XPeng Appoints Ex-Great Wall Motor Executive Wang Fengying as President

XPeng, a Chinese smart electric vehicle company, on January 30 announced that Wang Fengying has been appointed as the new president of the company. Wang previously worked at Great Wall Motor for over 30 years, starting in frontline sales before advancing into various leadership positions.

After joining XPeng, Wang will be made responsible for the company’s product planning, product portfolio management and sales operations, reporting directly to He Xiaopeng, the chairman and CEO of the company.

Wang joined Great Wall Motor as early as 1991 and has served as the second-most important person overseeing this private car company after chairman Wei Jianjun for the past two decades. She was in charge of sales at first, later promoting positioning strategy within Great Wall Motor, turning the Haval H6 into a popular SUV and driving revenue to over 100 billion yuan ($14.8 billion).

According to a report by 36Kr, Great Wall Motor first had pickup trucks, SUVs, cars and other product lines. In 2008, Ries & Ries, a strategic consulting company began to assist it in formulating a focus on SUVs, and Wang was responsible for promoting this internally. “It took the Great Wall Motor a long time to cut off the sedan product line. Wang has carried out product planning, brand marketing and dealer communication,” a source close to Wang said. When Great Wall Motor started a new round of transformation, Wang did not continue this journey. In January and July 2022, she resigned as vice chairman and general manager of Great Wall Motor, leaving the company completely.

Wang has said many times that she has been doing two things at Great Wall Motor for 30 years: one is strategy and the other is marketing. She explained her ideas in an interview last July, “If you don’t make product planning according to the market and brand positioning, it will be too late.”

Last year’s G9 release exposed many internal problems in XPeng. He Xiaopeng did not recognize the importance of accurate product positioning before, but at the financial report meeting in the third quarter of last year, he specifically mentioned that the positioning of brand marketing strategy will be clearer in the future, and a long-term plans will be made accordingly.

In addition to Wang, according to 36Kr, in the past two months, XPeng has negotiated and attracted many external managers, many of whom come from Alibaba. A person familiar with the matter said that several senior executives will join the company after the Spring Festival holiday, and he can’t help feeling that “this exchange is too powerful.” Internal mobilization and integration have also been carried out, especially in the sales and marketing departments. The auto trade department in charge of direct stores, user service center in charge of dealer stores and brand departments will all be merged.

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Beyond these urgent changes, XPeng still faces serious challenges. In the last month of 2022, its sales volume finally returned to 11,292 vehicles. According to a person familiar with the first-line channels, some of them were for enterprises instead of individual consumers, and XPeng is under great pressure to maintain this level. By the end of 2022, it had delivered a total of 258,710 vehicles, including 120,800 vehicles in 2022. LatePost‘s report showed that its goal in 2023 was to deliver nearly 200,000 vehicles.