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本文摘要:From Fisker to Coda, the car industry is littered with failed start-ups. Qoros is hoping to avoid the same fate.从菲斯科(Fisker)到Coda,汽车业倒地了成片的初创企业。

From Fisker to Coda, the car industry is littered with failed start-ups. Qoros is hoping to avoid the same fate.从菲斯科(Fisker)到Coda,汽车业倒地了成片的初创企业。观致汽车(QOROS)于是以期望防止这样的命运。The Sino-Israeli carmaker made waves when it launched its first car in 2013 with ambitions to simultaneously crack China, the world’s biggest vehicle market, and Europe, one of the most competitive.2013年,这家中国和以色列合资的汽车制造商公布了第一款汽车,雄心勃勃地想同时打进中国和欧洲——前者是世界仅次于的汽车市场,后者是世界竞争最白热化的市场之一——这在当时引发了震撼。

Since then, it has ejected its chief executive, rung up dismal sales and faced questions from several analysts about its financial viability. Those dreams of being a globally renowned car brand seem more distant than ever and the company’s travails highlight the challenges facing new entrants in the capital-intensive car industry.后来,观致首席执行官换人,销售业绩惨淡,多名分析师也对其财务生存能力明确提出批评。沦为全球著名汽车品牌的梦想看起来更为遥不可及了。

这家企业的伤痛经历凸显,在资本密集型的汽车行业,新的转入者面对着极大挑战。“Nobody knows who Qoros is,” admits Phil Murtaugh, a former China specialist at General Motors who ran electric-car maker Coda before taking over at Qoros in February.原本在通用汽车(GM)的“中国通”墨斐(Phil Murtaugh)今年2月加盟观致汽车,兼任首席执行官,此前他曾接掌电动车制造商Coda。“没有人告诉观致,”他坦言。Armed with a new five-year business plan, the company — which showed off a new concept car at last month’s Shanghai car show — faces a fraught period as it rebrands itself, seeks to achieve operating profitability by 2018, and then looks to make good on its lofty long-term ambitions.早已制订了新的五年商业计划的观致汽车将面对一段艰难时期,该公司力求重塑品牌,到2018年构建营运利润,然后期望构建其远大抱负。

该公司在上月的上海车展上展出了一款新概念车。Qoros was set up in 2007 as a joint venture between Chery, a state-owned Chinese carmaker, and Israel Corp, a conglomerate controlled by Idan Ofer, a London-based billionaire. Mr Ofer, who also chaired collapsed electric-car venture Better Place, assembled a crack team of European engineers, including former BMW designer Gert Hildebrandand Volker Steinwascher, once head of Volkswagen in North America.2007年,中国国有汽车企业奇瑞(Chery)和以色列控股集团(Israel Corp)合资正式成立了观致汽车。该以色列集团由伦敦亿万富翁伊丹奥佛(Idan Ofer)有限公司,奥佛还曾兼任现破产的电动车企业Better Place的董事长。

观致汽车正式成立时,他进发了一支由欧洲工程师构成的精锐部队人马,其中还包括宝马(BMW)前设计师何歌特(Gert Hildebrand)和曾接掌大众(Volkswagen)北美业务的石清仁(Volker Steinwascher)。“Idan thinks big,” says a person close to Mr Ofer. “He wants this company to be the first GM to come out of China.” Mr Ofer was unavailable for comment.“奥佛目光远大。

”一名相似奥佛的人士回应,“他期望这家公司沦为第一家问世于中国的通用汽车。”记者联系不上奥佛,无法请求其置评。Its first car, launched at the 2013 Geneva motor show, was declared the year’s safest small family vehicle in European tests. Only last week the same car, the Qoros 3 sedan, achieved China’s highest ever safety rating.观致在2013年日内瓦车展上公布的第一款汽车,被欧洲新车安全性评比协会(Euro NCAP)选为当年最安全性的小型家用车。

就在上周,同一车型——观致3轿车——又取得中国新车评价规程(C-NCAP)有史以来最低的安全性评分。But safety does not necessarily sell. Despite having a production capacity of 150,000 at its factory in Changshu, Qoros sold just 7,000 vehicles last year. GM sold 3.5m in China in 2014.然而,安全性不一定意味著好买。



As for taking on Europe, Qoros sales in the test bed of Slovakia were just 51.在打进欧洲方面,观致试水斯洛伐克仅有获得51辆的销售成绩。Mr Murtaugh admits that it was “foolish” to try to crack China and Europe in one shot. “When I joined, I told people, ‘Let’s put western Europe on hold for a while,’” he says. “We’re a Chinese company, we have to get China right.”墨斐否认,企图同时关上中国和欧洲市场是“可笑的”。

