31°North and Gao Feng Advisory Company Form a China-Israel Business Advisory Partnership

Shanghai, China – May 25, 2015 – 31°North, an Israel-based venture advisory firm, and Gao Feng Advisory Company (“Gao Feng”), a global management consultancy with roots in China, today announced that they have signed a strategic partnership agreement.  Both firms will seek to combine efforts to deliver a unique and comprehensive set of services to their global clients.

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This partnership is intended to accelerate the commercialization of technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT) from their incubation stage to full-scale deployment.  Israel, dubbed the start-up nation, is known for its disproportional number of successful start-ups, doctors, scientists, engineers, registered patents and NASDAQ listed companies.  Over the next decade, IoT related businesses are expected to grow exponentially, and China will likely become be the largest market for commercialization of these technologies.  The sheer size of its population and industrial infrastructure, the high rate of user adoption of social networking and mobile/connected technologies, along with the commercial aggressiveness of the companies competing in the IoT market, will result growth rates higher than that of other global markets.

China’s urban transportation challenge, the high rate of adoption of connected mobile devices, combined with the rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility and vehicle ownership concepts from new entrants, will ultimately compress the time needed to commercialize smart, connected car technologies and related services.

31°North and Gao Feng will partner to provide services to help their clients leverage these forces to achieve competitive advantage.  The combined services portfolio will encompass topics including smart city, connected mobility, vehicle electrification and network management, among others.  The Strategic Partnership aims to play a significant role in assisting public and private sector organizations to accelerate commercialization of innovative new technologies.

“The Israeli technology ecosystem has grown to be one of the most advanced globally with leadership in cyber, industrial technologies, big data, billing systems, sensor development, mobile applications amongst others. China represents an exciting market for Israeli firms and we look forward to leveraging our strong partnership with Gao Feng to help facilitate between Chinese global and local industries and Israeli technology”, said Uri Kushnir – Managing Partner at 31°North.

“Gao Feng is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm”, said Dr. Edward Tse, founder and CEO of Gao Feng.   The conditions in China – the market with the largest number of both internet and “smart phone” users – will likely make it the incubator for rapid commercialization of IoT innovations.  The partnership with 31°North allows Gao Feng to offer our clients a broad set of capabilities and deep expertise in the area of IoT and Connected Mobility”, he added.

Gao Feng Advisory Company is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm with roots in China and global vision, capabilities, and a broad resources network.

31°North is a venture advisory firm positioned at the cutting edge of the Israeli technology eco-system, assisting global corporates with strategy and implementation of technology.

 

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About 31°North  

31°North is a venture advisory firm positioned at the cutting edge of the Israeli technology eco-system, assisting global corporates with strategy and implementation of technology solutions. We work with global players looking to integrate new technology solutions into their existing technological platform, often also dealing with technology road-mapping, regulatory support and standards work. Our day to day is spent analyzing hundreds of technology companies ranging from startups to mature firms, with the aim of customizing the best available solutions for our global clients. We specialize in the automotive industry, smart cities and cyber security and have worked extensively with OEMs, Banks, Governments, municipalities, Industrial firms, Global integrators and Venture firms

Our founders bring experience from both the financial/venture and technological corporate world with experience as executives in global listed companies, technology startups and major tech integrators. Our in-house expertise is extended by deep partnership with Venture and Advisory firms.

Connect with us on www.31degreesnorth.com
For Further Queries: 
Guy Pross | Managing Partner  – Tel Aviv, Israel | Email: guy.pross@31degreesnorth.com

About Gao Feng Advisory Company

Gao Feng Advisory Company is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm with roots in China and global vision, capabilities, and a broad resources network. We help our clients address and solve their toughest business and management issues — issues that arise in midst of fast-changing, complicated and ambiguous operating environment. We put our clients’ interest first and foremost. We are objective and we view our client engagements as long-term relationships rather than one-off projects. We commit to helping our clients to not only “design” the solutions but assist in implementation, often hand-in-hand with the clients. We believe that every member of our team can contribute to problem solving for our clients, from the most senior to the most junior.

