New-Japan Business Consulting
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Emerging Chinese manufacturers focus on digital cockpits

In China, smart and automated vehicles have developed rapidly in parallel with the electrification of the automobile. As the car market matures, consumer needs diversify and consumers become more discerning about comfort and convenience, and new functions are being integrated into digital cockpits one after another. The digital cockpit market continues to expand at a brisk pace, thanks to a combination of an environment conducive to innovation, with many ventures emerging as electrification progresses, and a Chinese consumer base that is receptive to new technologies. In addition, China has applied for the largest number of patents in the world for digital cockpits, and trends related to digital cockpits by Chinese companies are attracting attention worldwide.

The rapid expansion of the EV market in recent years has also been influenced by the evolution of digital cockpits, which offer more convenient functions, and the fact that the current NEV purchase subsidy will end at the end of 2022, which could lead to a decline in consumers’ willingness to purchase EVs, further increasing the importance of the digital The importance of digital cockpits as a key to EV sales is expected to increase further in the future. Chinese OEMs are actively entering overseas markets with EVs as a breakthrough, for example by exhibiting a number of EVs at the Indonesia Motor Show in August 2022 and the Paris Motor Show in October of the same year. The effect of this is increasing the likelihood of full-scale overseas expansion of digital cockpit-related technologies and suppliers. For Japanese OEMs, China’s development in the EV and smart sector poses a threat, but also an opportunity to gain suggestions from the transformation. Opportunities for Sino-Japanese company collaboration are also increasing.

Major emerging Chinese manufacturers (such as Xiaopeng Automobile, NIO, Ideal Automobile, Hezhong New Energy Source, Weima Automobile and Zero● (足へ包) Automobile) are actively incorporating smart functions such as digital cockpits in order to increase their competitiveness. Generally, digital meters and a centre display are installed, while some models are equipped with a front passenger or rear passenger display. Apart from the digital meter, each display shows the same screen. For ease of operation, voice-activated controls are standard, and some models are now gesture-enabled. Competition amongst emerging Chinese manufacturers is becoming increasingly fierce, and it is necessary to continue to focus on trends in smartisation, including digital cockpits in the future.The report focuses on smartisation functions in digital cockpits, excluding ADAS and automated driving, and analyses technological trends by component.

The report on OEMs also covers Chinese component suppliers, such as Sensetime and Beijing Eastern (BOE), which are essential for digital cockpits, as well as the Chinese operations of global component manufacturers such as Continental and Faurecia. The report also covers the Chinese operations of global parts suppliers such as Continental and Faurecia.