October 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Following the path cut by other luxury carmakers, Jaguar and Land Rover are gearing up for a full scale assault on the Chinese market. Despite a cooling international market, the Chinese have a strong appetite for foreign luxury cars and Jaguar/Land Rover want a piece of the action.
Earlier this year there were reports that Jaguar and Land Rover owner, Tata Motors, would invest heavily in the two brands in order to improve their sales. It was also revealed that Tata was considering options for assembly and localization of selected Jaguar Land Rover products in China.
But it’s not easy getting a foothold in the Chinese market, you can’t just roll in and build a manufacturing plant. According to the Chinese law, you need to have a local partner. Which leaves JLR looking at possible joint ventures. Apparently, JLR has decided to form a partnership with Chery, and the two companies are already seeking approval from local authorities to go ahead with their business plan. Continue reading “Jaguar and Land Rover to make move on Chinese market” »
April 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Chinese carmaker Chery Automotive is about to make its launch into the New Zealand vehicle market with its J11 SUV and J1 hatchback.
Chery is China’s largest independent vehicle manufacturer. It has five car assembly lines, two engine plants and one transmission plant that combined to produce over 680,000 cars in 2010. Chery is also a prolific exporter of vehicles from China, exporting over 40% of all vehicles sold out of China in 2010. Total exports of Chery vehicles now amount to almost 500,000 units with cars and components sold into 80 countries.
Now it’s NZ’s turn to receive Chery vehicles with the J11 SUV and J1 hatch leading the way.
The J11 is a 2.0-litre compact 2WD SUV available with either manual or automatic transmission. Its features include leather trimmed seats, air conditioning, power windows, MP3 compatible four speaker stereo, power mirrors, 16” alloy wheels and remote keyless entry.
The J11’s 2.0 litre engine produces 102Kw power and 182Nm of torque, while safety features include ABS, EBD, dual airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners.
Retail price for the J11 is $21,990 plus on road costs with the automatic transmission a $2000 option.
The Chery J1 is a 1.3 litre manual five door hatchback with a retail price of $12,990 plus on road costs. This J1 is set to be NZ’s cheapest car when it goes on sale.
Standard equipment on the Chery J1 includes power steering, air-conditioning, alloy wheels, power windows, MP3 compatible four speaker stereo, power mirrors and remote keyless entry. Safety features include dual airbags, ABS, EBD and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. Continue reading “Chinese brand Chery to launch in NZ with two models” »
August 8th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham
As a part of the transportation arrangements for the Beijing Olympics, a 50-unit fleet of hybrid vehicles co-developed with Ricardo is being provided by Chery Automobile Company Ltd. Known as the “Olympics Green Messengers”, these vehicles are some of China’s first hybrid vehicles and will go into full production in the months following the games.
With its expertise in hybrid electric vehicles and its wide-ranging skills in systems integration and vehicle control and electronics, Ricardo was a natural choice of engineering partner for Chery when the Chinese automaker decided to develop its first hybrid products. Two new vehicles, both based on its existing A5 sedan model, were identified by Chery. The first is a stop-start hybrid based on a 12-volt Belt Starter-Generator (BSG) linked to 1.6 litre gasoline engine, itself linked to a 5-speed manual transmission. The second is a more comprehensive mild-hybrid based on the same baseline vehicle but instead equipped with a 1.3 litre gasoline engine and a 12 kW crankshaft-mounted 151-volt Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG). These technologies have been configured to be capable of providing significant fuel savings through the use of advanced powertrain control and energy management strategies.
Key Ricardo responsibilities for the BSG programme included full architecture, sub-system and components requirements definition, hybrid control unit design, vehicle and communications interface development, system design — including detailed thermal analysis — and powertrain control strategy for safety and efficient operation. The focus of the engineering programme and the efficiency of the development programme were such that the first prototype vehicle was run with production-intent hardware and complete with hybrid strategy and application software, just ten months from programme start. The final fuel economy results are no less impressive: in tests over the ECE Urban drive cycle, the BSG vehicle achieves approximately a 7 per cent improvement in fuel consumption over the baseline product, and it is expected that the improvement will be greater than 10 per cent in real-world urban driving.
For the more complex ISG product, Ricardo carried full system design authority including specification and integration of the ISG system, high-voltage battery pack and battery management system, and developed an integrated hybrid control unit that incorporates the motor drive power electronics, DC to DC converter, and hybrid supervisory and safety functions into one compact package. The safety-critical application strategies and software were defined, engineered and validated including extensive vehicle and hardware-in-the-loop testing. With its comprehensive mild-hybrid functionality, the ISG-equipped sedan provides a significant increase in performance over the equivalent baseline A5 vehicle fitted with a 1.3 litre engine; peak power and torque of the ISG-equipped vehicle are comparable with that of a larger 1.6 litre engine. Final production calibration and testing of the vehicle systems are still taking place, but the fuel consumption improvement over the NEDC cycle is expected to approach 15 per cent compared to the 1.6 litre benchmark vehicle. In addition, the system enables engine restart within 200 milliseconds, thus allowing stop-start functionality to be included in the hybrid control strategy.
The new BSG and ISG powertrain equipped A5 models of Chery Automobile Co. Ltd underscore the position of this fast-growing Chinese automaker as one of China’s automotive technology leaders. Engineered to exacting European emissions requirements, these new vehicles are due to enter full production shortly and will be available for both domestic Chinese and export markets.