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Franklin Zeng, CEO of Geely
How has the automotive landscape evolved over the years? What are the advantages of the current technological evolution?
From the OEM perspective, the big change or evolution is that the technical or the software development has become more important for the automotive industry. Secondly, technology development or connectivity has a great influence on the automotive industry since cars have become more smart and connected now when compared to ones in the older generations. Data gathered from different AI powered technologies has also helped the automobile industry change a lot, so the industry started to pay attention to the software program. For example, people have started to prioritize connectivity when compared to the trend decades ago where people used to concentrate on the external features like space or proper seating etc. Now the game has changed and people are more attentive on upgrading their cars with interesting features. So from the customer side it is really a big change. On the OEM side, the industry focuses on how the customer sees the change. Secondly, from the OEM side is an international corporation, which is also very important because the industry has become more globalized. For example, Geely’s new brand Linenco developed by the Sweden company CVT is a very good symbol of globalization and an example of how to develop a new car. From the OEM perspective, globalization has a major role in the prosperity of the industry. People have started using EV cars, they have started talking about how to reduce emission is also a big change that the industry focused on. So that’s why in the chinese market Geely brand which develops EV cars try to meet the requirements of the customers.
How would you define the company’s playwork for choosing the right technology, partners in the process so that together it grows and delivers the expectations of the customers?
It is important for the company to respect the choice of the customers, to dig out the customer’s interest and to think what kind of technology can be applied for those new functions or new requirements. For example, decades ago people did not understand the importance of connectivity (like navigation or road trafficking information) but now almost after 20 years, we do have those connectivity functions. Geely cars can be accessed from a mobile phone or website to open those features and to upgrade to new technology.
So that’s a big change in the Geely brand which the chinese customers are really looking forward to. That’s why the company tries to apply new solutions to provide the customers and take feedback which helps to have an interaction with the customers.
Any recent initiative that the company has been working on in terms of implementing certain recent strategies that would help drive the success of the company.
Recently, regarding the covid-19 situation, the company has developed different strategies like home offices for employees and from IT perspective, provides necessary solutions like remote access to the engineers so they can work remotely. The firm has also tried to leverage a European policy to help employees to work from home in order to adapt to the situation and tries to see what kind of approach can be taken to meet the requirements.
Do you have any advice for CXOs of other companies?
First of all, global cooperation is really important. Respecting people in the quarter is also important. It is necessary to understand their quarter. Understanding how they think really makes the work efficient and to make a good team. Balance between group strategy and also localization helps companies to move quickly and win quickly.