China car times
The smoke is finally settling down in regards to Haval’s ten trillion brand new vehicles. Previously known as the Haval F6, they have now resurfaced as the New H6, selling up to 70.000 units in a month. The sale of the new H6 and the existing one will go hand in hand with the existing one getting even a further boost of a 1.3-turbocharged engine. Obviously, the new H6 will have the upper hand in the market than the current one.
Above is the current H6 that took the China market by storm for several years with the price ranging from 88.800 yuan to 140.800 yuan. The engine capacity is 150 horsepower with 1.5 turbo. The 1.3-turbocharged engine will have 138 horsepower. The All New H6 will have a paint job of Blue Label and Red Label. A white version of the Red Label was the only one seen on stage with the Blue Label expected to make an appearance at a much later date. The Red Label will have 197 horsepower, and a 2.0 turbocharge paired with a 7-speed DCT.
The New Haval H6 seems to resemble the WEY 01 as they almost share the same size and the appearance is almost the same. The WEY 01 features 230 horsepower with a 2.0 turbo and is more of a luxurious model compared to the new H6. Haval dealers are already overwhelmed with the demands for the existing Haval H6, and with the All New H6 coming out, things will get even more hectic. However, the New H6 is not likely to entirely replace the current one as it’s expected that it will soon get the Red Label treatment.
For the interior specs, the new H6 doesn’t really meet our expectations as the touch screen size doesn’t do justice to the 2017 Chinese SUV model, and the functions are more analogous when it comes to the instrument binnacle. Compared to other automakers such as Zotye and BYD, Haval is behind in various aspects.
The latest Honda UR-V is set to be launched in the Chinese auto market this March. Like a BMW X6, this new Honda is essentially a similar car to the Avancier, with the only differentiating factors being the bonnet, the bumpers, the back lights and the headlights. One is most likely to ponder at why Honda is selling two almost similar vehicles. The reason is, the company has a double car-making alliance, and both always desire and get a similar vehicle as one another, rivaling against themselves on the field, while misusing resources like time and money. That’s how it goes down in China, with Volkswagen and Toyota also having the two joint venture issue.
The Guangzhou joint venture manufactured the Avancier-Honda, while the Dongfeng joint venture did the UR-V-Honda. On the same note, Honda also designs two compact SUVs; the DF XR-V and GZ Vezel. Guangzhou takes the classy names; Dongfeng, takes the horrible combinations.
Comparing the Avancier head to head with the UR-V, the UR-V has a better appearance, doesn’t have the ugly fake vents below the A-pillar and has little mess up front. The Avancier premiered on the China market last October.
However, both their engines are alike with a 2.0L engine having 370nm and 272hp, coupled to a ZF 9-velocity auto box, directing mounts to the four wheels. Similarly, the engine code is alike too; K20C3. Additionally, there will be a 1.5L turbo engine having 249nm and 140hp serving in the Avancier. The UR-V-Honda shown in the picture has a 240nm emblem on the rear, and it feels safe to presume it’s a 1.5L turbo as the 370nm badge goes to the 2.0 turbo.
They are similar in the interior too, with a panel made from wood ahead of the passenger seat. Both are exclusively 5-seaters with no room for an additional row and with hidden DVD players.
In Shanghai, China, General Motors announced today that it will swiftly and extensively release its high-performance nine-speed auto transmission which will be debuting later this year with a large number of SUVs. The cutting-edge transmission technology improves efficiency and enhances performance and is expected to be adopted in 13 different models from Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick by 2020. It was a collective global development and was thoroughly tested globally—even in China. The newly developed nine-speed transmission has a 2pc higher fuel efficiency compared to its six-speed transmission counterpart. It implements a start/stop technology which saves fuel in typical traffic situations by shutting the engine down.
China GM’s VP, Global Propulsion Systems; Michael Carman said “GM has made it a priority to bring our company’s most advanced global technologies to China to benefit our local customers. This is enabling us to reduce emissions and maximize the fuel economy of our current and next generation of vehicles.” The 9-speed auto transmission features an overall ratio of 7.6:1, a first gear of 4.69 and for small-Rpm highway cruising it has a top gear of 0.62. This helps to optimize acceleration, minimize engine noise, and optimize fuel consumption while cruising to give you that balanced finesse and performance which you will all love at any speed.
