iAsk x China Daily | Elegant sensibilities of “SEAT Renaissance”
来源:艾问 作者:yibeing
2019-11-09 12:30:54

摘要 :

提起大众的性能小钢炮,每个人都会立刻想起高尔夫R、GTI,但多数都会忽略有着同等产品实力的Leon CUPRA R。这款车型的车标跟大众的其他产品不一样,它来自大众的一个子品牌——西雅特。

Mention of the performance “hot hatches” of Volkswagen will instantly recall the Golf R or GTI to most minds, yet that would overlook a product with the same capabilities: the Leon CUPRA R. This car has a different logo to Volkswagen’s other products given that it comes from SEAT, a brand under Volkswagen’s umbrella.

1950年,秉承着“起源于文艺复兴时期”的气质,西雅特成立于巴塞罗那。

SEAT was founded in Barcelona in 1950 in the spirit of its ”Renaissance-era origins”.

1950那一年,传统的农业国受到工业化趋势的冲击,西班牙政府决定推动经济现代化及产业工业化,于是成立了国营的西雅特汽车厂(SEAT),负起带动百业升级的火车角色与功能。国有化的前提下,西雅特扮演着举足轻重的角色。

1950 was also the year in which the Spanish government decided to actively push for economic modernization and industrialization amidst its impacts on the then traditionally agricultural country. Thus, the state-owned Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (SEAT) was founded and endowed with a task and function of pulling the general train of industry forward. SEAT would go on to play acritical role in the presence of nationalization.

1951年,西雅特在位于巴赛罗纳的ZonaFranca建起20公顷的厂房,并实现了第一个目标——单一汽车生产量达到1万辆。

SEAT established a 20-acre factory in Zona Franca, Barcelonain 1951 and achieved their first objective: a 10,000 vehicle production capacity for a single model.

两年后,西雅特车厂与意大利菲亚特(FIAT)车厂展开技术合作,在随后的十多年里陆续于西班牙生产菲亚特600型车款(1957年)及1500型车款(1963年);并在西班牙国家工业中心(The National Institute ofIndustry, abbr. NII)的技术支援下,完成西德奔驰(BENZ)柴油引擎的开发。

SEAT and FIAT joined forces for over a decade in a tech partnership two years later to produce the SEAT 600 (1957) and SEAT 1500 (1963) in Spain; they also assisted in the development of West Germany’s Benz diesel engine with the technical support provided by the National Institute of Industry (NII).

得到了技术加持的西雅特也完成了从一家零部件产商到西班牙最大的汽车公司的华丽转变,在当地汽车市场的占有率一度高达60%。

Such technological backing also enabled SEAT to dramatically shift itself from parts maker to the largest car company of Spain, at one point reaching a 60% share of the local market.

然而伴随着70年代末石油危机的爆发,全球各大汽车厂商均受到了很大冲击;在这场行业地震中,菲亚特与西雅特最终“劳燕分飞”,西雅特也步入了发展的低谷期。

The Oil Crisis atthe tail end of the 1970s was a major blow to the auto makers of the world; FIAT and SEAT ultimately parted ways as the shockwaves blew through the industry and also as SEAT fell into a low point of development and growth.

The importance of “location” -might cooperation be superiorto competition?

所谓“依山傍水”,撇去兵法或是风水学不论,资本世界中的搏斗也同样需要占据“靠山”、“靠水”的最佳“地理位置”。于是,1982年,西班牙品牌重新披挂起来,成功牵手大众集团——这场重磅联姻不愧是佳偶天成、历久弥新,双方的合作一转眼就持续了30多年。

The importance of geography and location is, apart from its strategies or Fengshui connotations, very much a part of the contestations of capital in which ideal proximities are just as important. Spanish brand redonned his cape to joint forces with Volkswagen Group in 1982. It has been proved an auspicious union after more than 30 swift years of partnership.

要论这“山”、这“水”有多强大:2019年,大众集团位居《财富》世界500强第9位。

Looking at just how effective “location” can be: Volkswagen Group placed 9th in the Fortune Global 500 for 2019.

“自1986年以来,我们成为了大众旗下的子公司,可以使用大众集团的品牌。在欧洲,我们的客群在大众集团中处于比较年轻的水平。近四年来,我们的品牌在欧洲的增长最为迅猛,是一个非常多样化的品牌”。西雅特集团总裁卢卡·德·梅奥说道,表情很自信。

”We’ve been under the Volkswagen’s umbrella since 1986 and can use the Volkswagen brand. Our customers in Europe are relatively younger within the Group. Our brand’s growth in Europe has been at its fastest in the last 4 years, and it is very diverse.” SEAT Group CEO Luca de Meo presents a very confident tone during our discussion.

