Special Report

July 28, 2015

New Technology is a Strong Driver

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Written by: Suhail Nasir
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In the sub-forum regarding technological advancement, the attendees had an in-depth discussion aimed at finding a way to reshape the structure of the automobile industry in the future.

Mr. Peter Rankl, Vice President of Powertrain China/Korea, said that the most urgent problem Chinese auto companies’ face is meeting the gas mileage standard of 5 liters per 100 kilometers by 2020. To achieve this goal, the design of vehicles must be optimized, the engine and powertrain systems must be improved and the powertrain needs to be electrified. Continental began their research on electrification 10 years ago and the latest electrical machine for electric cars will be released in Germany soon.

Mr. Yusuke Hasegawa, the Managing Officer and Director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Automobile R&D Center and the Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Research Division, pointed out that the marketing promotion of hybrid vehicles has been extremely successful in recent years. However, the electric vehicles are still restricted by some technological limits, particularly driving range. Honda plans to release the production version of the fuel cell vehicle (FCV). After overcoming technical difficulties, quality control issues will be the main problem for Honda to solve in perfecting this vehicle.

Mr. Li Gaopeng, Deputy Director of Department of Technology of Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd., pointed out that the usage of energy saving and new energy vehicles has increased the technological level of companies in the auto industry has improved significantly. China plans on having produced 1000 fuel cell vehicles and built up a market for them by 2020. The regional operating system will not be finished until 2025.

 The idea of “Internet +” has become increasingly popular since Prime Minister Li Keqiang proposed it at this year’s “two sessions”, an event that drives the auto industry to think deeply about technological advancements and the future.

Mr. Zhao Ying, Professor of Institution of Industrial Economics (IIE) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said that Industry 4.0 should be seen as the 4th Industrial Revolution. Its main goal is to utilize the physical systems created by the former industrial revolutions and merge them with the increasingly complete digital information system to achieve intelligence in production. The difference in Industry 4.0 is that it connects people with product lines.

 Mr. Zhao pointed out that Industry 4.0 will take the “high ground” of the industrial chain globally and become the core competency of a country’s manufacturing. When focusing on the auto industry, Industry 4.0 will make the industry more intelligent, flexible, efficient and environmentally friendly. It will have an extensive impact on the production, R&D, and quality of employees in the auto industry.

Mr. Sebastian Bersch, the Managing Director of Siemens IBS China, said that Industry 4.0 is mainly demonstrated in the implementation of new technology. Through the intelligentization of devices, the size of automatic production can be significantly grown, reducing production costs and improving quality control.

At the product and services level, Mr. David Mark Pascoe, the Vice President of Engineering and R&D of Magna International Inc., pointed out that interconnectivity would affect the vehicles’ practicality, design, economy and safety, ultimately adding value to the vehicle. In 2020, it is likely that 90% of new cars will include embedded and interconnected driving platforms.

Mr. Tan Benhong, Executive Vice President of the Global R&D Center of Changan Auto, said: “Changan defines vehicle intelligentization on 4 levels. We will implement the first level by the end of this year”. He also indicated that the intelligentization of vehicles will quickly impact the market sooner than many people expect.

Mr. Phil Murtaugh, the CEO of Qoros Auto Co., Ltd., indicated that big data, e-commerce, telematics and aftermarket all can be easily linked through “Internet +” and will help customize the products and services which will be provided to consumers. It will also widen channels for both distributors and aftermarket sellers. All of these will help fulfill consumers’ need for customized products and services.

-Published on page#19, July-2015 of MOBILE WORLD Magazine

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