At the 27th Automobil-Elektronik Kongress (AEK), the Asian vehicle manufacturers Vinfast and NIO presented their concepts with which they hope to win the hearts (and wallets) of Europeans. Vinfast's strategy is comparatively conventional. The company is the automotive arm of a broad-based conglomerate whose activities range from healthcare to urban development to AI. It is fair to consider Vinfast a startup company, founded only in 2017, it unveiled its first car just a year later. Vinfast is maintaining that pace. "We were the first carmaker to completely get out of making internal combustion cars," says Bui Kim Thuy, the company's deputy CEO. Now Vinfast wants to gain a foothold in the European market with its electric cars – and in the premium segment right away. The Vietnamese have already established themselves in North America, with plans for production in North Carolina. For the electronics, Vinfast has secured partners such as ZF, Nvidia and Infineon. As a unique selling point, Vinfast wants to shine with a combination of state-of-the-art technology at affordable prices and a generous warranty: ten years or 200,000 km – a truly unique selling point in today's automotive landscape.
EVs also in/from China
The strategy of the Chinese EV manufacturer NIO, which also wants to conquer the European markets soon, is completely different. In its home market, NIO offers its automotive customers far more than just vehicles – instead, NIO wants to establish itself as an attitude to life, as a brand that connects people. To this end, the Chinese operate so-called NIO Houses – meeting places where customers can network with each other and spend their free time; the NIO Houses offer lounges, cafés, even library rooms. NIO also emphasizes togetherness among its clientele in other ways – an app that allows customers to network with each other has more than 300,000 users, according to NIO member Feng Shen.
Save the date: 28th Automobil-Elektronik Kongress
On June 18 - 19, 2024 the International Automobil-Elektronik Kongress in Ludwigsburg will take place for the 28th time. For many years, this networking conference has already been the meeting place for the top decision makers in the electrical/electronics sector; now it additionally brings together the automotive executives and the relevant high-level managers of the tech industry in order to jointly enable the holistic customer experience which is needed for the vehicles of the future. Despite this heavily increasing internationalisation, the Automobil-Elektronik Kongress is still characterized by the attendees to be a kind of “automotive family reunion”.
Secure your Conference Ticket(s) for the 28th Automobil-Elektronik Kongress (AEK) in 2024! Remember that the event has always been sold out for many years. Also, follow AEK's LinkedIn and check out #AEK_live.
While the persuasiveness of this concept may be rather uncertain for European customers, NIO’s is also showing a spirit of ambition and innovation in the area of technology. According to Shen, the company owns over 6700 patents with focus on electric mobility. Its vehicles are already powered by the third generation of traction systems, and the vehicles are also running the third-generation software. NIO could also score points with customers in Europe with a unique technical feature: The batteries are replaceable. Instead of hanging around for hours at the charging station like conventional BEVs, the NIO batteries can be exchanged for a full one within a few minutes at fully automatic exchange stations. The first swap stations are already in operation in Germany.