Easy to build, another issue to sell
January 11, 2013 in Editorial
That basically sums up the reactions from auto-specialists regarding the leaked information about NEVS estimated production figures. And they are absolutely right, yet one interesting fact remains a big mystery, how will NEVS products in China and the rest of the world be received?
After having read tons of articles about auto-sales in China and for the rest of the world it feels that these auto-experts have one thing in common, they all know very little about the Chinese market other than statistics and sales figures. But very few of them have a good grasp on what the Chinese driver wants. Since China right now is the big market actually responsible for some auto brands survival that one market is oh so important.
So who can sell cars to Chinese? well the answer is obvious, Chinese of course and having a very good sales organization in that important country is thus extremely vital for success. Volvo recently sacked most of its marketing and sales organization in China for failing to meet sales targets. Volvo is now trying out a completely new approach in China with brand new people running the show and I have to applaud Volvo’s choice in doing so. One can not grasp on to one single way of doing things and just expect things to work out.
NEVS I feel does not have the privilege of trying more than once. They need to get things right from the start and given NEVS employees huge experience with making business in Asia I truly think that they know whats needed to pull things off.
Government sales is of course so important and the recently created relationship with a province is a very good first step and that need also to be developed into officials driving the cars developed and built by NEVS. If that happens then the brand can establish itself in away that inspires comfort to the private customers as well developing into increased sales.
So what about sales in the rest of the world, well of course the lack of dealerships is something we feel is a big issue as customers. But after talking to a number of dealers that I know who now have moved on to other brands, most of them are more than willing to pick up the Saab brand again, these guys did after all devote their sole and heart to the Saab brand once and deep inside them, that loyalty towards Saab still beats.
Even signs of electric cars being a potential success is starting to show up in different places over the world. I recently visited Ikea in Älmhult, Sweden. The birthplace of the company and what did I see outside, a whole row of parking positions with charging poles and even though most of those spaces were occupied by normal ICE cars, I could actually spot two Nissan Leaf’s being charged while their owners were “wasting” money.
I spent new years eve on Gran Canaria and the airport is right now undergoing a big renovation and when stepping out of the crew bus I had a look at the new parking-area recently finished, a lot of them had charging poles fitted as standard.
These are of course two very small signs but availability of “fuel” is the one thing that determines sales of environmental friendly cars. This was very true of E85 once it was introduced. If the government in Sweden had not forced all service stations selling more than a certain quantity of fuel per year to introduce at least one environmental friendly option, E85 would never have become a hit in Sweden. Ever since E85 was introduce in Sweden the sales figures have increased by 3-5% every year…
After many hours of conversations with NEVS executives and staff I know that NEVS have done their homework, now we’re seeing that NEVS have the ability to establish partnerships, what they need to prove now is that they can create a marketing and sales department who can learn exactly what kind of product the customers (we) need and want which can comply with future environmental and safety regulations…