The 9-speed automatic transmission was developed to address the small packaging needs of transversal propulsion systems and it also features an on-axis design which lines the gears with the crankshaft. This is GM’s first use of a one-way clutch that offers selection. These features aim to minimize package size making it loosely equivalent in size to the 6-speed transmission. For accurate and seamless shifts, a special procedure is employed to select the torque converter, gear sets, and clutches. Five epicyclic gear sets are employed having four parked clutches and three rotary clutches which saves on space. Gears transition from the 2nd to 9th gear ratios with clear-cut clutch-to-clutch changes—the clutch is connected to one gear while simultaneously disengaging from another gear.
In support of the growing new energy vehicles, Chine has decided to set up a total of 800,000 new charging ports this year. Out of the 800,000 charging ports, a 100,000 of them will be public charges and the rest non-public chargers. A majority of the non-public chargers will be used as company charging ports, and charging stations for buses, taxes and commercial transportation vehicles. Currently, there is a total of 150,000 charging stations with two-thirds of them—100,000 having been added last year.
The new charging stations will be mainly set up on highways and cities. The National Energy Administration of China has stated that within the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, there is a charging station within a 5-km radius at all times and that there are fast-charging stations within the 14,000km of highway. The construction period is estimated to continue on until 2020 at the least which is when China predicts to have adequate charging stations to keep up with a fleet of electric vehicles totaling five million.
The new line of new energy automobiles includes plug-in hybrids(PHEV) and electric vehicles(EV). In 2016, a total of 507,000 NEVs were sold in China alone and the country aims to sell 800,000 units of the same. This year’s number of sales include 350,000 passenger vehicles, and the rest is a cumulation of a variety of commercial vehicles and buses. The NEV commercial vehicles have largely grown unnoticed, however, its growth is projected to exceed the number of NEV passenger vehicles.
Huge cities like Shanghai and Beijing are continuously incorporating plug-in hybrid and electric buses at a high rate to their fleet. Additionally, a large number of city-based transportation businesses are adopting electric vehicles employing a wide range of vehicles from mid-sized trucks, minivans to tricycles.
2015 and 2016’s largest plug-in electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD, was caught up in China’s uncertain subsidy. There has been a rise in fear amongst Chinese consumers from the last quarter of 2016 with BYD selling only 8000 units last November and December. This was after maintaining 5-digit unit in sales in the several months prior to the end of 2016. Unfortunately, the Tang (278) and Qin (208) plug-in hybrids managed several hundred sales in January 2017 making the situation even worse. This cumulates to a 91pc drop which translates to about 486 sales although there is currently no data on all-electric versions.
At the center of the problem is a government notification from 2016 stipulating that all new plug-in hybrids and all-electric automobiles would undergo an incentive eligibility reevaluation in 2017. This was after a claiming rebate scandal earlier last year. Although it sounds like a brilliant idea, the Chinese government has yet to publish the eligible vehicles catalog for 2017. Which leaves everyone out in the cold since January, and the majority of February.
We can only presume that the plug-in vehicles by BYD which consumers are eagerly waiting for to be inculcated in the new subsidies catalog instead of having to pay the MSRP bill.
GAC Motor, a Chinese state-owned Automobile group unveiled its GS7 and GE3 SUVs together with the EnSpirit a plug-in hybrid crossover and the luxurious GA8, during the Detroit North American International Show making it the third time the company appeared. In an interview, GAC Motor executives reported that they hoped to enter the U.S market by 2019 during the auto show and also hope to retail the 5-passenger SUV at a compact car price. Yu Jun, the general manager, and Director said they were in talks to set up a dealer network, comply with US safety policies and have a research center up and running by the end of the year. Being the fastest growing company in China, GAC Motor has been riding its momentum which led to being the first Chinese brand to debut at the auto show.
The boxy looking five passenger GS7 SUV features a “Flying Dynamic” 2.0 grille, a cutting-edge 10-inch screen, 29 cubic feet for luggage, wireless charging, a dock for a smart key system and phone. It is likely going to be the first vehicle to reach the U.S. The GS7 has a 107-inch wheelbase and 186 inches of length which add to the roomy interior. It uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, offers 198 horsepower, 6-speed auto transmission and 236 pounds per square foot of torque. According to a translated press release “GS7 carries In-Joy intelligent interaction system which is independently developed by GAC MOTOR, and full of human-centered design with science and technology feeling to offering pleasant travel experiences.”
