China will see tougher emissions and performance standards

China will see tougher emissions and performance standards

Stricter Chinese performance and emissions standards will lead to strong business opportunities, says global supplier, Faurecia.

Despite a relative slowdown - in relative terms - of hitherto exponential growth in China - its burgeoning population and increasing demand for automobiles is causing Beijing to demand tougher standards from OEMs with component producers assisting through technology.

China's 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016-2020 envisages GDP growth of around 7.3%, dipping to 7% in five years time and scaling back in the 14th Plan from 2021-2025, to below 6%.

Although the overall trend is a gentle decrease in growth, China's sheer size of population, forecast to rise to 1.44bn by 2025, could see vehicle production rise from the current 22m units to more than 30m by 2017, adding to the country's environmental challenges.

"China is facing a big issue of air pollution, especially in Beijing and Shanghai," Faurecia deputy general manager China Division, Jingcheng Li, told just-auto from Shanghai. "China has a very ambitious [fuel target] next year and [petrol] has to reach 6.9L/100km. By 2020, this target is 5L/100km so it is very challenging.

"From the Faurecia side, we [also] work on our emissions control and we have our portfolio of technologies and innovation to address market evolution. We are [also] going to see more lightweighting."

Faurecia is aiming to remove 100kg of weight from cars, representing 10g of CO2 as it looks to increase its work with alternative materials such as carbon fibre.

The supplier already has a composite carbon fibre tailgate, which it says is 35% lighter than the steel version, as well as a a thinwall bumper, some 11% lighter than the current series production version, among other products and is looking to drive down alternative material costs.

Equally on the China emissions side, one of Faurecia's main areas is commercial vehicles, while tougher new requirements will see OEMs introduce Euro V standards from early next year.

"For CO2 reduction, this is a big challenge for China," said Li. "We know the peak period for CO2 will come from 2025-2030, so the Chinese government has to take some actions from now on.

"[With] the 13th Five Year Plan, the key focus will be this one. This is why lightweight will become a key topic for Chinese industry."

Faurecia says it aims to double sales in China to more than EUR4bn (US$5bn) during the next four years, as it looks to grow at twice the market rate.

The supplier has been in China for 20 years and has 38 manufacturing facilities as well as four R&D centres with 800 engineers.