking on curves has arrived. With the rapid rise of independent car companies and new energy vehicles, the automotive parts industry chain is gradually flowing into China. The transformation of electrification and intelligence in automobiles is slowly unfolding a new historical drama.

      The industrial pattern originally controlled by Europe, America, and Japan is being reshaped in the new industrial environment. As one of the most important pillar industries of the global economy, the industrial value of automotive parts is rapidly flowing to China.


      Unequal industrial status

      Most of the revenue of Chinese automotive companies is used to purchase components produced overseas.

      China's automotive parts and vehicle industry has long been in a state of unequal status. The ratio of parts to vehicles in China is 1:1, while developed countries in Europe, America, and Japan can usually reach 1.7:1. Moreover, the proportion of Chinese domestic brand vehicles using domestic brand components is less than 50%.

      That is to say, a large portion of the revenue of Chinese automotive companies is used to purchase components produced overseas.

      In the 2021 Global Top 100 Automotive Parts Suppliers list released by Automotive News, a total of 9 Chinese companies were on the list. If we include Weichai Power, Huayu Automobile, and Fuyao Glass that were not included in the list, a total of 12 companies were shortlisted. But there is not a single Chinese company in the top ten, and Nippon Virtue occupies 64 out of the top 100.


      Bosch, ZF, mainland China from Germany, Denso from Japan, Magna from Canada, Delphi from the United States, and others have long been at the top of the automotive parts industry, leading the development direction of the global parts industry with their every move.

      China has become the world's largest producer and seller of automobiles and new energy vehicles, but core components are still subject to human control. The core technologies of key components such as automotive electronic control still cannot be independently developed, and some upstream basic industries still rely on imports for key raw materials, components, equipment, etc.

      In the five core components of automobiles - engine, chassis, body, gearbox, and electrical equipment - Chinese companies are still striving to catch up. The engine used to heavily rely on Mitsubishi; In the field of electronic control, Infineon and Bosch dominate the market; The gearbox is controlled by companies such as Aisin and ZF; Bosch, Delphi, and Denso have almost monopolized all of the Chinese electronic fuel injection market share.

      So, both in terms of scale and technology, there is still huge room for improvement in China's automotive parts enterprises. The explosion of new energy vehicles has provided a huge stage for the rise of Chinese enterprises.


      The returning industry chain

      The strong and high-volume new energy vehicle market provides a huge stage for the automotive parts industry, and related manufacturing industries are accelerating their return to China.

      Since 2009, China has surpassed the United States to become the world's largest automotive consumer market. In 2020, China remained the largest contributor to the global automotive industry, accounting for over 32% of sales, with the United States in second place accounting for approximately 19%.


      In the booming field of new energy vehicles, China's market position is more prominent and can be said to be the absolute mainstay of the global new energy vehicle consumption market.

      In 2020, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China were 1.366 million and 1.367 million respectively, a year-on-year increase of 7.5% and 10.9%, accounting for 42.19% of global new energy vehicle sales.

      Since the beginning of this year, China's new energy vehicle industry has surged significantly, continuously exceeding expectations. In the first 10 months, the production and sales of new energy vehicles reached 2.566 million and 2.542 million respectively, a significant increase of 1.8 times year-on-year.


      According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the sales volume of new energy passenger vehicles in October this year was 379000 units, with a market penetration rate of 18.2%. This number is very close to the target of "20% sales of new energy vehicles by 2025" in the plan.

      BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu's prediction is even more radical: sales of new energy vehicles in the Chinese market are expected to exceed 3.3 million units this year, and by the end of next year, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China will exceed 35%.

      The strong and high-volume new energy vehicle market provides a huge stage for the automotive parts industry, and related manufacturing industries are accelerating their return to China.

      Behind this, new energy vehicle companies have played a huge driving force. Tesla's establishment and large-scale production in China have also ignited the performance of related suppliers.

      In July 2018, Tesla's China factory officially settled in Shanghai, and the first batch of domestically produced Model 3 began delivery in January 2020. It is reported that one of the requirements for settling in Shanghai is the localization of the entire industry chain. Currently, the localization rate of Tesla Model 3 components is close to 90%.

      Prior to this, Model 3 suppliers produced in the United States were mainly foreign-funded. After the construction of the Shanghai factory, multiple enterprises such as Junsheng Electronics, Huayu Automobile, Topp Group, Sanhua Intelligent Control, and Xusheng Co., Ltd. entered the Model 3 supply chain, with a significant increase in value.

      Xusheng Co., Ltd. (SH: 603305) is a typical case, and Tesla has been its largest customer for many years. In 2020, Tesla's contribution was over 43%.

      By binding with Tesla, its performance has steadily increased, with revenue nearly doubling in 5 years. In the first three quarters of this year, its revenue grew by over 80%, and its net profit attributable to shareholders increased by over 43% year-on-year. In addition, Xusheng has also entered the supply chains of ZF and Polaris.

