Customers invited to design D90 vehicle
SAIC Maxus launched its first custom D90 Internet SUV on Aug 8. The model is designed and produced in line with the customer to business (C2B) model.
SUV D90 received worldwide attention not just for breaking the joint venture brand monopoly in the SUV market but also for offering customers a role in the development, verification, matching, pricing, testing and improvement of the model. The D90 launch is demonstrative of SAIC’s shift in focus from manufacturing, speed and product to innovation, quality and brand.
Different from most ordinary product launches, D90’s was hosted by a robot and attracted 100 customers with D90s ordered, along with 200 dealers and 62 suppliers.
The C2B model demands that manufacturers design and produce products based on the specific demands of customers. SAIC Maxus’s D90 was produced under this model, using an online platform to receive comments and ideas directly from customers.
(Wang Rui, vice-general manager of SAIC Corporation Limited)
The Maxus D90 is a full-size SUV providing a distinctive driving experience thanks to its Banma Driving Intelligence system, five-star safety standards and abundant interior space.
SAIC Maxus Corporation Limited’s deputy general manager, Wang Rui attended the launch and boasted of the D90’s automatic driving system, dynamical system, spacious interior and price point.
Cutting-edge technology grants D90 intelligent functions
The Maxus D90 is installed with the latest advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), making it comparable to the products of joint venture brands, yet offering unique advantages.
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) grants the D90 automatic driving functionality with the system controlling the accelerator and brake intelligently. Usually, this function can only be initiated when the driving speed reaches 30 kilometers per hour, but the D90 can follow automatically at any speed between 0 and 150 kph.
The lane-keeping assist (LKA) system controls the steering and will keep the vehicle within marked lanes, relaxing drivers, ensuring precision and improving safety.
Automatic parking assist (APA) relieves any parking concerns as it aligns and adjusts the vehicle for a perfect automatic parking job.
The highly sensitive Mobileye mechanical camera records traffic information in real time and transfers it to a data center, where it is analyzed and used to formulate responsive orders that are sent to other controlling systems in the vehicle.
The D90 is designed in accordance with high Chinese and international safety standards. It comes equipped with forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), blind-spot detection (BSD) and fatigue monitoring intelligent security systems.
Another highlight of the D90 is the Banma Intelligent Driving System, an internet system developed by SAIC Motor and Alibaba Group that allows drivers to stay online with their vehicle, sending and receiving real-time information and reports.
Powerful engine allows driver to explore
As an all-round SUV, the D90 is equipped with a professional chassis and independently suspending double wishbone. The better roll angle and strong bearing capability ensure the vehicle is suitable for both urban and off-road conditions.
The vehicle allows for real-time and part-time all-wheel drive (AWD), the former covering selectable options in automatic, economical, sporty, snowfield, sand, muddy ground and rocky land. Part-time all-wheel drive is designed for off-road driving.
The D90’s dynamical system is installed with 2.0T turbocharged high-performance gasoline engines kicking out 224 horsepower, allowing the car to reach 100 kph within 9.8 seconds with a minimum braking distance of 36 meters.
The D90 also is the first vehicle outfitted with TRRAS, an online system allowing drivers to adjust the engine, gearbox and accelerator from their phones, controlling the car in a more interesting and efficient way.
Spacious interior suitable for group travel
With a length over 5 meters and a wheelbase of 295 centimeters, the D90 boasts a spacious interior that allows passengers two roomy third-row seats in the seven-seat version.
With the options of three to eight seats, the D90 offers eight models. The innovative Trans-Beyond seat can occupy the entire right-side space, while the second and third-row seats can be laid down, forming a clear resting space suitable for sleeping.
Unique pricing system gives more rights to customers
Lan Qingsong, SAIC Motor vice-president, explained that, for the first time in automotive history, customers were asked to help price the D90.
Based on traditional accounting practices, SAIC Maxus first set a price range and then sought price-related data from customers. Prices were fixed based on data from more than 660,000 people provided between April 19 and Aug 6, generating more than 1.727 million pieces of data.
Big data is an indispensable precondition for intelligent customization.
“The collection and application of big data helps us better understand customers’ demands, and thus make better predications,” Lan said.
Among the 10,616 price gradients, Maxus identified the most popular range among users, upon which it based its selection of six vehicle models. With features and configuration varying, the price ranged from 150,000 to 263,800 yuan ($23,054 to $4,545).
Buyers of the D90 can enjoy free lifelong access to the basic data package, while those who buy one this year will also enjoy a free lifelong warranty.
Online platform brings D90 to customers
Developed by SAIC Maxus to connect directly with clients, and to collect, analyze, calculate and apply data, the intelligent chooser is a comprehensive online communication platform.
On the platform, customers enjoy one-stop online interactive experiences that provide options to view and choose vehicles, consult on purchases, place orders and arrange vehicle delivery time.
To repay loyal customers who have supported the C2B manufacturing model, SAIC Maxus selected 32 from the more than 1 million participants and granted them use of a D90 vehicle for one year.
By the launch’s end, the Maxus online platform had received orders for 1,385 D90s, the largest number of all launch days, and an indication that the C2B manufacturing model is being well received.
Intelligent customization is not only a key automotive development trend, but also the chief goal of China’s ever-expanding manufacturing industry. SAIC Maxus made a pioneering step in intelligent mass customization, establishing core brand concepts of “technology, trust and progress”.
With SAIC Motor’s development strategy oriented on electrification, interconnection, intelligence and sharing, SAIC Maxus has managed to fine-tune its products and create a new business model, taking another step towards becoming a globally competitive and influential brand.
When it comes to technical strength, innovative business capability and global market layout, SAIC Maxus rivals the best joint venture brands. SAIC Maxus has also brought major changes to China’s business models and industrial chains, while bringing Chinese-made products to the world.