May 18, 2024

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Baidu-backed Jiyue reshuffles marketing team to boost sales, report says

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Jiyue has overhauled its marketing and sales teams, which have seen intensive staff turnover, according to local media.

(Image credit: Jiyue)

Jiyue, the electric vehicle (EV) maker created by Baidu in partnership with Geely Holding Group, has reportedly undertaken a major reorganization of its marketing team in an attempt to boost weak sales.

Jiyue is in the midst of a major overhaul of its marketing and sales teams, with the head of the marketing business’ user development department, Yang Zhen, and a number of directors having been ousted, and CEO Joe Xia personally leading the department, local media outlet Yicai said in a report today.

The head of the user operations department of the EV maker’s sales business has been changed from Luo Gang to Andy Gao, who had worked at Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), according to the report.

There has been intensive turnover in both departments since the end of March, Yicai’s report said.

Jiyue, which was renamed from the brand formerly known as Jidu, is a relatively late arriving player in the Chinese EV space.

Geely and Baidu set up Jidu as a joint venture in March 2021, which was then 55 percent owned by Baidu and 45 percent by Geely.

In August 2023, Geely and Baidu jointly launched a new brand, Jiyue, which essentially replaced Jidu. The operating entity of the new brand is 65 percent owned by Geely, with the remaining 35 percent owned by an affiliate of Baidu.

Jiyue officially launched the Jiyue 01, its first model, on October 27, 2023, and is currently priced at a starting price of RMB 219,900 ($30,380). The first deliveries of the model began on October 29 last year.

After changing its name to Jiyue, the EV maker has fallen silent on marketing, one of the major reasons for the Jiyue 01’s poor performance after launch, Yicai’s report noted.

Jiyue 01 has accumulated sales of just over 2,300 units in the nearly six months since its launch, and less than 700 units in the first 12 weeks of this year, according to the report.

At the end of November last year, the price of the Jiyue 01 was cut by RMB 30,000 after just over a month on the market. Jiyue had also been offering multiple incentives, including insurance subsidies, financial discounts, and free charging rights, in an attempt to turn the sales tide, but to no significant effect, the report noted.

($1 = RMB 7.2372)

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