Recently, a video depicting XPeng’s on-board app requiring users to adopt strange postures in order to complete its facial recognition verification, caused some negative feedback online. The event has also negatively impacted the company’s brand image that is already reeling from poor sales in February.
One user said on Weibo that an app for his XPeng in-car system asked him to use facial recognition to verify his identity after an update. However, what he didn’t expect was that it required him to use a camera on the outside of his vehicle to perform that action. This means that the user needed to point his face at the camera located at the bottom of the license plate in an awkward position in order to complete the verification.
Once the video was sent out, some netizens commented, “The product manager should be fired. If this function can be put online, it means that everyone feels that this matter has nothing to do with themselves”. Some believe that “it is actually a software adaptation problem”, “XPeng can make a QR code for the owner to scan with his mobile phone, and then face recognition can be finished with his mobile phone”.
XPeng responded on March 4 that this was because the third-party app triggered a risk control policy when the user logged in, thus requiring facial recognition. The company has removed the third-party app and apologized for the poor experience. It promised to improve the app review mechanism in its app store to provide users with an optimal interaction experience while safeguarding account and privacy security.
In September last year, when Mercedes-Benz responded to a dispute in China, it also mentioned “third-party software”. At that time, the German luxury and commercial vehicle automotive brand caused dissatisfaction among vehicle owners because of the pop-up advertisement on the central control screen. Its customer service staff responded that the advertisement was not from the vehicle’s system itself, but may have been instigated by third-party software.
XPeng delivered 6,010 new cars in February, a year-on-year decrease of 3.5%, showing a decline for the sixth consecutive month. In contrast, the sales volume of Li Auto and NIO reached 16,620 vehicles and 12,157 vehicles respectively in February, up 97.53% and 98.29% year-on-year.
Today, the new XPeng P7i has been officially unveiled and will be launched in mid-March. There is not much difference in appearance between the P7 and P7i. The upgrade points mainly lie in adding green color matching, upgrading the battery from 81 kWh to 86 kWh, but maintaining the thickness at 110 mm, and upgrading from the 820A chip to Snapdragon SA8155P. In fast charging mode, the two-wheel drive model and four-wheel drive model can support 240km and 210km of cruising range after charging for only 10 minutes. Both models can charge from 10% to 80% within 30 minutes.