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Chinese companies shine at prestigious IAA Mobility show

By LI FUSHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-13 09:37
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Chinese auto company Great Wall Motors displays its products at the IAA Mobility held from Sept 7-12 in Munich, Germany. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Domestic carmakers, auto part suppliers impress at Europe's first major industry event since COVID-19

Chinese carmakers and auto parts suppliers showcased their NEV models and products at the IAA Mobility held from Sept 7-12 in Munich, Germany, as they revved up efforts to explore the European market.

The IAA Mobility, also called the Munich auto show, was the first major physical auto event in Europe since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese companies, including Great Wall Motors and Huawei, presented their latest products, and electric car startups Xpeng and Leapmotor attended the event online.

Europe is becoming an important market for electric cars and plug-in hybrids thanks to government stimuli and the increasing number of NEV models being made available.

In Germany, 70 percent of respondents said they would like to change mobility behavior to cut their carbon footprint, according to the Digital Auto Report 2021 by consulting firm Strategy&.

It came only second to China, where the figure was 97 percent. In the United States, it was 52 percent.

Great Wall Motors, China's largest SUV and pickup truck maker, showcased models under its Wey and Ora marques.

Wey is to deliver its first model in Europe, which is a plug-in hybrid SUV called Coffee 01, in early 2022. It will start to take orders later this year on the model.

Wey has sold more than 30,000 Coffee 01s in China since its launch in May. The model has a driving range of 150 kilometers on pure electric mode.

It has a number of advanced driving-assist functions as well as a smart cabin that features facial recognition and an augmented reality heads-up display.

"As the vanguard of Great Wall Motors' overseas strategy, Wey will start first in Germany and then go to other parts of Europe," said Sun Bing, a senior executive in charge of the marque's operations in the European Union.

Wey said it is to open its first European experience center in Munich in 2022 and more than 60 service stations are to be set up that year.

Ora announced its European campaign as well, with the first model to be delivered in 2022.

The marque said it will offer five NEV models in two years for customers in Europe, and more than 10 models will be available on the continent in 10 years.

" (Their arrivals show that) Chinese carmakers now have the courage and ability to take European brands head-on," said Great Wall Motors in a statement.

Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen AG, said he is happy that Chinese competitors are coming to Europe.

"We like competition. I think that's good for the customers, because they get more offerings and it's good for us, because competition always is something positive," said Diess.

China's technology giant Huawei unveiled its smart automotive solutions at the show.

"Currently, the automotive industry is at a critical point in its transformation toward connected, autonomous, shared, electric mobility," said Tang Ming, vice-president of Huawei's Intelligent Automotive Solutions business unit in Europe.

He said information and communications technologies are "slated to play an increasingly important role in this process and are embraced by the industry".

Shanghai Refire Technology, a provider of hydrogen fuel cell technologies, presented its latest hydrogen fuel cell system, Prisma 12+, for heavy-duty trucks at the event.

The system is designed to operate for at least 30,000 hours with less than a 10 percent degradation in performance-a figure to put it on par with heavy-duty internal combustion engines, said the company.

The European debut of the Prisma 12+ is supported by Germany's eCap Mobility, Refire's partner for the European market. The two have been cooperating since late 2019 to develop rapidly deployable and sustainable hydrogen mobility.

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