西雅特持有大众集团50%的品牌使用权,这一“近水楼台”使西雅特的发展有了质的飞跃,在销量和利润贡献能力方面逐步提升。

SEAT enjoys a 50% usage right over the Volkswagen Group brand. This “connection” has given SEAT a forward leap in quality development, gradual uplift in sales volumes and profit contributions.

然而西雅特的野心却远不止于此,虽然大众这一汽车品牌承载着无数爱车人士的情怀,但西雅特也深知仅凭大众的光环,并不能在如今竞争激烈的汽车行业站住脚跟。 随着销量增长带来的话语权的提升,无论是建立自有的行销网络,或自力研发新产品,大众开始不再干预西雅特的发展规划。

However, SEAT’s ambitions are far from assuaged. SEAT is well aware it cannot simply rely on Volkswagen’s “golden halo” not with standing its countless enthusiasts, and nor could that provide a solid footing in today’s ultra-competitive automotive industry. Growing sales brought a stronger voice. Volkswagen has begun to stand back from SEAT’s developmental plans, whether around the building of their own marketing networks or in the research and development of new products.

于是在2000年之后,为了进一步与大众和斯柯达品牌的调性进行区分,西雅特在推出众多全新车型之际,亦将性能车的发展提上了日程。随着IbizaSC、Leon CUPRA R等高性能车上市和在WTCC/WRC赛场上的持续深耕,西雅特俨然化身成为一个精于生产高性能车的汽车企业。尤其是近四年来,将主要客户定位于年轻人群体的西雅特已经在欧洲迅猛发展成为一个传奇。

It also explains why high performance vehicles featured so strongly on SEAT’s development agenda after 2000 in its new automobile releases – as a means to further tonally differentiate itself from the Volkswagen and Skoda brands. SEAT’s high performance car offerings such as the IbizaSC and Leon CUPRA R, and continued strong presence in the WTCC/WRC racing scene, has allowed it a solemn transformation into an auto maker skilledat high performance vehicles. SEAT’s rapid growth in Europe, particularly in the last 4 years as it has orientated itself to a mainly youthful customer base, has been “le/gendary”.

根据欧洲汽车制造商协会(ACEA)发布的数据,2017年,西雅特的全年市场销量为468,400,市场份额2.6%;2018年,全年销量为517,600,市场份额2.9%。同比增长12.8%,在“2018年欧洲各车企销量”的排行中稳居前5。

Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reveals annual sales of 468,400 vehicles in 2017 or 2.6% of the market; yearly sales in 2018 reached 517,600 vehicles, or a 2.9% share of the market. 12.8% year-on-year growth firmly planted the company in fifth place in the “Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2018”.

从草根起家到如今在全球车市中列土封疆,西雅特的逆袭之路可谓是无出其右。如今,“传奇”已经运筹帷幄,卢卡·德·梅奥决定开启新一轮“西雅特复兴计划”,推动这一子品牌走出欧洲,把中国市场定为首个全球化机遇,并在数年前就致力于开展与江淮汽车的合作。

SEAT’s “uncommon path” from the grassroots to a major subsidiary in today’s worldwide auto market could be considered exceptional. Today’s “legend” is already established, however. Luca de Meo has decided to kick off a new ”SEAT Renaissance Plan” as he pushes the subsidiary brand beyond Europe. China’s market has been designated the foremost opportunity of globalization and SEAT has made a commitment, as of several years ago, to partner with JAC.

艾诚:中国很多人出行都会选择打“滴滴”,他们都是您的潜在客户,其中,有很多车都是大众旗下的品牌。我的问题是,西雅特会跟大众集团有更多更深入的合作吗?还是说你们会创造跟大众集团完全不同的品牌策略?

Gloria: A lot of people in China like to catch a “Didi”. They are potential consumers. Many other cars also ultimately hail from one of Volkswagen’s subsidiaries. My question is, for the SEAT Group moving forward, are you going to seek greater integration with Volkswagen? Or are you going to create a totally separate grand strategy, different from Volkswagen?

卢卡·德·梅奥:我们本身就是大众旗下的13个品牌之一,当然会利用集团公司的技术、实力等优势资源。我们组织经营的魔力在于,能够针对不同的品牌定位和消费者定位制定不同的策略,能够精准触及消费群体。

Luca de Meo: We are one of the 13 brands of Volkswagen, so of course we leverage and take advantage a lot of the technology and competence. One of the main magics of our organization is the ability to develop a specific brand strategy and customer proposition for each one of the targets we want to address.

