Honda releases a new electric vehicle model Ye in China

On April 16th, Honda China released a new electric brand – “Ye”, which will launch a total of 6 new cars by 2027. It is understood that the brand series models of “Ye” will be the first to be equipped with a new car logo, and all products will be built based on the pure electric vehicle Architecture W’s full exclusive architecture. At the press conference, Honda China brought three new cars, namely the Ye GT Concept concept car, the Ye S7, and the Ye P7. Among them, the Ye S7 and the Ye P7 will be listed within the year, and the Ye GT Concept car will be mass-produced in 2025.

To be honest, this new brand released by Honda China is still quite controversial. Not to mention the meaning behind the word “Ye”, without a little knowledge reserve, it may not be typed out, so that some bloggers said, “This name is really something that ordinary Chinese brands dare not think of.”

The overall design of the Ye GT concept car is still very advanced, but since it is still a concept car, it is unknown how many design elements will continue to the mass-produced vehicles. From the overall design, its front face adopts a through-type light belt design, which looks very technological, and the newly designed H car logo represents the logo of the Ye brand. As for the interior, the overall design looks very combative, also indicating that it is oriented towards more young consumers. The new car steering wheel, dashboard, center console, and co-pilot screen are all interpreted in the Honda style, supplemented by the red interior style, it still looks very technological.

In addition to the Ye GT concept car, the Ye P7 and the Ye S7 also made their official debut. These two models are actually sister models, which will be produced by Dongfeng Honda and Guangqi Honda respectively. From the design point of view, the Ye S7 adopts a trident-shaped LED daytime running lights, and the front face adopts a trapezoidal style design. The headlights and taillights of the Ye P7 are both designed in the C-shape, and the front of the car adopts a hexagonal large-mouth style design. In general, the Ye P7 maintains a sense of the future and is more concise, and the lines of the Ye S7 are sharper and the shape is more bold. In terms of the interior, the styles of the Ye P7 and the Ye S7 are the same as those of the Ye GT concept car, but it is closer to mass production, and it is expected that the intelligent experience in the car will be significantly improved. In terms of power, both models will provide single-motor and dual-motor options for consumers to choose from.

This time, Honda China’s release of a new electric brand is still quite unexpected. Before releasing the brand, there is hardly any excessive foreshadowing. Of course, this unexpected press conference may also bring different effects. From the current layout of Honda’s new energy, Honda has launched the e:N brand in the electric vehicle market, which is respectively produced by Dongfeng Honda and Guangqi Honda, and e:NP 1, e:NS 1, e:NP 2, and e:NS 2 will be listed in the second half of the year. At the same time, Dongfeng Honda also launched its own brand – Lingxi, and the first model, Lingxi L, will also be listed within the year. According to the plan, after 2027, all models launched by Honda in China will be hybrid models and pure electric vehicles, and no new pure fuel vehicles will be launched. By 2035, Honda China will achieve a 100% share of pure electric vehicle sales. This full electrification goal is 5 years earlier than Honda’s expected global realization time.

Although Honda’s electricization strategy in the Chinese market is very aggressive, its current achievements are particularly ordinary. Currently, Honda has produced two pure electric vehicles, e:NS 1 and e:NP 1, in China. The two models are sister models. The former is produced by Dongfeng Honda and the latter is produced by Guangqi Honda, and they are positioned as small pure electric SUVs. However, since the two models were listed, the sales have been continuously sluggish. In 2023, the sales of e:NS 1 were 10,562 vehicles, and the sales of e:NP 1 were 4,502 vehicles.

Honda’s situation in the Chinese market is far more arduous than imagined. Fuel vehicles are increasingly difficult to sell, and electric vehicles are difficult to become great. It is understood that after reaching the peak sales of 1.627 million vehicles in 2020, Honda China has turned sharply down, and the sales have continued to decline for three consecutive years. In the first quarter of this year, Honda China’s sales were 206,900 vehicles, a year-on-year decrease of 6.11%. Among them, Guangqi Honda decreased by 8.11% year-on-year, and Dongfeng Honda decreased by 3.80% year-on-year.

In the new energy era, the consumer environment in China has changed. A distinct feature is that the main group of car buyers is gradually getting younger. From the market point of view, the style of Japanese brands is relatively conservative, and the domestic independent brands that are hatched in the fierce competition often launch personalized and bold designs to strive for differentiation, which is more in line with the vehicle needs of the youth group. After the year of the dragon, following BYD’s price reduction, models such as Accord, Crown Road, and INTEGRA under the Honda brand also began to reduce prices to stimulate consumer desire. However, consumers as a whole do not buy it, and consumers are still more willing to choose independent brands or new energy vehicles. The cold wave and the spring are still in a tangle, and the new war is continuing. From the perspective of the present, the independent brands have taken a lead, and as an internationally renowned automotive brand, how Honda can hold the Chinese market also requires deep thinking within Honda.

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