Text/New Strategic Robot All Media Peng Qing
Half of 2020 has passed, the epidemic situation, the economic downturn...In the first half of the year full of magical realities, what was the survival situation of AGV industry companies?
Fierce competition-intensified price wars and accelerated industry integration
According to relevant surveys, the interviewed entrepreneurs expect that the new crown pneumonia will affect the company as a whole for about 5 months. While the revenue of the company is declining, it will also have to deal with the fixed rent, employee salary and other expenses. 55% of the companies said that the cash flow is tight. Only 4% of companies said their cash flow was not affected. During the epidemic, for small and medium-sized companies, abundant cash flow and profits can be regarded as a company's immunity. To maintain the stability of cash flow, open source is the key-AGV vendors must have enough projects.
However, because of the epidemic, the national and even global economy was in a state of stagnation and delay at the beginning of the year. Although China's epidemic has been basically controlled, manufacturing production and economic operations are still not active enough. Judging from the performance of enterprises, it is extremely large. The cost of some companies has been reduced, and the pressure has doubled. In this period, in order to obtain more corporate orders, many robot companies have fallen into the competitive method of taking price as the best policy, and the phenomenon of "price war" has become more and more intense.
While the industry as a whole has more monks and less meat, the advantages of leading companies have become more obvious, and industry integration has accelerated.
In the first half of this year, Siasun was successfully shortlisted for the BMW Global Qualified Supplier System and signed a three-year business framework contract; obtained a framework agreement for the deployment of laser forklifts in Michelin Tire’s global factories; Of the 200 high-precision docking AGVs, nearly half of them will be used in German factories. In addition, during the epidemic, Siasun also received nearly 100 final assembly AGV orders from the Shanghai plant of American new energy vehicles. In the first half of the year, Siasun has frequently won large orders in the automotive industry. At present, its AGV market has more than 10,000 units.
In addition to the industry's big brother Siasun, the representative of emerging companies , Jizhijia, was also active in the first half of this year and completed the C2 round of financing at the beginning of the year. So far, the total amount of Jizhijia's C round (C1+C2) financing has exceeded 200 million US dollars. In May, Jizhijia also reached a strategic cooperation with Conveyco Technologies, a leading material handling system integrator in North America, and began to accelerate the expansion of the North American market.
In addition to Jizhijia, in the first quarter of this year, the sales of Kuaicang, which is also the head company of warehousing robots, also exceeded 300% of the same period in 2019. Today International also stated that the business volume in the first half of this year has doubled compared with the same period last year.
However, in contrast to the strong performance of leading companies, the life of some small AGV manufacturers in the industry in the first half of the year was not easy. With the overall project reduction, the price and deployment capabilities were not competitive. It can be seen that during the epidemic, industry integration is further accelerating.
Expansion slows-overseas business is blocked
In addition to the decrease in overall domestic projects, the implementation and expansion of overseas business of domestic AGV companies was also affected in the first half of the year.
An industry insider once said, “This epidemic has a great impact on the overseas market of domestic mobile robots. On the one hand, the global market has been greatly impacted. This can be seen from the stock market, and the demand for foreign markets after the global economy deteriorates It will decrease, and this will of course lead to a significant shrinkage in the demand for overseas mobile robots. On the other hand, our country’s inbound visits to many major epidemic countries, including major industrial countries, are restricted, so domestic companies’ The ability to participate in business is also significantly reduced, and even if it is possible to win bids for some overseas projects, due to visa difficulties and the impact of immigration isolation, project implementation is also very difficult." Therefore, from the shrinking market to the cost of project implementation and implementation, etc. On the one hand, overseas markets did not particularly favor Chinese suppliers during the epidemic.
Therefore, domestic mobile robot manufacturers committed to "going out" had to slow down their overseas expansion in the first half of the year, but for some companies with subsidiaries and branches abroad, the impact will be relatively small.
As for the long-term development of overseas markets, the industry is generally optimistic. Zheng Yong, the founder of Jizhijia, said: "In the medium and long term, business must be good, especially in overseas markets where labor costs are higher and companies need more robots. Programs to alleviate labor shortages and cost pressures, thereby reducing costs and increasing efficiency."
Capital-optimistic about the long-term development of the industry, commercial mobile robots are favored
Despite the impact of the epidemic, the industry as a whole has been affected to a certain extent in the short term, but the industry is generally optimistic that the epidemic will further increase the willingness of application-side enterprises to "machine substitution", which can also be seen from the capital investment.
According to data from the China Mobile Robotics (AGV) Industry Alliance and the New Strategic Robot Industry Research Institute, there were about 15 investment and financing incidents in the domestic mobile robot industry in the first half of 2020, of which nearly 80% of the companies’ financing amounted to RMB 100 million Level, the total financing amount is nearly 3 billion yuan. Logistics robots are still popular, and commercial mobile robots are also beginning to attract attention.
From the financing status in the first half of the year, it can be seen that leading companies and distinctive logistics robot companies are still supported by the capital market. The unmanned distribution at the end of the logistics field has also caused the capital side during the epidemic and the post-epidemic period. Note that with the improvement of the domestic epidemic, commercial service robots have also been blessed by the capital market, and the amount of financing has also been larger.
The explosion in the commercial sector has also triggered some companies to shift from the industrial sector to the commercial market. It is reported that currently about 10% of logistics robot companies have been or are transforming into an industrial-based, commercial-assisted business direction. Some of these companies have successfully developed product distribution, collective killing, cleaning, and inspection applications in the current medical field. , Food delivery and other robot products.