- Under the title “What’s next?”, Aiways continues its series of interviews with experts from industry, business, and politics
- Tradition is only strong if it does not lose touch with modernity
- Above all, a brand is built with added value that brings the customer further
- A network of strong partners is the key to success
Shanghai/Munich, 4 November 2021- The second conversation partner is Florian Oberndorfer, owner of traditional Bavarian restaurant, Wirtshaus in der Au, and the festival tent, Münchner Knödelei, at Munich’s original Oktoberfest.
Florian Oberndorfer spoke to Dr Alexander Klose, Aiways’ Executive Vice President of Overseas Operations, about the need to constantly reinvent yourself if you don’t want to lose touch. To put it in his words: “Roast pork and dumplings alone are no longer enough today. You must come up with something new to keep up and to be successful.”
Is it a challenge to start from scratch with completely shuffled cards?
Florian Oberndorfer: “Of course, the past two years in particular have shown that only those who can constantly develop new can make progress. I have to stand out and offer added value, only then will I have long-term success – but I see that even more clearly with you in the automotive sector, or is that deceptive?”
Dr. Alexander Klose: “No, on the contrary. For us it is the ideal time to build our brand. With the transition to electromobility, all manufacturers are facing the same challenges. You can no longer rely on a past bonus, you must deliver in the now. So, I see certain parallels between the two of us.”
Tradition or modernity – what is more important for a Bavarian restauranteur?
Florian Oberndorfer: “The question is more: Do you stand still, or do you develop further? For me, the connection between tradition and modernity is particularly important. I want to address all customers, offer everyone something special and be the place they want to come back to.”
How do you create this connection?
Florian Oberndorfer: “You have to take developments into account and look closely at people’s needs. What do you want, what are your preferences? I listen carefully, look at a lot and develop my ideas from them.
Today we have over 400 different dumpling recipes, from classic potato dumplings to the craziest vegan creation. And the feedback from people always spurs me on to something new. Above all, it is a pleasure because I am still essentially making a traditional Bavarian dumpling, but with the ingredients I am in the present. I can still measure myself against any trend, because in the end the taste has to be convincing.”
What are the challenges of bringing the automobile into the future?
Dr. Alexander Klose: “The main thing is to meet the needs of the customers. Today this ranges from the smallest possible CO2 footprint, yet convincing range, state-of-the-art connectivity and, in the best case, still good space, high variability at a low price and low maintenance costs. Topics that were still relevant in our youth, such as horsepower or acceleration numbers, are moving more and more into the background. Also, we have noticed a delay in the age of first time drivers. You used to have your driver’s license when you were 18 and not a day later. This is fundamentally different today and you have to react to that.”
What are the best recipes for young people – is tradition out?
Florian Oberndorfer: “No, if anything tradition continues to be valued today. Above all, it is perceived much more consciously. Today, for example, young people in traditional costumes are sitting in my restaurant eating vegetarian risotto. Tradition does not necessarily mean old-fashioned, but it needs the transition into the new generation.”
Dr. Alexander Klose: “Exactly the same applies to us. Of course, we are a car manufacturer, we are building a vehicle which has been in production for many decades. But it is completely a new thought and created for a completely new generation.”
Where are the advantages of the new ‘traditional modernity’?
Florian Oberndorfer: “It creates a different awareness of things. Today we are certified organic, operate sustainably and have created our own product world. From dumplings to lemonade and coffee. And we’re not going to stop there, but instead offer our customers more and more. We offer them something unique and thus create added value. And of course, a reason to come back to us.”
Dr. Alexander Klose: “We’re even going one step further. Because on the one hand it is of course an advantage for us that a large part of the Aiways team has decades of experience in automobile construction. On the other hand, we live the start-up mentality of a young and agile team to the full. In this way, we can create innovations and bring them into series production much faster than a conventional manufacturer could. An essential part of this philosophy is the seamless cooperation with partners.
“Where a partner has already developed the optimal solution, we can simply take it over. One example is the fact that we do not have our own navigation software in our cars. The customer’s smartphone is the perfect navigator, it’s always with you and always up to date. There is nothing that can be improved. The same goes for sales and customer service. Here, too, we have strong partners with a close-knit network who offer our customers a more perfect service than we, as a young company, could ever do.”
So, the modern world of dumpling and automobile manufacturing are not that alien to each other?
Florian Oberndorfer and Dr. Alexander Klose in unison: “No, apparently really not. The needs and demands have become more complex, and this is exactly where the appeal lies. Standing still is a step backwards, especially if you come from tradition. ”
High resolution images can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-KXVxMf2Nfk
Founded in 2017, Aiways is a Shanghai-based personal mobility provider with its European HQ in Munich, Germany. It was the first Chinese startup to introduce an electric vehicle to the European market with the launch of the U5 in 2020 – a battery-electric SUV with impressive range, style, and quality. Aiways continues its expansion in Europe and beyond: order books are open in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Israel – with more markets to follow. The U5 is produced at Aiways smart production facility in Shangrao – one of the most modern car production facilities in China. With an initial production capacity of 150,000 units per annum, Aiways can increase this number to 300,000 units when global EV demand rises. Aiways’ next model for Europe will be the U6 electric coupé. With a focus on class-leading aerodynamics, intelligent technology, and sporty design, the U6 investigates the exciting future of the Aiways brand.
You can find all Aiways press releases and press kits, as well as a wide selection of high resolution, downloadable photographs, and video footage on the media website: http://media.ai-ways.eu/.
Aiways media contacts
Bernd Abel, Aiways Automobile Europe GmbH
James Parsons, PFPR Communications
+44 (0)7725 257792