Our seniors are former senior consultants at leading management consulting firms and/or senior executives at large corporations. We believe clients would benefit the most from a combination of consultants with substantive experience in consulting coupled with line management professionals.  In addition to our team in the Greater China offices of Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, we have a global network of collaboration partners with a wide range of experience, capabilities and resources.

Connect with us on www.gaofengadv.com 
For Further Queries: 
Bill Russo | Managing Director – Shanghai, China | Email: bill.russo@gaofengadv.com 

An Intelligent Urban Transportation Ecosystem for China

Gao Feng Insights Report, April 2015

We are pleased to share with you a report titled: An Intelligent Urban Transportation Ecosystem for China. This new report is the product of a collaboration between Gao Feng Advisory Company and our partners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. The core mission of the MIT Media Lab is to design technologies to create a better future.

China’s cities have been the engines powering its rapacious economic growth. Since 1978, China’s urban population has risen from about 18% to over 53% today, and by 2025 about two-thirds of Chinese citizens will live in cities. The 35 largest cities in China recently contributed just under half of China’s overall GDP. However, the wealth accumulated in China’s cities has come at the price of livability. Many cities are struggling with paralyzing gridlock, dangerous air quality, and widening income disparity. There is a growing recognition that the current formula for development is unsustainable, and a more balanced model is being sought.

It is precisely this set of conditions that make China the most likely platform for incubating and commercializing the innovative technologies to serve the “smart cities” of the 21st Century. After several decades of advances in the world of mobile connectivity, big data and social networks, technology is now making the commercialization of smart city transportation solutions feasible. A new “ecosystem approach” must be envisioned to deliver sustainable urban mobility. Such a system should evolve beyond conventional solutions such as private vehicles with electric power trains or bus-rapid transit. This “systems” approach instead focuses on utilizing new technologies, urban strategies, and progressive public policies to create an intermodal and interoperable mobility network that combines existing mobility systems (such as mass transit) with creative new mobility systems.

In this paper, we describe the vision and key elements of an Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand (A-MoD) System, and how a collaborative effort among Academia, Industry and Government can be leveraged to deploy a sustainable urban transportation system in China.

Internet Car Sales Click With Chinese Consumers

Ward’s Auto, January 5, 2015

Chinese automaker Geely will sell about 3,000 units online in China in 2014, five years after launching Internet sales on the country’s leading e-commerce site.

“The impact of Internet firms has been a major success for the company,” Geely spokesman Ashley Sutcliffe says.

Consumers have embraced e-commerce in China, the world’s most networked country. They are willing to buy just about anything online, including cars, and thus a new distribution model is being created.

But don’t count traditional dealerships out. They still play a crucial role.

“E-commerce in the automotive market is taking off,” says Paul Hu, chief marketing officer for Greater China and ASEAN at Volkswagen Group China. “In my personal opinion, online sales in the total car market in China will account for 10% in the near future.”

Shanghai Volkswagen, one of VW’s joint ventures in China, sells cars online in China though a handful of sites. Customers place orders online, but pick up the vehicle at a dealership.

“We do believe that there is some disruption to come to the distribution model, but it is not imminent,” says Kyle Dickie, CEO of Sewells Group, a dealership best-practices consultancy. “In China, there is an unusually high level of trust still placed in the sales consultant. In other words, consumers still want to interact face to face.”

Smartphones are the disruptive agent. By the end of 2014 China was to have more than 500 million smartphone users, says Wang Xiangrong, an official with China’s State Internet Information Office.

Those phones are kept busy buying stuff. Beijing-based iResearch predicts 2014 online retail sales in China will surge 45.8% to RMB2.76 trillion ($444 billion).

The explosion of online commerce in China is aided by e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. All are playing a role in changing the vehicle-distribution model in China.

Alibaba owns Tmall, the country’s leading e-commerce site. Formerly called Taobao, it is the site where Geely launched Internet sales. Last year, Alibaba partnered with another Chinese automaker, SAIC, to create an Internet-enabled car.

Though consumers can buy a Geely car online, dealers still close the deal. “Consumers can pay a deposit or pay for cars outright online, (but) the official sale will be handled by the nearest dealer,” says Sutcliffe.

That allows the dealer to sell additional products to the buyer and also gives the customer a point of contact for aftersales service, he says. Geely has some 800 dealerships in China.

