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Baidu builds a car and wants to make a 'Geely'

by:Yisheng      2021-06-08

China Automotive News, January 13th. The business transformation of the Internet giants, car building seems to have become 'standard equipment.'

Over there, Apple and Hyundai are 'linking up'; and in China, Alibaba and SAIC took the lead in using tens of billions of funds to 'birth' Zhiji cars; Huawei will not build cars within three years, but There were also many 'little actions' in the Changan and Ningde eras in private.

As one of BAT, Baidu finally put down his body after pushing Apollo for a long time and entered the demonstration car by himself.

Baidu recently formed a joint venture with Geely, Baidu Automobile, to enter the automotive industry as a vehicle manufacturer.

It is not uncommon for Internet giants to participate in the hot new car war. Not only Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, and Meituan have almost all related capital arrangements. However, Baidu was the first among Internet giants to invest in the establishment of an automaker.

Walking on 'Two Legs'

Compared with Huawei's only role as a supplier in three years, compared with research on low-cost lidar and automotive parts, Baidu directly entered the market with the OEM to build the whole vehicle, which is simply to roll up the sleeves and go on the Internet. The brand changed from a participant to a vehicle manufacturer.

Actually, as we all know, Baidu is a very early player in the field of smart cars. In 2016, it obtained an unmanned driving license in California, becoming the 15th company in the world to obtain an unmanned driving test license. The Apollo plan has made Baidu famous in the field of autonomous driving.

After that, Baidu began to cooperate frequently with domestic car companies, and jointly released L4 autonomous driving models with FAW Group; and Geely Holdings launched a comprehensive strategy in the fields of automotive and travel on AI technologies such as intelligent networking and intelligent driving. Cooperation; In 2020, it will contact Baidu and Weimar Motors to explore the details of technical system cooperation. So far, Baidu has cooperated with more than 70 auto companies with 600 models in total, covering household cars, self-driving buses, etc.

The newly established Baidu Automobile Company was initiated and led by Baidu, independent of the parent company system. Geely Holding Group is currently the only investor besides Baidu and only accounts for a small part of the joint venture. At the same time, this new company will operate independently outside the Baidu Group. Baidu Apollo's original automotive intelligence business will remain unchanged, and Baidu must grasp both.

But in fact, it is Geely that really 'builds cars'. Geely Holdings announced that the cooperation will be based on Geely's pure electric architecture-SEA Haohan architecture, which will be oriented to the passenger car market, and Integrate Baidu's core technologies such as artificial intelligence, Apollo autopilot, Xiaodu car, Baidu map, etc. The models will not conflict with Geely's existing models, and will have their own brand positioning and target markets.

On the one hand, Baidu Automobile Company is based on absolute autonomy and Baidu’s long-term accumulation in the field of automotive intelligence; on the other hand, with the strong assistance of the domestic first independent brand Geely and the SEA structure, it has solved the problem of mechanical manufacturing. problem.

Can we return to the top?

As far as Baidu is concerned, cars actually mean a little 'savior'.

Baidu’s status in China’s Internet industry is undoubtedly unquestionable. Together with Alibaba and Tencent, BAT’s status seems hard to shake. But afterwards, due to the sluggish core search business, after heavily testing the water online payment, online car-hailing, short video, live broadcast, takeaway and other industries, almost no revenue.

On the other hand, Alibaba and Tencent's businesses are getting bigger and bigger. After the market value exceeds 100 billion U.S. dollars one after another, Baidu is gradually 'lagging behind.' Due to a single business model, investors cannot see new growth points. Baidu's stock price has remained in a relatively sluggish state for a long period of time.

In the middle of last year, Baidu's market value fell to 40 billion U.S. dollars. When Meituan, Pinduoduo,, and even new car members Weilai successively surpassed it, it was not the autonomous driving business that caused the waves.

Capital is fanatical but also rational. No matter how deep Baidu's AI technology is, it will always lack imagination when it goes to the mass market without hardware as a starting point. In the past month, Baidu's share price has continued to rise by 70% because of the continuous rumors of car building.

Whether it’s Tesla, Weilai, Ideal and Xiaopeng, almost all new car-building forces at the head are working hard to build their own self-driving self-developed technology system, and all data loops are in their own Hands.

From the perspective of the business path, building a complete car can also directly implement the technical achievements of each step directly on the car. This is undoubtedly the shortest shortcut for Baidu's hard-working self-developed Apollo. This is also One of the reasons why Baidu personally stopped building the car.

In fact, looking at the so-called first wave of new forces in China, hundreds of brands only left more than ten companies such as Weilai, Ideal, and Xiaopeng. The main players are start-ups. As for the second round of car manufacturing triggered by Zhiji Automobile and Huawei Changan, we can see giants from the two major industries of automobile and technology. The electric car of the future is not a 'four-wheeled sofa that brings together technology.' '?

In any case, Baidu has entered the market, which has also knocked a question mark for every technology giant. Should I stud?

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