Many European manufacturers are focusing their sales drive on the BRIC markets, including China. But the Chinese are looking the other way as well – and large numbers of Chinese companies turned up at Hanover.
“We have 133 Chinese companies exhibiting at the show,” said Matthais Wissmann, president of the German automotive trade association, VDA. “That’s three times as many as at the previous show two years ago.”
Most of these companies are small components manufacturers, looking to supply to European automakers. But one particularly impressive Chinese exhibit attracted lots of attention – FAW (First Automotive Works), China’s second-largest automaker, displayed two impressive heavy truck models on its stand.
“We do not have any plans to sell these trucks in Europe, but we want to test reaction to them,” said spokeswoman Kiki Liu. The vehicles, both 4x2 heavyweight tractors in FAW’s J6P series, feature Euro 4-compliant FAW engines, plus many components sourced from global Tier 1 suppliers, including Eaton axles, ZF transmissions and Bosch fuel injection.
Build quality looked impressive, and the external cab styling was well up to current European standards. Perhaps the truck sector will be an easier way for Chinese automakers to enter the European car industry, and we’ll be seeing FAW’s ‘winged 1’ logo on Europe’s motorways in the future.
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