Demise of Dealerships From Ride Sharing?

Online sales aren’t what will cut dealers out of the sales loop, argues Bill Russo, managing director at consultancy Gao Feng in Shanghai. Business-to-consumer connected-transportation applications might, however. These basically are ride-sharing applications but in China taxi drivers are used.

“Empowered with technology, consumers of mobility services are likely to make choices other than what the automakers and their dealers are offering today,” says Russo.

China’s Internet giants are deeply involved in mobility services.

Alibaba is an investor in Kuaidi Dache, a taxi application that sometimes tops 6 million daily orders. Tencent offers the taxi app Didi Dache, which claims more than 100 million registered users and says it processes more than 5.2 million orders daily.

The Baidu search engine has 500 million monthly mobile users and offers Baidu Maps and Total View, which uses satellites to show actual locations. It is a Chinese version of Google Maps’ Street View; Google is blocked in China.

The U.S. ride-sharing service Uber has just entered the China market and will use Baidu’s maps and Street View.

Internet-savvy young Chinese increasingly are becoming accustomed to using such services, says Russo. They “are increasingly likely to opt out of traditional car-ownership hassles,” he says.

Geely is one automaker that is playing both sides. It owns London Taxi, a famous brand in the U.K. A few months ago it introduced a fleet of the vehicles in Shanghai.

The iconic taxis – which in Shanghai are gold, rather than black – are larger than regular taxis and equipped to accommodate wheelchair users or others with special needs, says Sutcliffe. Right now they can only be summoned using a phone.

“There are plans for an app,” Sutcliffe adds.

Bill Russo to Brief Investors on the Internet of Vehicles

TOPIC:

Building the Internet if Vehicles and Related Smart Car Technologies in China

Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Time:  10AM EST, 11PM China

Venue:  Conference Call

Click here to register (sponsored by Coleman Research Group)

  • Traditional auto ownership model re-shaped by rapid urbanization in China
  • Disruption of the automotive value chain
  • New mobility concepts changing traditional business models
  • Unique context of China’s urban transportation challenges
  • High rate of adoption of mobile device connectivity driving need for connected car technologies
  • Need for OEMs to develop strong relationships with telcos and technology players
  • Companies: Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Volkswagen (VOW), Toyota (TM),Honda (HMC), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Nissan (NSANY), Hyundai (HYMTF),Daimler AG (DDAIF), BMW AG (BMW), Continental AG (CON), Valeo (EPA),TRW Automotive (TRW), Mobileye (MBLY), Uber, Yidao, Relay Rides, Baidu(BIDU), Alibaba (BABA) and Google (GOOG)

China is the world’s largest auto market and also has highest number of internet and smart phone users which will likely make it an innovator and incubator of smart car technologies. China’s urban transportation challenges, the high rate of adoption of connected mobile devices, combined with the rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility and vehicle ownership concepts will ultimately compress the time needed to commercialize smart, connected car technologies and services.  Investors, automakers and dealers are optimistic that these developments will dramatically revolutionize the Chinese auto market. As a result, OEMs are investing rapidly in the marketplace to gain first mover advantage in the most promising auto market in the world.
ABOUT OUR EXPERT:

Bill Russo is Managing Director and Automotive Practice Leader with Gao Feng Advisory Company, Ltd a China-based consultancy. He has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Prior to this, he was VP of Chrysler Northeast Asia, where he successfully negotiated and secured government approval for six vehicle programs with three different Asian partners. In this time period, he launched a regional holding company as well as two distribution companies and oversaw the industrialization of the first Chrysler and Dodge-branded vehicles in Asia. He holds a U.S. patent for his innovative efforts towards reducing automotive new product development cycle time and is a published author and opinion leader whose viewpoints have appeared throughout several media outlets.