我们接受大众给集团的管理和维护,同时我们也在独立运转,与大众汽车的客群分层是有差距的。这就是我们的策略。

We are under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group. At the same time, we act independently because we represent a different kind of consumer that is attracted by, for example, that genre. And obviously this is the idea.

艾诚:那么作为西班牙最大的汽车公司,大众旗下的一员,西雅特在和江淮汽车合作当中,分别扮演怎样的角色呢?

Gloria: When you talk about co-development between the largest automobile company, SEAT in Spain, and JAC here, what kind of responsibilities or different responsibilities will you take?

卢卡·德·梅奥:我们的科技实力在集团中处于较高的水平。所以我们与江淮汽车的合作不是建厂,不是生产活动,我们真正的投资是建立新的研发中心,把有能力的工程师派驻进去,这也将提升中国工程师的研发水平,共同打造一支多元化的团队,一个可以做创新的地方。

Luca de Meo: We will also count on the technological and competence backlog of the Group to raise this joint venture to the highest possible level. Here are we not only talking about investing inplants, but also in manufacturing capability. We are actually, a few kilometers away, founding a new R&D center. So we are going to bring, of course, engineers, competence. We are going to raise the level and the competence of Chinese engineers because want to createa team – a multidisciplinary team.

中国在电池领域和电子互联领先市场,这是一个巨大的商业变革。正如我前面提到的,中国的新趋势不仅包含顾客的趋势,在这些领域也如是,这种变革将席卷整个市场。我们非常荣幸,能够有机会进入当中。

China is the market leader in batteries and electrical connectivity. It is an enormous commercial revolution. As I mentioned before, the new changes happening in China are not just for customers but, as with this whole industry, mean a great deal for the entire market. We are honored to have this opportunity.

艾诚:这将是个有趣的结合,谁都不知道,中国的客户市场和来自德国大众的西班牙汽车品牌能碰撞出怎样的火花?

Gloria: It’s an interesting match. Who knows what sparks might fly as China’s consumer market meets SEAT from Volkswagen?

卢卡·德·梅奥:文化融合能创造奇迹,不仅在于多样化,也是一种丰富程度的提升。过去的几年里,我们能够愉快合作并创造出实际价值,所以我是很乐观的。

Luca de Meo: It’s the magic of combining culture. You know, normally diversity means richness. As far as I have seen in the last couple of years, I think we were really able to get along very well, to work together, and to come up with some substantial results.

虽然,相比它悠长的历史,西雅特进入中国的时间并不算长,且大部分的活动区域只局限在为数不多的非一线城市,但不难看出,卢卡·德·梅奥是真的很喜欢中国,并且对于这项合作有着巨大热情。

It is not hard to recognize Luca de Meo’s genuine enthusiasm for China and excitement around this joint venture despite SEAT’s not particularly lengthy history in China (considering its own) and the fact that most of its activities have been confined to alimited number of non-first tier cities.

提及钟情于二线城市的原因,卢卡·德·梅奥很坦诚:“二线城市充满活力,永远处于发展之中,我每两三个月都能看到新变化。这一点对我们欧洲人来说非常别致,因为相对于各种变化都持续稳定、趋于停滞的欧洲,中国永远都在发展当中。”

Luca de Meo is frank on their fascination with second-tier cities: ”Second-tier cities are very dynamic and very impressive to see every time I come, maybe every two or three months, seeing that changing all the time. For us Europeans this is pretty special because Europe tends to be relatively stable and China is always on the move.”

中国永远都蒸蒸日上。这是对外资的巨大诱惑。

China is always on the move. That is an enormous attraction to foreign investment.

Think globally, act locally?

入乡随俗,不仅能体现修养,有时还能展现智慧。

Adoption or respect for local customs is not only an exemplar of fine manners, but also sometimes of great wisdom.

观察“外资入华”的成功案例,可以找到一些相似的共通性:它们大多都拥有世界级的先进技术、设备以及管理模式,更重要的是,它们都能够做到“入乡随俗”,成功融入进中国“水土”——不单单指严格遵守中国的相关法律规定,还有这里的世俗审美与风土人情。

An examination of past cases of “foreign investment succeeding in China” reveals many commonalities: the greater majority arrived with world-class, leading technologies, equipment and management models, but more importantly were able to do things in a “local way” to make theirs a successful integration into China – which is not to be taken simply to refer to following China’s rules and regulations, but more to its general sense of a esthetics and local habits or customs.