The interior is fitted with adjustable leather seats, a sunroof with a panoramic view that charms you all the way in. It is expected to debut in the U.S in 2018/19.
THE GE3 SUV
The GE3 SUV is the first vehicle to be built using the GAC’s new energy platform and was showcased at the auto show. Sales in China are expected to begin in June. It’s said to output 214 pounds per Square Foot of torque, 161 horsepower, powered by a lithium-ion battery with 47-kWh, a range of 192 miles and gets to 80pc charge in less than half an hour thanks to its fast-charging system.
The EnSpirit Concept
This is a futuristic sporty SUV-coupe dubbed as an innovative achievement. According to a press release, “It perfectly integrates the features of the coupe, SUV, and open car, meeting modern consumers’ demands for diversity, which will be embodied in subsequent GAC models to be massively produced.” The plug-in hybrid features a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine. It’s unclear on what the output is but it prides itself on having a unique color in both the interior and exterior and most notably a bonsai tree smack in the middle of the console.
Although the bonsai doesn’t beat the fish tank we saw on the WitStar concept vehicle in Detroit 2015, it’s an excellent conversation starter. However, with that said, it is unlikely it will make it to the production line.
What We Think
There is always the risk that American may perceive Chinese vehicle as low quality but it won’t be hard to imagine since GM and Volvo are manufactured in China. The GS7 isn’t all that beautiful to look at, but should it have a good pricing it might just give the rest of the car makers some competition. Many believe the G7 will be the first of GAC’s vehicle to enter U.S market though the company has a lot of hurdles and hoops to jump over with regards to U.S standards. No doubt the company is a fast growing one, registering a consistent 97pc increase in sales every year in China alone and plans to enter the U.S market by 2018.
Last month, luxury brand car maker, Audi got the short end of the stick in China’s luxury car consumer market. Audi registered a 35pc drop in deliveries last January having been overtaken by other luxury car brands namely BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This came as a disappointment considering that in the same month, 2nd-tier luxury car brands, Volvo and Cadillac had strong sales. Audi chalked up the drop to its dealers but ultimately, the company was to blame. The drop was a consequence of the speedy move Audi undertook last year to build up a distribution system with SAIC MOTOR CORP. The move had a lot of retaliation from Audi dealers who are associated with China Faw Group Corp, a partner to Audi.
This is an embarrassing change of situation for Audi, a brand which basically gave rise to China’s luxury consumer car market. Volkswagen, in an effort to avoid the 25pc import tariff, joined up with China Faw Group and started manufacturing Audi vehicles in 1995. Additionally, Audi got a favorable bump up when the government officials took a liking to for Audi’s stretched A6 Sedan. In the course of the two decades that followed, Audi was without a doubt China’s most popular luxury car brand. However, things began to turn south when president Xi Jinping initiated an anti-corruption crusade in 2013.
This saw a decline fleet sales from Audi since government officials rescinded their limousine purchases. But this was just the beginning, to make matters worse, Audi took their time to upgrade their product lineup. However, their rival company, Mercedes saw an opportunity. Mercedes seamlessly repaired their ineffective distribution channel and started to bring out the next generation of crossovers in 2013. This saw their sales skyrocket. Audi made two sour mistakes while under pressure last year. First of all, the company got rid of excess vehicles in their dealerships’ inventories, which made them lose out on money. The second blunder was that Audi signed a preliminary agreement with SAIC MOTOR last year November in an effort to set up a secondary dealership channel.
This came as a shock to Audi dealers, whom later published a cautionary open letter stating that a new distribution network would eventually have deteriorative effects. In an auto show in Guangzhou, the company’s executives had a sit down with the dealers but the talks didn’t appease the angry retailers. Sources from Chinese Media claim that Audi dealers issued a warning to withdraw and rescind ordering Audi vehicles.
Unfortunately for Audi, this wasn’t an idle threat and most of the dealers if not all, have gone ahead and executed that threat. Audi released a statement on Wednesday stating that the plunge in sales was due to China’s local dealers who apparently, had planned a laid-back inventory volume earlier this year. Audi participated in new talks this month with its Chinese dealers in an attempt to resolve the issue. However, the company couldn’t meet the demands of its dealers; an assurance that Audi would suspend its secondary distribution channel plans.
This deadlock forecasts a grim future for Audi. If Audi is unable to come up with a win-win situation with its dealers, then this will drain its market share revenues.
French press / Presse française
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English Press / Presse anglaise
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