World’s first internet car rally racing held on Roewe’s 10th launch anniversary

The world’s first internet car rally, jointly organized by SAIC Motor and Alibaba Group, wrapped up in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province on Oct 13, 2016.

Roewe RX5 drivers spent 72 hours on a journey of 1,700 km. Eventually, the Aika Team beat all others to be the champion and also took first place in a popularity contest on the official website. On the other hand, Roewe RX5, relying on SAIC’s highly efficient world-class powertrain NetBlue, set a new low of 3.7L in fuel consumption, the lowest record for SUVs.

During the rally racing, Roewe RX5 deciphered the key to future transport solutions and explored future’s lifestyle possibilities. The first-hand data contributed by participants will be helpful to the development and promotion of future transport solutions.

At the award ceremony, some RX5s were delivered to Alibaba employees and representatives of Tmall who had ordered the car.

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, had said at the RX5’s release on July 6 that he would buy some RX5s and give them to a his friends as gifts. However, employees at Alibaba and Tmall could not wait for Ma to give them the gift, but organized group-buying to receive the car at an earlier date. Giving a glimpse of the new car’s popularity.

Big data redefines cars’ relationship with people

The best method to anticipate the future is to create the future, and practice is the essential approach to gain a better understanding. Indeed, the rally provided valuable insights into the ecosystem of internet-based cars.  

During the rally, participants drove on three different routes with varied road conditions. Each day, they drove more than 700 km for 12 consecutive hours, and had to tackle various challenges of an internet motor life. After driving 72 hours and more than 1,700 km, they finally arrived in Ankang, northwest China’s Shaanxi province. Through engaging participants in various tasks, the rally gave the opportunity for RX5’s cutting-edge technologies to be applied in real life settings.

The rally also attracted the participation of smart terminals including cell phones, smart watches and drones. Through exchange of data and interconnection, they formed a network, allowing participants to switch to different life scenarios freely and experience future motor life on the internet. In the future, the expansion of this network will help Roewe offer better services to users.

While conventional cars consume fuel, the internet-based car’s new engine is fed with big data. In the rally, each RX5 generated 10GB of data per hour and the nine cars that ran from Hangzhou to Ankang for 42 hours generated 4TB of data in total, equal to 150 ultra-high-definition movies. The generation and collection of the big data, will no doubt redefine the relationships between cars and people. Though analyzing the data, SAIC will have a better understanding of consumers and be able to provide users with the best possible experiences. In addition, the accumulation of “seed data” will generate big data with immeasurable potential in the future.

More internet-based cars to come

On Oct 12, 2016, Roewe celebrated its 10th launch anniversary.

Ten years ago, Roewe entered the market as a medium-to-high-end model. The marque always stuck to technological innovations and did its best to provide users with the best possible experiences. Its huge investment in R&D paid off ten years later.

RX5, the leading role of the above-mentioned rally, has been backed by SAIC Chairman Chen Hong and Alibaba’s Jack Ma. It boasts “four bests” (best look, R&D and manufacturing, technology, and price) and “one highest” (highest quality), allowing consumers to “buy an enjoyable SUV at an affordable price” and thus is a product that best suits the trends of the internet age as “China’s best SUV” so far.

Due to its great popularity, RX5 is changing the landscape of the car market. In September, the 25,000th RX5 rolled off the production line, and the car’s monthly sales neared 14,000 units. It sold at an average rate of one in every minute in the month, helping boost Roewe’s sales growth to 214 percent in September, which remained the highest among Chinese brands. The success of RX5 proved that the auto industry’s dream of embracing the internet has come true.

In addition, other models including Roewe 360 also sold fast. Roewe enjoyed the highest brand loyalty among users planning a repurchase. SAIC’s new technologies, including NetBlue, NetGreen and car on the internet, will continue to drive Roewe’s growth.

Through the internet car rally racing, consumers had the opportunity to have a glimpse into the future’s brand-new motor life possibilities as well as incoming unprecedented revolutions in the age of internet of things, from today’s intelligent control to tomorrow’s smart driving.

In 2017, Roewe will roll out more brand new internet-based products. In the foreseeable future, Roewe will accumulate more data and value to present more possibilities to users.

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