A recent report analyzing the performance of auto firms in implementing new technologies into their vehicles has concluded that Mercedes-Benz, XPeng and Great Wall Motors’ WEY brand lead the Chinese market in their respective categories.
The findings were released by market research firm J.D. Power in a study that “focuses on new-vehicle owners’ perceptions of 42 in-vehicle technologies,” and “measures how effectively each automotive brand brings these technologies to market.”
Leading the luxury internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles category was Mercedes-Benz, which recently posted a 5.8% increase in China sales for the second quarter of 2021. In a tie for second place among luxury ICEs were fellow German automakers BMW and Porsche, while no Chinese firm placed among the top five in the category.
Among mass market ICE vehicles, WEY, a sub-brand operated by Hebei-based Great Wall Motors (GWM), took the highest score. Named after GWM chairman Wei Jianjun, WEY was launched in November 2016 to target China’s premium crossover and SUV market.
Finally, the mass market new energy vehicle (NEV) category in J.D. Power’s report was led by XPeng, a Guangzhou-based firm founded in 2014. The carmaker has already achieved significant success in its short history, delivering nearly 40,000 vehicles in 2021 so far, a 388% increase year-on-year. Other top performers in this increasingly competitive category were American EV maker Tesla and Beijing-based Li Auto.
The findings were calculated based on the responses of Chinese mainland consumers to surveys conducted between December 2020 and May 2021 across 70 major cities in the country.
According to J.D. Power, auto firms operating in the Chinese market have been generally cautious in their introduction of the industry’s most innovative technological features, such as mobile phone digital key functions and dynamic driving assistance.
The study also identified three car features that received the most complaints from consumers: Camera-based rear-view mirrors, remote parking functions and touch ID access. These features all received at least 16 complaints per hundred responses included in the study.
Recent years have seen a wave of Chinese technology firms including internet giant Baidu and electronics manufacturer Xiaomi jump into the burgeoning domestic NEV market. A general manager at J.D. Power Jeff Cai said, “the more competitive the field, the more automakers need to delve into user demand and user experience.”