“有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎”。1990年,西雅特带着“雄鹰”品牌,第一次进入到中国市场,但并没有取得出彩的成绩。第二次进入中国市场是在2012年,西雅特为此做了许多准备,然而,由于普遍定价高于竞争者,即同样来自大众集团的“高尔夫”和“Polo”,这次西雅特也未取得更好的成绩。

As the famous Chinese proverb goes, ”It is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar” . SEAT’s first foray into the Chinese market occurred in 1990, where it brought the “Eagle” brand to a less than stellar reception. Its second was in 2012, and for which SEAT was well prepared. However, this attempt also failed to garner greater success as SEAT’s prices were generally higher than those of its competitors, including from the same Volkswagen Groupsuch as for the “Golf” and “Polo” .

对于30年前的“陈年往事”,卢卡·德·梅奥一笑而过;对于7年前的“反响平平”,他认为原因在于西雅特的商业模式中错误时间点与错误产品的叠加,关键是西雅将欧洲的进口车或汽油车作为切入点。“不论是政府还是市场,都在减少进口车的数量”,卢卡·德·梅奥显然心有不甘。

Luca de Meo takes the “past” in these 30 years in his stride. He assigns the causes of the lacklustre reception 7 years ago to a problematic schedule compounded by the wrong products in SEAT’s business model, key to which was its entrance as a European car importer or gasoline car maker. ”Whether by the government or by the market, they’re all reducing car imports,” Luca de Meo reflects somewhat sadly.

吸取了先前的失败经验,西雅特较之前花费了更多功夫,做了更为深入详尽的市场分析。2018年11月,大众、西雅特和江淮汽车签署三方谅解备忘录,江淮大众将引进西雅特品牌,共同进行电动化开发。 这一次,西雅特成竹在胸,依傍大众,携手江淮,再次来到充斥着巨大商机的中国市场,将赌注下在电动汽车上。

SEAT has learned from past failures and is thus investing more heavily in deeper, more sophisticated market analyses. Volkswagen, SEAT, and JAC signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in November 2018; JAC and Volkswagen will be adding SEAT to carry out joint EV research and development. Now SEAT is returning to a Chinese market full of commercial opportunities and a ready plan, and Volkswagen and JAC by its side, to “make a wager” on the electric vehicle.

艾诚:这么说,这款产品将为中国客户“专属打造”?

Gloria: So will this product be specially targeted to Chinese consumers?

卢卡·德·梅奥:当然。我们努力设计的方案并非仅仅是从欧洲引进,而是会去全面适配中国市场。现如今,从汽车领域来说,中国消费者的需求已经日趋成熟,中国可能是世界上的下一个汽车中心,所以我们必须全力打造一流的方案和产品。这是一场崭新的游戏。

Lucade Meo: Of course. What we are trying to do is not simply import European cars. We will be designing cars to comprehensively suit the Chinese market. But today, for this industry, Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and China is perhaps the next center of gravity of the automotive industry. So we must work hard to create the very best plan and products. This is a whole new game.

艾诚:我们以前的一个节目叫做“中国造车新势力”,邀请了蔚来汽车的创始人李斌和小鹏汽车的创始人何小鹏来到艾问。如果他们看到我们今天的对话,将把您当做新的竞争对手。您想对他们说些什么?您准备好迎战了吗?还是说您会推出与他们完全区隔的产品?

Gloria: We previously had a program called ”The New Trend of Chinese Car Makers”. We had the founder of NIO, Li Bin, and the founder of XPeng over here at iAsk. If they watched our conversation they may see you as a new competitor in the Chinese market. What would you say to them? Are you going to compete? Are you going to have separate products?

卢卡·德·梅奥:必须说我很钦佩他们。在过去的几年中他们创造了很多从价值链角度、研发工程角度都很先进的中国品牌,他们对我们有一定的启发,因为他们在我们进入这个市场时制造了准入标准。

Lucade Meo: I have to say I really admire them for the work that some of these new, emerging, progressive Chinese brands have been able to do in the last years. Not only from a product point-of-view, but all the way through the value chain, the re-engineering of the value chain that they made. So if I can say something it would be they were an inspiration for us because I think they set the bar on some of these fields.

艾诚:电动汽车的前景光明吗?您认为中国市场仍然可以消费更多的电动车,还是说电动汽车是全人类的未来趋势?

Gloria: Are you a big believer in electric cars? Do you believe the Chinese have the capacity to consume more electric cars or do you really think electric cars are going to be the future for all human beings?