“我重新加入观致时,告诉他大家‘把打进西欧的计划停止一段时间吧’,”他说道,“我们是家中国企业,必需在中国取得成功。”What went wrong? Bill Russo, managing director of consulting firm Gao Feng Advisory, says that it was a mistake to launch a car into the ultra-competitive sedan segment at a higher price than most other domestic brands.问题出有在哪儿?低风咨询公司董事总经理罗威(Bill Russo)回应,在竞争极为白热化的轿车市场公布一款售价低于多数国产品牌的汽车是错误的。Robin Zhu, analyst at Bernstein, says that the cars are simply too costly to build and too expensive to buy. “You’re trying to persuade consumers in China to choose a brand they’ve never heard of at the same price point as a Ford Focus,” he says.盛博(Sanford Bernstein)分析师Robin Zhu回应,观致车生产耗资太高,对消费者来说也太贵。“你在企图劝说中国消费者自由选择一个他们未曾听过、价位却和福特(Ford)的福克斯(Focus)不相上下的品牌,”他说道。


The Focus, China’s second-bestselling car last year, starts at Rmb100,000 ($16,000) versus about Rmb120,000 for the equivalent Qoros 3 Hatch.福特福克斯是去年中国市场上的第二大畅销车,起步价10万元人民币(约合1.6万美元),而同档的观致3掀背版售价在12万元人民币左右。Mr Murtaugh is trying to turn things round by launching a wholesale rebranding to put the focus on Qoros as a Chinese company, rather than a cosmopolitan curiosity. He is also ramping up the dealer network. Qoros has 78 dealers across China and it plans almost to double that number this year.墨斐正在希望扭转局面,他拿走了一项全面品牌重塑计划,将观致定位为一家中国公司,而不是一家独有的全球性企业。他还要不断扩大经销商网络。

观致在全中国有78家经销商,今年计划减少将近一倍。Playing in its favour is an emerging trend in which domestic brands in China are gaining ground on foreign rivals. But the growth is not in affordable luxury sedans but in cheap and cheerful sport utility vehicles.外国汽车品牌与中国国产品牌之间于是以呈圆形此消彼长之势,这也对观致不利。

但国产品牌中取得销量快速增长的并非价格高的豪华轿车,而是价格低廉、喧闹的运动型多功能车(SUV)。Qoros offers hatchbacks and compact off-roaders, but despite the hybrid SUV concept shown in Shanghai, it is unclear what the fourth model will be.观致有掀背车和紧凑型越野车,但尽管在上海国际车展上展览了混合动力SUV概念车,目前还不确切它的第四款车型将是什么。

“The sales have been a point of ridicule,” says Bernstein analyst Robin Zhu.伯恩斯坦(Bernstein)分析师Robin Zhu回应:“销售情况有点嘲讽。”The financial picture is also grim. According to results posted by New York-listed Kenon Holdings, the Israel Corp subsidiary that now controls the half-stake, Qoros made a $175m net loss in 2014 — up from $127m in 2013 — on revenues of $140m. Cumulative losses since 2010 are almost $450m.观致的财务状况也很不利。根据纽约上市公司Kenon Holdings公开发表的财报,2014年观致总收入1.4亿美元,净亏损1.75亿美元,较2013年1.27亿美元的净亏损不断扩大,2010年以来总计亏损近4.5亿美元。Kenon Holdings是以色列控股集团的子公司,现在掌控观致一半股权。

The company and investors declined to comment on its level of debt, and Kenon does not declare the figure. The Caixin business website in China estimates Qoros’s gross debt at Rmb8.9bn at the end of September.观致和投资者对其债务水平不予置评,Kenon也没发布明确数字。据中国财经网站财新网(Caixin)估算,截至去年9月底观致的债务总额为89亿元人民币。

Over the past 12 months the parent companies have put up more than Rmb2bn in loans, and both Chery and Mr Ofer — the controlling shareholder of Kenon — have pledged their commitment to the business. Sales have improved, but only slightly, at 2,500 for the first three months of the year.过去12个月,各母公司总共为观致获取了逾20亿元人民币贷款,而且奇瑞以及Kenon的有限公司股东奥佛都允诺要减少投资。观致的销售情况有所好转,但也只是略为好转,今年第一季度销量为2500辆。Still, unbowed, Mr Murtaugh says that operating profitability is just two or three years away. “There’s going to be a bit of pride taken in China that a Chinese company...can do it just as good as German companies, American companies, Japanese companies,” he says.墨斐仍然不屈不挠,他回应只要再行过两三年观致就可实现营运利润。他说道:“中国将为观致深感一丝自豪,一家中国企业……可以做与德国企业、美国企业、日本企业一样好。

”“When that becomes known, Qoros will be a success.”“当这一点广为人知后,观致一定会顺利。