WABCO: Looks at commercial vehicles

As a typical U.S. company, the financial crisis also spread to WABCO, the global leader in commercial vehicle control systems. In the auto rescue plan announced by China in the past year, WABCO’s involvement in the commercial vehicle market was minimal. However, for the Chinese market, especially for the commercial vehicle market where the financial crisis is striking, the recent WABCO company not only did not shrink the front line, but also strictly controlled the funds. Instead, it was investing heavily in contrarian investments.

At the end of 2008, WABCO announced the signing of a letter of intent with Guangdong Fuhua Construction Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. to form a joint venture in China to produce gas brake disc brakes. WABCO and Fuhua each own a joint venture. 70 % and 30% of the equity, invested 8 million US dollars. Fuhua is currently the world's largest manufacturer of commercial trailer axles.

On January 10, WABCO officially launched a new generation of modular automatic mechanical transmission (AMT) control system in China. This system is the latest research and development achievement of WABCO's 20 years of professional experience in the field of variable speed control automation. For the Chinese market research, it can be easily applied to the existing gearbox without the need for gearbox design changes. It has formed a strategic alliance with China National Heavy Duty Truck and other commercial vehicle companies.

Previously, WABCO has already owned two companies in Jinan and Qingdao in China to produce brakes and control system products for commercial vehicles. According to Yu Sujie, general manager of WABCO's China operations, "more than 1.4 million AMT control systems have been used on trucks and buses around the world. The prospects for R&D specifically targeting the Chinese market are even more optimistic."

However, the commercial vehicle market in China is not optimistic at this time. According to statistics from the China Steam Industry Association, the commercial vehicle market in 2008 was sluggish, which was lower than the industry's 0.97 percentage point and 1.45 percentage points. Compared with 2007, the growth rate of production and sales declined. 17.97 percentage points and 17.00 percentage points. The analysis of Xinhuaxin International Information Consulting (Beijing) Co., Ltd. is also not optimistic. It is expected that the young passenger market in 2009 will continue to decline, and the total passenger car sales are expected to drop by 5% to 15%; the demand for medium and heavy trucks is expected to be 660,000 units, which is a drop from 2008. 10%.

However, Liu Bo, president of WABCO Asia-Pacific, convinced the headquarters that accelerating investment in China’s currently unoptimistic strategy in the commercial vehicle market stems from the constant study of Chinese policies for a period of time, especially the determination of China’s State Council to increase domestic demand and promote economic growth. The introduction of a 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus package for the growth of ten measures.

“Ten measures are summarized in two aspects: public infrastructure and people's livelihood. Investment in infrastructure such as railways, highways and airports will increase the demand for building materials, commercial vehicles and other products. On the one hand, we will build infrastructure such as roads. There is a need for commercial vehicles; on the other hand, improving the condition of road facilities will also increase the demand for commercial vehicles, including post-earthquake reconstruction work, as long as measures to expand investment will have a positive impact on commercial vehicles." The car market will soon be out of the shadow of the economic crisis.

In the interview with this newspaper, Ma Chunji, chairman of China National Heavy Duty Truck Group in the field of commercial vehicles, also believes that a series of macro-control policies will be gradually put in place, and the heavy-duty truck industry will take the lead to benefit, with the construction of highways and railways, modern logistics and energy conservation. Emission reduction projects and livelihood projects have been put in place. It is expected that the market will rebound significantly in the second quarter of this year.

Xu Changming, director of the Information Resources Development Department of the National Information Center, was also optimistic. “A national policy came out. Local governments also announced large-scale investment plans. Commercial vehicles are directly related to national infrastructure. Although investment is translated into actual The operation may take another two or three months, but the impact on the heavy truck and commercial vehicle industries will be very obvious."

At the same time, according to Liu Liang, the annual output of commercial vehicles in China is very large, especially for heavy vehicles, which exceeds 600,000 vehicles, which is even higher than in Europe and North America. "In such a large potential market, WABCO's strategy is to increase the value of applications on bicycles."

Currently, WABCO's technology products are used in commercial vehicles in China for approximately US$100, which is approximately US$3,000 in Europe and approximately US$800 in Japan. “That is to say, even if the output does not increase, the value of safe braking technology that WABCO can supply will continue to increase with the implementation of regulations, the increase of roads, and the increased reliability and comfort of vehicles. Liu Liang thinks.

Liu Liang's strategic plan for WABCO in China in 2009 is to increase investment, deepen and expand local production. The new generation of modular mechanical transmission automatic control system (AMT) is just the beginning. In 2009, the vacuum pump for light diesel engines, energy-saving air compressors, and clutch power cylinders will all be put into mass production in China's production bases. . At the same time, many European high-end products, including electronic braking system (EBS) and electronic stability control system (ESC), electronic door control system (MTS) and vehicle electronic control system (VEA), will begin to be applied in the Chinese market.

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