      The Topper Group, which provides lightweight solutions for automobiles, has just been involved in the recall of the Model Y model, but it also highlights its importance in the Tesla industry chain from another perspective. In addition, its pickup truck lightweight chassis system is also installed on RIVIAN's products, with a single bike price exceeding 11000 yuan.

      With the advent of the era of intelligent electric vehicles, the related new component industry chain is growing rapidly.

      At the same time, Desai Xiwei also has deep cooperation with chip and artificial intelligence companies such as Baidu, Nvidia, Huawei, etc., to jointly promote the popularization of intelligent driving technology. It can be said that this company is one of the representatives of electric vehicles entering the intelligent era and the rise of Chinese automotive parts enterprises.

      Currently, automotive intelligent chips are still firmly held in the hands of European and American companies such as Qualcomm, Nvidia, Mobileye, and Serenius. The joint operation of Desai Xiwei, Huawei, Baidu, and domestic vehicles is also expected to achieve domestic substitution in the field of intelligent driving.


      The Industrial Logic of Value Return

      In the new era of car manufacturing, the "whole zero relationship" is being reshaped.

      The strength of the automotive parts industry in Europe, America, and Japan is based on its industrial heritage of over a hundred years, and even the core wealth pool of the entire industry. It is not realistic to keep pace and even achieve anti overtaking in a short period of time.

      Although independent car companies such as Great Wall, Chery, and Changan have been striving to catch up, the gap in core automotive technologies such as engines and transmissions is still very obvious

      The explosion of electric vehicles has provided a new track for anti overtaking. The reason is that there is a huge difference in the core components between traditional cars and electric vehicles.


      The most obvious difference lies in the power system, where the battery, motor, and electronic control form the "power center" of electric vehicles, replacing the traditional fuel power system of cars, and their value accounts for nearly 70%.

      Unlike gasoline powered car engines, China is in a leading position in the field of power batteries. In the first three quarters of this year, 5 out of the top 10 global power battery installation companies were from China, accounting for half of the country.

      Moreover, Chinese companies are accelerating the introduction of world-class vehicle manufacturers, and CATL has entered the supply chains of Volkswagen, Tesla, Toyota, and others; Public Marriage Guoxuan High Tech; Yiwei Lithium Energy has made a large layout of 4680 large cylindrical batteries and entered the Daimler supply chain.

      The power battery industry chain is extremely vast, with Chinese enterprises as the main upstream sector. Among the four major materials, Enjie Co., Ltd. is the world's largest wet separator leader in lithium batteries; Tianci Materials is the world's largest electrolyte manufacturer; Betray is the world's largest supplier of lithium battery negative electrode materials; Shanshan and BASF are strategically collaborating, targeting the world's largest supplier of lithium battery cathode materials.

      In the field of motors and electronic control, Chinese enterprises have long lacked competitiveness, with 90% of the electronic control sector relying on imports. For example, as the second largest component after batteries, IGBT chips currently dominate 90% of the domestic new energy vehicle market, except for BYD using its own IGBT.

      Currently, domestic enterprises are still striving to catch up. BYD Semiconductor and STAR Semiconductor rank second or third in China, while Zhuzhou Times and Shilan Micro have started to make efforts.

      In terms of motors, Wolong Electric Drive and ZF have established a joint venture drive motor company, entering the supply chain of mainstream European car companies such as Mercedes Benz.

      Secondly, in the new era of car manufacturing, the "whole zero relationship" is being reshaped. Unlike the Tier 1 and Tier 2 models, in the new era of car manufacturing, vehicle manufacturers and component companies have entered a Tier 0.5 level cooperation era.


      The relationship between automotive companies such as Tesla, NIO, Xiaopeng, and Ideal and supply chain enterprises is flatter and faster. For example, Tesla only requires 6 months for component certification, while traditional OEMs require 18-24 months. Rapid response, greater cost-effectiveness, and scalable system integration capabilities all provide opportunities for independent suppliers to rise.

      Finally, in the era of fuel powered vehicles, joint ventures occupy a dominant position in the market. If component manufacturers want to become suppliers of joint venture brands, they need to consider the discourse power of the joint venture party. However, in the era of electric vehicles, the advantage of independent brands is obvious, and this problem obviously does not exist.


      Write at the end

      The automotive industry has ushered in a historic upheaval, with new energy vehicles replacing gasoline powered vehicles in a spectacular manner. Behind the prosperity of the entire vehicle market, the order of the parts industry is also being synchronously reshaped.

      A person in charge of Dongfeng Nissan once said, "Without Chinese components, pure electric vehicles cannot be produced," which shows the importance of the Chinese industrial chain to the global new energy vehicle industry.

      The skyrocketing sales and sustained penetration rates have provided fertile soil for the rise of China's parts industry. The new features of intelligence and networking provide a great opportunity for Chinese automotive parts companies to overtake on curves. The return of wealth on the industrial chain is of great significance for the growth of the Chinese economy.

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