Releases are becoming more fuel-efficient. Low-emission models are also on the rise.
China-made cars are becoming more environment-friendly in response to consumer concerns about fuel prices and climate change.
|Shandong Jindalu's FLC3 model adopts a 4-stroke water-cooled 2-cylinder engine.|
At many companies, R&D efforts are geared toward models with low displacement and fuel consumption. Shandong Jindalu Vehicle Co. Ltd, for example, has invested $6.2 million in developing the FLC-17 model, which is equipped with a 0.6 to 0.8L 4-stroke gasoline engine. Scheduled for release in 2012, the unit can run from 95 to 125kph.
Several enterprises are also stepping up efforts to lower emission to levels required by overseas markets. Among these is Jonway Group Co. Ltd, which has released 3 and 5-door SUVs with Mitsubishi engines that confirm to Euro IV. The products have a displacement of 1.6, 1.8 or 2L.
Besides launching “greener” designs, China suppliers are improving operating efficiency to boost overall competitiveness. This comes as rivalry among makers continues to heat up overseas and even domestically, with major players targeting greater penetration of various markets.
Shandong Jindalu installed a hanging assembly line in its factory this April under efforts to enhance productivity. The system allows the company to roll out a vehicle every 5 minutes.
Such enhancements, together with the introduction of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles, are projected to keep sales strong, despite the emergence of more electric vehicles. Exports are anticipated to rise at double-digit rates.
Shandong Shifeng (Group) Co. Ltd and Shandong Jindalu both expect overseas-bound products to increase 10 to 20 percent by year-end. Some suppliers are more optimistic, forecasting surges of up to 50 percent.
Domestic demand for greener vehicles is likewise expected go on the upswing amid plans by the state to levy taxes based on fuel consumption. The government will also offer subsidies to buyers of models with engines smaller than 1.6L and using no more than 6.2L per 100km.
Gasoline-powered types account for the majority of cars from China. The line can be sourced from more than 100 makers, 14 of which are large operations with yearly sales reaching 1 million units. These manufacturers produce engines, transmissions and other key parts in-house. The sector includes joint ventures between overseas-based and state-invested companies, and private entities.
Small players, most of which are privately owned, typically outsource the engine, transmission, chassis, wheels, tires and lighting assemblies. Mechanical parts, particularly stamped and injection-molded types, are made in-house.
Sedans: Entry-level designs that go for $3,000 to $12,500 measure about 4,500mm long and weigh less than 1.1 tons. Utilizing a natural intake engine with displacement ranging from 0.6 to 1.5L, models can travel up to 180kph. They come with a manual or automatic transmission system and electronic fuel injection.
Midrange sedans are on hand for up to $45,000. These are 4,800mm in length, while net weight does not exceed 1.7 tons.
The maximum speed in this segment reaches 230kph. Models are fitted with natural intake engines employing EFI and variable valve timing or dynamic VVT. Displacement ranges from 1.4 to 3L. For transmission systems, automatic, manual and continuously variable types are available.
More expensive sedans, coming mostly from JVs, are generally longer but weigh less than 2 tons. The selection includes models with 6 to 8-gear CVT or automated manual transmission. Turbocharged engines are an option.
Units can reach speeds of up to 250kph. Their engine displacement is 2 to 4.3L.
SUVs: The line is among the best-selling makes in China. In terms of structure, these are larger and have a wider legroom.
With prices starting at $6,700, models typically target the low-end and midrange. Units are equipped with natural intake or turbocharged engines. Torque reaches 310Nm, while power is about 150PS.
Front- and rear-wheel drive, and 4WD types are offered. For transmission systems, AMT, manual and automatic options are available.
Between $17,000 and $35,000, upscale models with dual clutch transmission and FSI engines are on hand. The torque is up to 350Nm, while power reaches 210PS.
Note: This article "Car suppliers riding 'green' trend" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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