Zacua, Mexican Brand Seeks Market Share in Growing EV NicheBy Andrea Villar | Wed, 07/01/2020 - 07:00
Q: How did Zacua perform in 2019?
A: After creating the Zacua brand in July 2017, we began to build the plant, which opened in late April 2018. From that date, we began to assemble the first vehicles, which were delivered in October. It was then that the dream turned to reality and the first round of vehicles we manufactured was distributed among family and friends to monitor the operation of the vehicles.
We did not start producing immediately after this first round. We decided to wait six months to collect all possible data from the cars that were already on the streets. One of the improvements that we had to implement in terms of digitalization was the design of a full-touch screen. Once we solved all issues, we started working on production to deliver on request. Zacua's business model is completely digital and we are a company that seeks efficiency in everything. For that reason, we do not mass produce and our goal is to reduce our delivery times from three to two months. Zacua’s production is 100 percent handmade and we have been fortunate to already sell 50 of our vehicles.
For Zacua that is a very good number. In Mexico, regardless of the COVID-19 crisis, 1.5 million new vehicles are sold per year and out of those 1.5 million, less than 300 are electric vehicles. The electric vehicle niche is very small and for us to sell 50 vehicles is a very big achievement. Within this niche, our target is people who already have a higher level of awareness about caring for the environment. Our client mix ranges from 15-year-olds to 77-year-olds.
The design of our cars was purchased from a company in France. It was the fastest option for cars to start rolling on the streets. The vehicle is manufactured with a thermoforming process and is put together by Mexican women only.
Q: What challenges has Zacua identified in the Mexican market regarding electric mobility?
A: We have realized that people do not buy EVs because of the lack of information regarding the benefits and costs of these vehicles. With information available, we want to open new niches such as the business sector.
Electromobility in Mexico has not advanced rapidly because many areas need work at the same time. One is infrastructure, where work must be done to strengthen charging networks for the use of vehicles. Legislation is also needed to seek incentives for purchasing these vehicles We are working on a collaboration with banks and insurers to show them that EVs are safe and that they can be financed. Zacua is working to quicken the flow toward electromobility. For example, we are participating in workshops with the federal and state governments.
Q: What was the biggest challenge that Zacua faced when it began to market its vehicles?
A: Participating in the electromobility industry is a huge challenge. The greatest obstacle we faced was keeping the project alive. But we maintained our belief that this was a great contribution to the country and the environment. We will keep making information on electric mobility available to everyone so we can continue to break paradigms.
Many people also think that because Zacua is new to the market, it should provide low prices. When most people buy a car, they do not think about the costs related to production and logistics operations. An electric vehicle cuts costs over the long run, but people are just beginning to understand that.
Zacua is a 100 percent Mexican OEM focused on EV development. The company started production in the country in 2018, the same year it released its first two models, the M2 and M3. Both models are manufactured at Zacua’s facilities in Puebla.