高风简报:《重塑中国汽车业》中文版报告

尊敬的高风朋友们:
我们很高兴与各位分享一份名为重塑中国汽车业: 制造开发互联网汽车及相关智能汽车技术的报告。这是由高风咨询公司董事总经理及汽车行业责人罗威先生 (Mr. Bill Russo在近期上海花旗集团汽车会议上所发表的内容。
随着汽车工业的发展以及无线网络与移动设备的日益普及,我们可以预见车联网将为汽车工业的产品和商业模式创新提供大量机遇。
中国拥有世界最大的汽车市场,同时亦拥有世界最多的互联网和智能手机用户。中国将成为此类创新快速商业化的孵化器。中国的城市交通面临的挑战,互联移动设备的高普及率,再加上替代性交通工具的大量快速引进以及新的行业进入者带来的车辆所有权的概念,这些最终会缩短智能互联汽车技术以及相关服务商业化的时间。这类发展不仅会极大地改变车辆的特征,而且会给汽车工业的商业模式带来一场革新,以移动服务的用户为重点的商业模式将会出现,颠覆传统的”车辆所有权”模式。
欢迎您对这份报告或者我们公司的任何评论与反馈。这份报告仅是对此话题的一个概括想法。我们非常愿意当面与您全方位分享我们的数据以及观点,如果您对与我们会面感兴趣,请一定联系我们。
高风咨询公司致力于研究企业管理领域前沿之智力资本,不断与您分享最新的商业和管理思想,特别是关于中国以及中国在全球的影响等重要信息。

致以最诚挚的问候,
谢祖墀 博士
首席执行官
edward.tse@gaofengadv.com
罗威
董事总经理
林志强
总监

ck.lim@gaofengadv.com

Presentation on Internet of Vehicles at Citigroup China Auto Conference

Shanghai, China, November 14, 2014

Gao Feng’s Managing Director and Auto Practice leader Bill Russo will join a panel discussion titled Opportunities and Challenges of the China Auto Industry at 11:15am, and after this will deliver a keynote speech titled “Reinventing Mobility in China” at 12:15pm.

Topic:  Reinventing Mobility in China

With the auto industry developments and the increasingly prevalence of the wireless internet and mobile devices,  the Internet of Vehicles will create discontinuous opportunities for product and business model innovation. 
 
The conditions in China – the world’s largest auto market and the market with the largest number of both internet and “smart phone” users – will likely make it the incubator for rapid commercialization of such innovations. China’s urban transportation challenge, the high rate of adoption of connected mobile devices, combined with the rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility and vehicle ownership concepts from new entrants, will ultimately compress the time needed to commercialize smart, connected car technologies and related services. Such developments will dramatically alter not just the feature content of vehicles, but may also usher in a revolution to the business model of the automotive industry – where a model focused on “users of mobility services” could emerge as a real alternative to the traditional model of “car ownership”.
 

Conference Agenda

8:00 – Breakfast / registration

8:30 – 8:45 – Opening Remarks

8:45 – 9:30 – China Economic Outlook: Moderation, Mobility and a New Normal

9:30 – 10:15 – Tri-dimensional view of the Automotive Landscape –  China, Asia, Global

10:30 – 11:15 – The Global M&A Context

11:15 – 12:15 – Panel: Opportunities and Challenges of the China Auto Industry

12:15 – 1:00 – Lunch and Keynote Session: Reinventing Mobility in China

2:00 – 3:00 – Key Developments in the China Debt Markets

 

Venue: Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin I + II LG I

111 Pudong Road (South)

Pudong, Shanghai

200120, China

+86 21 2082 9888

 

Free Seminar: Reinventing Mobility In The China Context

Free Access to the Seminar for a limited time

Reinventing Mobility in the China Context:  Internet Vehicles & Related Smart Car Technologies

 Click here to access the seminar at GlobalBusinessProfessor.com

Bill RussoBill RussoManaging Director, Gao Feng Advisory Company.

His career includes over 30 years of industry experience, 15 years as an automotive executive with Chrysler, and 10 years of experience in China and Asia.  Mr. Russo has worked with numerous multi-national and local Chinese firms in the formulation and implementation of their global market and product strategies.  While the Vice President of Chrysler North East Asia, Mr. Russo successfully negotiated agreements with partners and obtained required approvals from the China government to bring 6 new vehicle programs to the market in a 3-year period, while concurrently establishing an infrastructure for local sourcing and sales distribution.  Mr. Russo is a highly sought after opinion leader on the development of the China automotive industry.