Discover the Rising Stars №009 | Interview with the Carnet’s Founder Sun Zefeng

Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center has introduced a new column, Discover the Rising Stars, to shed light on the backgrounds of entrepreneurs and company innovations. Through interviews, live streams, and other media approaches, we will deliver valuable news stories from multiple perspectives and dimensions, to offer you the real voices of entrepreneurs and to witness the power of technological innovations.

As new energy vehicles (NEVs) continue to gain widespread attention, how do car companies improve sales in a world where new models, new markets, and new perceptions rise every day? How do consumers buy an intelligent electric car that suits them? These are the questions for this era of new energy and intelligent vehicles. In the ninth issue of Discover the Rising Stars, we interviewed the founder of Carnet, Sun Zefeng, the Excellence Award winner of 2021 CACSC & BMW Group “Internet of Vehicles” Global Finals. Carnet is the first in the industry to offer “car company experience-based marketing” + SUPEREV® Super Electric “intelligent NEVs experience & a purchasing platform”. He took us through Carnet’s answer to these questions.

Beijing Carnet Technology Co. Ltd. is the first innovative venture incubated in Beijing Future Science City, one of China’s first smart city demonstration zones. Sun Zefeng’s team has years of experience under their belt in the automotive industry from working at the unicorn company iCarsclub in the 020 field. When asked about why he founded Carnet, Sun Zefeng said, “On one end, we want to help customers pick the suitable NEVs they like from the many brands available, and help NEV brands find their target customers with more precision to get the sale. Carnet is a matchmaker between NEV companies and the new generation of consumers, allowing B and C to establish a direct connection. We can access the information from both sides and match accurately.”

Carnet Technology focuses on mid to high-end NEVs. Their core services are in two parts. The first part focuses on the B end by providing “Carnet experience-based marketing” solutions for NEV brands, which can help car enterprises locate their consumer demographic. The first step to creating an immersive test drive experience for consumers is to set up the appropriate scene. Sun Zefeng said that one of the essential factors for immersive marketing to achieve excellent results is precision. In other words, selling the right product to the right people. Take the XPeng project as an example, in Carnet selected industrial parks, people are around 30 years of age and cars with prices ranging between 200,000–300,000 RMB. These are highly consistent with XPeng’s consumer demographic data. These are highly consistent with XPeng’s consumer demographic data.

The C end of Carnet’s service is conducted through the company’s innovative consumer brand “SUPEREV® Super Electric”, which can provide multi-brand and multi-vehicle experience and accurate recommendations to new generation users. These recommendations are based on real mass data organized by intelligent tags and collected through user experience and reviews. It helps users to make intelligent purchase decisions. After becoming a SUPEREV® Super Electric member, Super members will enjoy one-stop car viewing, immersive test drive, car purchase fund, personal consultant, and other member rights and benefits.

NEVs are at a completely different stage of development than traditional cars, so instead of bombarding advertisements, giving users access to test drive firsthand is a more direct and efficient marketing method. “Intelligent cars are not just a means of transportation. They will gradually become an intelligent mobile space, with increasingly more functions and complexity. It isn’t easy to understand this without actually experiencing the car, so experience in buying NEVs is particularly important. If users want to understand the car fully, they must experience it firsthand. After working in product services for years, the team’s core insight is that the crucial factor for purchasing intelligent cars is experience.” said Sun Zefeng.

Carnet Technology is the first in the industry to offer “Experience-based marketing”. In 2020, Carnet was working with XPeng on Experience-based marketing to B end. Three hundred P7 coupes were put in a total of ten cities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, to provide an in-depth test drive experience for one to three days. The core selling points were technology, comfort, and intelligence. By achieving high-frequency offline exposure in the region, what followed were rapid sales conversion and more people with a significant intention of purchasing.

At the same time, the company explored innovative marketing models and launched SUPEREV® Super Electric, the first intelligent NEVs experience platform in China. The platform provides an in-depth experience of multiple car models for the consumer to compare with and collects their reviews, which will later help other consumers to choose the suitable model for themselves through the platform. In similar experience-based events, users can try out their preferred smart cars offline simply through the SUPEREV® Super Electric Mini Program, which is undoubtedly a very convenient and attractive method for people looking to purchase cars.

Carnet Technology fought through tough competitions and took home the Excellence Award in the 2021 CACSC & BMW Group “Internet of Vehicles” Global Finals. Sun Zefeng said, “We chose to participate in this competition held by Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center to gain access to Alibaba’s ecosystem and the resources it provides. The 2021 CACSC is an excellent platform for entering a bigger market and increasing our corporate influence. We also get to connect with our target customer BMW Group. Carnet is considering enrollment to the Smart Travel All-Star class at Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center.”

In Sun Zefeng’s view, the next decade is the golden decade for the NEVs industry, with substantial business opportunities waiting ahead. Consumers’ understanding of new energy vehicles is still in the early stage, and the original service model has a lot of room for change. When asked about his feelings towards entrepreneurship, Sun Zefeng said, “One has to work diligently to create value. Sustainable development relies on a business model that strips back all the frills. The road of entrepreneurship is bound to be full of challenges and obstacles. At the beginning of the pandemic, Carnet Technology also ran into issues such as investment funds not coming in or no output was being produced… There is no point in telling touching stories; what is important is to put our energy into creating values for our users. Our perseverance is the reason why Carnet achieved a positive closed-loop for our business.”

The automobile industry has seen revolutions happening everywhere. Carnet Technology will continue to innovate and explore digital marketing. SUPEREV® Super Electric, as an innovative consumer brand of Carnet Technology, actively advocates and promotes the future of green travel. The platform offers a smarter way to experience and purchase intelligent NEVs for the new generation of users. With the concepts of environmental protection, science and technology, and trendy lifestyles as our focus, we create a fun and different experience with our users while contributing to carbon peak and carbon neutral.

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