Feifan Auto responds to the rumor of layoffs!

March 16, the official of Feifan Auto, a new energy vehicle brand under SAIC Motor, clarified the recent highly discussed rumor of layoffs on the internet. Feifan Auto posted that “There are some untrue rumors about Feifan Auto on the internet recently, which makes everyone worried. Feifan Auto is doing well, please rest assured, and thank you all for your concern.”

It is understood that the matter is like this: Previously, some media reported that in order to reduce costs and adjust the brand, SAIC Motor has begun to implement layoffs, among which, the layoff scale of Feifan brand is expected to reach more than 70%, and the high-level smart driving team will also face overall layoffs. Even if they are not laid off in this round, Feifan employees are likely to face a salary reduction. In addition, it was reported that SAIC Passenger Vehicle will fully merge with Feifan Auto.

In response, Feifan Auto pointed out in this response: “On the premise of ensuring independent operation, we will further deepen the ‘light asset’ strategy, strengthen the synergy with the relevant superior resources of SAIC Motor, optimize business functions, focus on user-related core businesses, and improve the overall operational efficiency to respond to market changes.” In addition, Feifan Auto also admitted: “In 2024, the competition in the Chinese electric vehicle market will become increasingly fierce. All automobile brands are undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Feifan Auto in the midst of change needs stronger strategic determination and flexibility to respond to market changes. Only by constantly innovating, effectively controlling costs, precisely grasping market demand, and creating more value for users can we remain invincible.” At the same time, Feifan Auto will continue to maintain the established product layout and business rhythm, increase investment, and continuously and stably promote the landing of products and services.

Feifan Auto is a new energy vehicle brand under SAIC Motor. Its predecessor was the “R brand” launched by SAIC Passenger Vehicle. In May 2020, SAIC Roewe use the “R logo” and the “new lion logo” double-logo strategy, and released a number of new cars. However, the new R logo is different from Roewe, which has a lower positioning. The new R logo is the exclusive logo of high-end new energy vehicles. After the release of the R brand, it has successively launched the ER6 and MARVEL R models, but both are models under the Roewe brand. As the responsibility of brand elevation, the official set its 2021 sales target at around 20,000 vehicles, but the sales of the R brand in that year were only more than 18,000 vehicles, and the volume of the two models in China is not high.

In October 2021, SAIC Motor issued an announcement to invest in the establishment of Feifan Automobile Technology Co., Ltd., to enter the mid-to-high-end smart electric vehicle market. The company is jointly owned by Shanghai Automotive Group Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Ruyuan Automotive Technology Partnership (Limited Partnership), with the shareholding ratios of both parties being 95% and 5% respectively.

After the establishment of Feifan Auto, the original R brand of SAIC Passenger Vehicle Branch was operated by Feifan Auto in the form of an independent company in the market, and formed a “twin star” with the high-end smart pure electric brand of the same group – Zhiji Automobile to impact the new energy market. The original ER6 and MARVEL R models were also changed to Feifan ER6 and Feifan MARVEL R, but both models have been discontinued. Since then, Feifan Auto has launched a mid-sized sedan, Feifan F7, and a mid-sized SUV, Feifan R7, in 2022 and 2023 respectively, but the market performance of the two cars is not ideal. Taking the 2023 retail data as an example, the cumulative sales of Feifan F7 is 14,092 vehicles, while that of Feifan R7 is 6,902 vehicles.

Retail data shows that in 2023, the cumulative sales of Feifan Auto was 21,416 vehicles, an increase of 47.37% compared to 14,532 vehicles in 2022. It should be noted that as a brand for SAIC Motor to impact the high-end new energy market, SAIC Motor has high expectations for it. According to the plan, at least 5 new models will be launched by Feifan Auto during 2022-2025, covering sedans, SUVs, MPVs, etc., and achieving at least 100% growth in sales every year. Obviously, Feifan Auto failed to achieve the goal of 100% growth every year as scheduled.

According to the plan, a new model will be launched by Feifan Auto in the middle of this year, and a dealer conference will be held on March 28. The overall planning will be communicated with dealers and partners at the meeting. How Feifan Auto will develop in the future, autotimes will also continue to pay attention.

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