On April 1, some media reported that Steven Zhao (Zhao Yuhui), the former vice president of the user center of NIO Automobile, joined Great Wall Motors (GWM) at the end of March as the general manager of the user center of GWM Sales Company. The official staff of GWM said on this matter that it was the case, which was normal personnel recruitment.
GWM, as China’s leading automobile company, has made many innovations in the brand image and marketing model in recent years. New products such as ORA and Haval F series are trying to create a young and dynamic new image. Although NIO was established in 2014, it is a leader in China’s automotive industry in terms of brand operation and user experience. Absorbing talents from NIO is conducive to GWM to promote brand upgrades and provide users with a new experience.
According to relevant reports, after joining GWM, Steven will be mainly responsible for public opinion monitoring, Internet influencer KOL development, forum organization, and fan club operation, and report directly to Li Ruifeng, vice president of Great Wall Motors Sales. Steven’s department belongs to the platform business of Great Wall Motors Sales Company. The existing four brands of Great Wall: Haval, ORA, Pao (Pickup), and WEY will all benefit from it.
According to public information, Steven has been the vice president of NIO User Center since March 2017, responsible for the expansion of NIO House, and previously held positions at LeTV and Apple. Under his leadership, NIO House provides users with a different car buying experience. In 2017, NIO’s first NIO House opened in Oriental Plaza, 1 East Chang’an Street, Beijing. Compared with 4S stores, it is more like a car owner’s living space.
In 2019, NIO delivered a total of 20,565 new cars, leading the sales ranking of new car manufacturers in China. Both new experiences and new products require high costs, and NIO lost 11.3 billion in 2019. Beginning last year, NIO’s personnel changes frequently. Co-founder Zheng Xiancong, software development (China) vice president Zhuang Li, CFO Xie Dongying, and senior vice president Huang Chendong will also leave.