On August 10, it was reported that a cadre meeting within Dongfeng Honda announced that Zheng Chunkai would no longer be the executive deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda and would be transferred to Dongfeng Honda engine Co., Ltd., with Pan Jianxin, deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda, temporarily presiding over the work.
An insider from Dongfeng Honda confirmed the news and said Zheng Chunkai took a back seat because of his age. However, Zheng Chunkai is only 59 years old, three years younger than Zhu Yanfeng, the former chairman of Dongfeng Group, who announced his retirement at the beginning of the year.
Zheng Chunkai was born in 1964 and is now 59 years old. Zheng Chunkai graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University in 1985 and then joined Dongfeng Company, which can be regarded as an "old Dongfeng man". Data show that in August 1985, Zheng Chunkai joined Dongfeng Company, engaged in diesel engine research and development, and then served as deputy chief engineer of the diesel engine factory of Dongfeng Motor Company. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of Dongfeng passenger car Company in July 2011, and became Party Committee Secretary of Dongfeng passenger car Company in 2014, responsible for manufacturing and quality management.
Looking at his work resume, Zheng Chunkai has been behind the scenes for a long time in nearly 40 years of work of Dongfeng Group, mostly focused on engine, manufacturing and other fields, until he was transferred to Deputy General Manager of Dongfeng Honda in 2018. His work began to have a major adjustment.
On November 28, 2017, the board of directors of Dongfeng Honda announced that Zheng Chunkai would succeed Chen Binbo as executive deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda, and has since become the third Chinese head of Dongfeng Honda. Since Zheng Chunkai took over as executive deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda in 2017, Dongfeng Honda has suffered a number of black swan incidents. When Zheng Chunkai took office in 2018, Dongfeng Honda encountered the "engine oil gate" incident. Since then, it has also experienced the interference of a series of non-market factors, such as the epidemic and parts shortage, especially the outbreak of the epidemic in Wuhan in 2020. Dongfeng Honda Wuhan plant was shut down for nearly two months, but this year was Dongfeng Honda's highest annual sales record.
According to the data, the annual production and sales of Dongfeng Honda jumped from 300000 to 700000 between 2015 and 2017, of which 727000 were sold in 2017. The total terminal sales in 2020 was 820400, up 104.0% from the same period last year, the highest in the history of annual sales. This also led Zheng Chunkai to shout the slogan of hitting 1 million vehicles in 2021. However, it is not the growth that follows. Due to the instability of the supply chain, lack of core, lack of electricity and other adverse factors, Dongfeng Honda sold only 793300 vehicles a year. In 2022, with the changes in the development of the car market, the mainstream joint venture car companies as a whole suffered from the pressure of sales growth, of which Dongfeng Honda's annual sales continued to decline to 652400 vehicles.
In order to reverse the decline in sales, Zheng Chunkai also actively promoted the transformation of electrification strategy during his tenure as executive deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda. At the 20th anniversary of Dongfeng Honda held last month, Zheng Chunkai said: "the market share of the joint venture car companies has been encroached on and has reached the cusp of survival. Dongfeng Honda will not be afraid of the challenge and will quickly get out of its comfort zone." the shortest time to switch to the new energy track, continue to achieve gear-shifting acceleration and great-leap-forward development in all kinds of difficulties and obstacles.
On July 16, Dongfeng Honda announced in a high profile that Dongfeng Honda will launch its new independent pure electric brand in the second half of this year, with more than 50% electrification by 2025, no new fuel cars after 2027, and more than 10 pure electric models by 2030.
Although Dongfeng Honda is relatively "aggressive" in its electrification goals, for now, Dongfeng Honda wants to have a very low sense of presence in the new energy vehicle market. According to Dongfeng Honda's website, Dongfeng Honda currently sells eight fuel models, one hybrid model and two new energy models, including one mixed model and one pure electric model.
In April 2022, Dongfeng Honda e:NS1 went public, and the new car was positioned as a small pure electric SUV, with a subsidised price range of 175000-218000 yuan at that time. However, after the launch of the car, the performance of the car market is very mediocre. Dongfeng Honda sold 608,924,883,131,181,155 e:NS1 vehicles respectively in the first half of this year, with cumulative sales of 2882 vehicles, according to retail data from the Federation.
In other words, under the general trend that new energy vehicles are gradually becoming the mainstream of the market, Dongfeng Honda's sales mainly rely on fuel vehicles, and the sales of new energy vehicles are not prominent, which leads to a further decline in Dongfeng Honda's sales. Data show that Dongfeng Honda sold a total of 227000 new cars in the first half of this year, down 32.8% from the same period last year.
At present, the domestic new energy vehicle market is highly competitive, for Dongfeng Honda, it is urgent to complete the transition to the new energy market as soon as possible. At present, the Honda e:NS1 is the only pure electric model that Dongfeng Honda is selling and its sales performance is poor, while the e:NS2, the next pure electric model targeting the medium-sized pure electric SUV, will not be available until 2024, which makes it difficult for Dongfeng Honda to rely on electric vehicles to reverse sales.
With only about three years to go before Dongfeng Honda banned new fuel cars, Pan Jianxin will temporarily take over the electric transformation task as Zheng Chunkai leaves the position of deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda. At present, Dongfeng Honda is in a difficult stage of transition, and it remains to be seen whether there will be any major reforms in the future.
According to the data, Pan Jianxin, born in 1970, graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University and became deputy general manager of Dongfeng Honda in mid-2018, responsible for sales.
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