- Under the title ‘What’s next?’, Aiways begins series of multimedia interviews with interlocutors from industry, business and politics
- Digital disruption of the electromobility era will change relationships between automakers, dealers and customers
- A car that only needs to be serviced every 100,000 kilometers no longer needs a dealership in the traditional sense
- Thanks to new sales channels, customers are offered more flexible options than ever before
Shanghai / Munich, September 21st, 2021 – Under the title ‘What’s next?’, Aiways is launching a series of multimedia interviews with interlocutors from industry, business and politics.
In the first interview, Aiways’ Executive Vice President of Overseas Operations, Dr. Alexander Klose, spoke with Olaf Liu, General Manager of YesAuto in Germany. The conversation highlighted the evolving relationship between automakers, dealers and customers – a topic that was explored during the YesAuto conference at the IAA Mobility 2021 show in Munich.
The sales specialist Olaf Liu has lived in Beijing, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf and Munich. “There are fewer differences between these places than you might think,” he says. “One thing, however, is that people in China are quicker to try new things.
“I experience it anew each year when I return home – I need a day to get up-to-date with the latest apps. How to pay for things; what do you stream with; are there new messenger services? The momentum in China is impressive, and that is exactly what we are using for our YesAuto sales channel,” he adds.
A digital presentation enables customers to have more comprehensive initial contact with the products. What are the other advantages of virtual sales platforms?
“In traditional retail, where the customer doesn’t have a choice of different brands, virtual sales platforms allow you to demonstrate more things. This is a clear benefit, especially with regard to electromobility, which requires much more explanation than classic combustion engines. Nowadays, the possibilities are far more diverse than just presenting technical data. Virtual 3D configurators can display the vehicle according to the customer’s exact requirements, and it does not matter whether they are viewed at home on a desktop, laptop or smartphone. These tools offer customers a comprehensive user experience wherever they are,” Liu continues.
In Europe, Aiways relies on partners who, like Euronics in Germany, for example, have no automotive background – what are the advantages here, Dr. Klose?
“Aiways operates in more than 50 German locations, with Euronics actively selling our vehicles, and that is particularly important when it comes to the second contact – a customer gets information online but typically then wants to experience the car in real life. Our Aiways U5 is clearly aimed at first-time buyers, so for the majority of customers, it is their first contact with a battery-electric vehicle. Many have simple questions that can only be explained in a direct conversation with a salesperson.
“It is important for us to give our customers this opportunity, and after our first year of sales, we have seen that the combination of an online and a physical presence is extremely well received and appreciated by our customers. At the same time, however, we aim to ensure that the next decision to buy a vehicle is made with us via online sales,” explains Dr. Klose.
Isn’t the ability to negotiate lost with digital sales channels? How do you convince the customers of the fixed prices in the online offer?
Dr. Klose adds: “No, nothing is lost. On the contrary, we convince the customer with transparency. Our vehicles cost the same to everyone. This is a major advantage over classic dealership sales. No customer feels disadvantaged. That creates trust.
“Trust is the right keyword. And in contrast to classic discounts, we offer our customers other incentives that can be used much more sensibly – because they have already received the best price. We use extra services here, for example, which the customer receives in the form of special offers,” says Dr. Klose.
Servicing cannot be delivered digitally. You have partnered with A.T.U for servicing; what do you see as advantages for this?
“We have two advantages on our side. On the one hand, our Aiways U5 only needs to be inspected every 100,000 kilometers. Based on the normal ownership cycle in Germany, the customer will never have to go to a workshop. Should there ever be a problem, we have partnered with A.T.U. at over 500 locations. With this choice of aftersales locations, we beat the dealer network of all our competitors. We, therefore, offer the customer the greatest possible comfort.”
Digital disruption is a powerful term, but the past and recent present have shown that ‘online’ does not always bring advantages in terms of sales. Where do you still see room for improvement?
“Not all customers are ready for online only, but it allows us to build trust. As mentioned, we create trust with our selected trading partners, but also with our well-known service partner. Of course, we also convince people with our product. ‘Made in China’ has become a quality term in recent years. Think of consumer electronics, your smartphone or other gadgets that you use every day. It is very likely that they came from a production facility in China. With high-quality products such as our Aiways U5, we clearly show customers what is possible today in terms of price-performance. We are very proud of this heritage and look forward to being able to take this path with our partner,”. Klose concludes.
High resolution images can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-hwWpFdJp17
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