卢卡·德·梅奥:电动汽车在排放方面能够满足监管的要求,而且中国也有治理气体污染物的需求。我认为人们能够认识到电动车噪音小和零排放的优势,而且对司机来说,电动车的加速度很快,驾驶感觉更好。如果充电桩等硬件设施可以配齐,电动汽车在驾驶、维护、充电方面确实相对便宜许多。

Lucade Meo: Electric vehicles are capable of meeting very strict regulatory requirements and China also has rules on emissions. I think people can recognize the advantages of electric cars in terms of the fact they are very quiet and have zero emissions. Also, for the drivers, they have very good acceleration and are, in fact, very fun to drive. If the infrastructure is up there, it can be pretty convenient to have them and relatively cheap to actually use, maintain, and fuel.

所以我坚信,新时代下的电动汽车有更好的前景,能够轻而易举地取代传统汽油车。至于市场份额能到100%么,我不这么认为,因为每个人都有自己的需求,但未来电动车的市场份额潜力必然是巨大的。

So I firmly believe that electric cars have a bright future in the coming era and will be able to replace traditional gasoline vehicles easily. As for market share, I don’t think it can reach 100% because everyone is different, but there is enormous potential in the future electric car market.

中国是最大的电动汽车市场,已经占据了全球市场份额的50%了。所以在这里制造电动汽车,就像参加欧冠决赛一样。

Already, today China represents 50% of the whole electric market in passenger cars in the world. So I think if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere in the world.

截止2019年7月,德系品牌在中国轿车市场所占份额最高为33.5%,日系以27.5%暂列第二,国产品牌所占市场份额为20%。

German brands have been dominating China’s luxury car market with a 33.5% market share as of July 2019, Japanese brands are second with a 27.5% share and local Chinese brands represent 20% of the market.

此外,自2011年以来,中国电动汽车领域筹集了180亿美元,大多募资者都是中国车企,包括蔚来、威马、小鹏和游侠。这些初创企业加在一起,每年可以生产390万辆电动汽车。

In addition, $18billion USD has been raised around Chinese EVs since 2011, most of that capital by Chinese EV companies including NIO, Weltmeister, XPeng and Youxia. Put all these startups together and the result is a combined yearly output of 3.9 million electric vehicles per year.

面对压迫性的紧张竞争,卢卡·德·梅奥没有丝毫畏惧:“我们是一个相对成熟的行业,从汽车工程师,到生产,再到分销,我们更多的关注在制造领域,致力于长期的生产经营,我们有充足的资源来开发产品和服务。”

But Luca de Meo does not seem the least bit facing such intense competition: ”We are quite a mature industry from the engineering and the product to the distribution. We are more into an industrial game, a long term commitment. So I think we have the resources to be able to develop the product range and the services.”

艾问发现,未来五年里,大众集团将会在电动汽车领域投130亿欧元,并由此陆续推出约70款不同车型。

iAsk has discovered Volkswagen Group is intending to spend €13 billion on EVs over the next five years to release around 70 different models.

卢卡·德·梅奥似乎并不想将那时的西雅特汽车定位为经适型品牌,而是作为大众品牌之上,一个更为感性的高端品牌。他的野心在如今就已经有所端倪。

Luca de Meo does not seem to want to position SEAT’s cars in the direction of an “economybrand”, but towards a more “sensory high-end upon the Volkswagen name. He may have already revealed an inkling of his ambitions today.

西雅特旗下的CUPRA这款产品,达到1000多转就会有雄浑的超低频声响,在原装车里算得上相当“鼓耳”。而且行驶起来,变速箱每次升档,排气声都会有一次突变,发出“嘭”的一声,颇有纯种赛车的格调。

SEAT’s CUPRA hums at a powerful, super lowfrequency over 1000 RPM, roughly equivalent to the “lug casings” of a drum in its original iteration. The exhaust might just make a sudden ‘thump’ with every transmission upshift in a manner quite reminiscent of a racing car as you drive it.

CUPRA有着西雅特“小钢炮”美称,就像西班牙的民族风情。日落余晖的街头小酒馆,古典吉他乐手弹奏着旋律温柔的《阿尔罕布拉宫的回忆》,恍惚间还能看到穿着红裙子的西班牙女郎。

The CUPRA has earned a fine nickname as SEAT’s “hot hatch” – quite apropos of the Spanish themselves. One imagines the sun setting on the street’s tavern as a guitarist strums the gentle “Recuerdos de la Alhambra; and you get a faint glimpse of a Spanish girl in a red skirt as from a half-remembered dream.

这是卢卡·德·梅奥的“西雅特复兴”,不仅只关乎一款汽车产品的感性,而在于全产品系的汽车研发进程。

This is Luca de Meo’s “Spanish Renaissance”: not just cars for the senses, but R&D across the whole range of products.

卢卡·德·梅奥:“You will see.”

Luca de Meo: ”You will see.”

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