Chapter 1246 – Crash Test Laboratory
The Automobile Industry Conference participants will raise some suggestions for everyone to discuss, hoping to improve the overall standards of the industry.
But the suggestions every year are about the same. The smaller manufacturers want the big brands to give in and give them some technologies. The bigger manufacturers want to acquire those smaller manufacturers to increase their scale. Mergers are cheaper than building new factories as they will have a batch of skilled workers.
Those spare parts factories will want more orders and increase the prices. But they have never thought that they have the lowest technologies and have no right to negotiate!
This year, Bing City Machinery Manufacturing Group had made a new suggestion that attracted Wang Donghui. They will invest a large sum of money in setting up a test laboratory and wants the rest of the manufacturers to join. They want to set up China’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) like the US, Europe, and Japan.
There are several benefits to this. First, everyone will undergo a crash test at a laboratory, preventing wastage of funds and resources. Secondly, the assessments’ standards will be the same if everyone tested their vehicles at the same laboratory. Thirdly, China’s automobile industry can reach international standards faster. This assessment program is recognized internationally and is useful for China’s domestic cars to be exported.
Although all major automobile manufacturers have their own test laboratories, other than Bing City Machinery Manufacturing Group, they are not satisfactory. Most of the vehicle models they manufactured are joint ventured vehicles and had been tested overseas.
The smaller manufacturers conducted sub-standards tests, and some even faked the results to fool the higher-ups. After all, a standard crash test is very expensive.
A top-tier crash dummy cost more than 1 million RMB, and every crash costs at least 100,000 to 200,000 RMB depending on the vehicle.
A new vehicle needs to undergo several crash tests, and the smaller manufacturers cannot afford it.
Songjiang Motors’ vehicles are not selling well overseas is also related to NCAP rating. According to Europe Standard, Songjiang’s Olympics got the best grade, which is only 4 stars. In comparison, the other models could only get 3 stars. Little Genie could only barely reach 2 stars.
Cars are the main form of transportation in the West, and their accident rates are higher. That’s why when they buy cars, they will look at the safety ratings too. After all, no one wants to die in an accident.
In China, not many are concern with a car’s safety rating. It was only last year when Feng Yu first saw child car seats in China. Most people will hold their children in their arms or on their laps when they travel in a car, and many don’t even know how to use the seatbelt.
A child car seat can offer some protection to children in the event of an accident. Feng Yu had asked Bing City Machinery Manufacturing Group to produce it, but the market response is bad. Many people don’t feel the need to use one.
Many Chinese think that if they met an accident, a child car seat would be useless. The child will still get injured, and some felt it is safer to hold their children in their arms, as they can shield their child with their bodies if anything happens.
Although human bodies can offer some protection, Feng Yu still thinks a child car seat is safer. Adults might lose concentration sometimes, but a car seat will not. Also, when an accident happens, the adults might not react in time.
If an adult is sitting beside the child’s car seat, it will be much safer for the child.
In Feng Yu’s previous life, China set up CNCAP in 2005, and it was headed by a private automobile manufacturer. The person who set it up is Li Dafu. Those people from the State-owned enterprises are only thinking for themselves and couldn’t care less about others.
In this life, China manufactured vehicles are exported overseas much earlier, and Feng Yu felt they should set up this star ratings assessment standards earlier to raise their competitiveness.
In other countries, this standard had been set up not too long ago. The influential Euro NCAP was only set up in 1997. That’s why it is not too late to set up the Chinese NCAP now. If this is delayed a few more years, Chinese automobile manufacturers might not catch up with the rest of the world.
If the C-NCAP is recognized by Euro NCAP, it will mean it will be recognized internationally. For example, Chevrolet cars are rated on an average of 4 stars and above in the US but had only gotten 2 stars in Europe’s test laboratory.
Among all the automobile brands, the brand which has got the highest ratings is Volvo. Volvo was bought over by a Chinese automobile manufacturer, and that’s why China’s assessment ratings got recognized internationally.
“What does everyone think about Manager Li’s suggestion?” Wang Donghui asked.
“I don’t see the need for that. We all have our own laboratory. Why should we bring our cars to conduct tests at someone else’s lab? Old Li, your company is already making high profits. You don’t need to make use of this to earn our money, right?” FAW General Manager Zhao said.
“Since Manager Zhao is asking, then let me explain. Our group has our own laboratory. It includes material, spare parts, power, chassis, exhaust fumes, noise, shock, durability, wind tunnels, etc. Let me ask all of you here. Which one of your companies has a more complete test laboratory than us?”
“We will be investing 200 million USD in setting up this crash test laboratory. Remember, it is 200 million USD! A crash test dummy cost more than 1 million RMB and must be bought from overseas. Our country still cannot produce such precision test dummies yet. Although a crash test is only from the front and side, the dummy must be seated in different positions to get the best result. A new car must undergo this test dozens or even hundreds of times. Other than us, who else can do it?”
“If our cars did not go through these tests, it will be hard for us to be recognized in other countries. All our cars exported to Europe must undergo crash tests in their laboratories and be rated by them. To you all our cars are safe. But compared to European cars, there is still a huge gap. Also, the safety rating is one of the criteria many families consider when buying cars.”
“Are you all just going to remain in China for the rest of your lives? Have you all ever thought of creating wealth for our country? You all are only thinking of joint venture cars. Have you all ever consider creating your own brand of cars? You all have spent your lives buying other people’s technologies. Have you all ever thought of developing more advanced technologies?”
“This new crash test laboratory will be fully funded by Bing City Machinery Manufacturing Group, and it will be a national-level laboratory. All of our other laboratories will also be national-level. We will be setting up Asia’s biggest automobile test laboratory. We must convince others to believe in our standards. If all of you want to remain in China and see those foreign brands coming over to earn our money, just forget what I had said. We will do this on our own!”
New Car Assessment Program