The constant media squabble over C-NCAP (China New Car Assessment Program) doesn’t annoy Mr Zhao Hang at all. While the Chief Director of China Automotive Technology Research Centre (CATARC), Zhao has paid a great deal of efforts to produce this program, a vehicle crash test referred to as “Chinese new car safety evaluation standard” ;.”Safety, environmental friendliness and energy saving, we need to have them all,” he said.
Big Brother of the automotive industry
CATARC was originally an investigation institute directly belonged to government departments, nevertheless now it has changed into a state-owned enterprise to produce its own decisions. skid steer breaker Aside from assisting in setting automotive industry policies, CATARC also conducts research in several core automotive technologies, such as for example partnering with Tianjin FAW Xiali Motor, Hafei Automobile Group and Yunnan Hongta Group to produce alternative energy cars.
“For every aspect of China’s automotive industry, all of us have a corresponding service institution. Including pre-production tasks such as for example project establishment, factory site selection and factory construction planning, and production related processes such as for example auto products, standards, information, testing, certification, quality system establishment and staff training. We also get involved in market establishment, second-hand car market, automotive finance, car rental and vehicle scrap recycling,” said Zhao.
Although CATARC has this kind of wide-ranging function, many people currently are interested in its C-NCAP crash test. This controversial test was launched two years ago, and there were many supporters in addition to critics. Controversy is clearly what Zhao has expected, and he even doesn’t mind posting negative media comments onto CATARC’s official website. The fact many automotive companies are interested in C-NCAP and asking for trial tests, has demonstrated that C-NCAP results do possess some market merit.
NCAP, or New Car Assessment Program, comes from the US in 1
970s, and it became further recognised in developed countries such as for example Japan, Europe and Australia in the 90s. a typical feature of NCAP is that the test cars need to be bought from the market, ie, assessable by ordinary consumers. It’s an unbiased test for the main benefit of consumers, with no intervention from automotive producers.
“The automotive industry in China is big, but few people really understand cars. Common criteria such as for example engine displacement, inside space and door numbers don’t really matter, what’s important is how safe if you are sitting in the car.” Zhao suggested that the creation of C-NCAP is to provide star ratings on safety, to ensure that there can be quite a standard for consumers to choose cars. The main purpose of conducting C-NCAP tests is always to prompt vehicle producers to upgrade their technologies and improve car safety.
“C-NCAP is really a new car assessment program, not only a new car SAFETY assessment program. We do have to go through crash tests initially, however we add up other results to begin a systematic evaluation standard for new cars, including safety, displacement and oil consumption tests.” Zhao said that as China is really a large energy user with insufficient energy supply, and for environmentally friendly consideration as well, it’s necessary to conduct displacement and oil consumption tests in the Program.
C-NCAP can be a guideline for Chinese automotive manufacturers, said Zhao. “Many manufacturers are now designing products for the following 5 or 10 years by discussing C-NCAP. For example, once fuel consumption limits of passenger cars get, product designers have to check out these limits. Furthermore, C-NCAP’s analytical results, which are based on existing road and traffic accident statistics, will even serve for future standards setting, and this may be guidance for manufacturers.”
A cooperative handle PICC (People’s Insurance Company of China), China’s largest property insurer, was another successful initiative by CATARC. A year ago, a vehicle safety crash test laboratory sponsored by PICC was opened, and PICC had also provided US$2 million to C-NCAP as crash test funds. For an unbiased assessment institution like CATARC, its cooperation partners need to be without vested interests, therefore the country’s number 1 insurer could possibly be an ideal partner.
Despite becoming an incorporated entity, CATARC is not necessarily run such as for instance a company, as many of its projects are non-for-profit in nature. At the same time frame it really has to pay for its own operating expenses. The federal government has set a limit on CATARC’s profits, whose excessive components need to be retained for future projects or public causes. So the cooperation with PICC did give CATARC some funding relief.
What kind of vehicle certification system does China need?
Zhao said there are significant differences between China’s certification system and those internationally, with regards to methodologies and organisational management. “China has not yet had a really formal certification system. The prevailing rules can only be called ‘access system’, which only determines whether a particular car model is allowed to enter the market. Whilst in developed countries, government certifications are designed across the three major criteria, namely safety, environmental friendliness and energy saving.”
Take the exemplory instance of safety. China has significantly more than 100,000 traffic death tolls and about 1 million injuries. You can find no more than 200 Chinese cities with increased than 1 million population each, therefore the casualty number is comparable to eliminating a moderate Chinese city every year. Therefore it is an urgent task for regulators to fix vehicle safety problems and improve auto product qualities.
CATARC plans and drafts national vehicle standards in China. Zhao suggested that China do have good and enough standards, but not enough in regards to execution. And there are rules to check out, but not followed strictly. “Market competition cannot be in the absence of monitoring. Low cost competition has become a major problem in China’s automotive industry, as many manufacturers try to reduce costs by jerry-building. Such vicious competition is damaging to the industry. Many vehicle models can pass quality certification when they’re in the factory, but not the case when they go to the outside market. If a professional product is not usually the one sold to consumers, what’s the usage of certification?” said Zhao.