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Create a "green heart" for automobile

Yulin is called as "Yuzhou" in ancient times with a history of more than one thousand years, when merchants swarmed and traded goods to different places. It is also called "The Capital in South China ". In this southern border, an enterprise which started from a small size industrial society and with more than 50 years development becomes the largest independent diesel engine manufacturer in the world and largest base for diesel engine manufacture in China . It  enjoys the fame of the hub of China s green power. Where does its driving force come from? In which direction will it go? The journalist with those questions visited Yuchai try to get the answers.  

Meng Xiaochong is checking the engine in the noise measurement room

Green hearts is running for Beijing Olympics  

At 7:30am on November 27, technician Meng Xiaochong came to his office, opened the computer and started the work of the day.  

Since graduated from the famous Shanghai Jiaotong University , he came to Yuchai. Currently he is the director of light diesel engine product and vice minister of passenger cars construction department of Engineering Research Institute of Yuchai Machinery Co., Ltd.   

Since joined Yuchai, he has worked as a technician, and engaged in machinery processing and assembly, which laid a sound foundation for him to do R & D. In 1999, less than 2 years since came to Yuchai, Meng became the person in charge of the emission problem-tackling of YC 6G engine that later became the first certified State I standard engine model and created huge economic and social benefits for Yuchai.

Engine is known as the heart of vehicle. In 1998, Yuchai launched State I diesel engine, 2 years ahead of the implementation of State I standard. Since then, as far as the exhausted gas emission technology is concerned, Yuchai has kept the top of the industry. Its State II, State III, State IV and State V products are always 35 years ahead of the official enforcement of the corresponding standards.  

In 2008, in order to meet the requirement of the Olympics, Beijing began to implement the State IV emission standards. The auction for the State IV new car assembly and parts started as early as the beginning of 2007.  Yuchai successfully bid a total of more than 1000 State IV engine orders of the 1st and 2nd batch purchases of the Beijing Public Transport system. In the 3rd batch of State IV engines biding, Yuchai received a order of 866. It was the only maker who is able to supply State IV diesel engines in batch.

Vibrant power attracts distanced customers  

Meng Xiaocong told the reporter that the core product of Yuchai---diesel engine, currently covering the small light-, light-, medium- and heavy-duty sedan engines, has 5 categories, 13 series and more than 1,300 models. In 2007, it produced and sold 500 thousand of all kinds of diesel engines. The output volume has topped the whole industry in China for the past consecutive 7 years. The secret behind such rich variety of engines came from past experience.    

As early as 1978, Yuchai developed X6105Q model vehicle  diesel engine and made its way into the diesel manufacturing industry. The 6105QC developed in 1989 had made up 50% of the market of the same products for years. It is the first product that had its own intellectual property right in Yuchai.

This situation had lasted for a couple of years, and the sales income surged from 200 million in 1991 to 2 billion Yuan in 1995. However, Yuchai suffered from its single product oriented in 1997. A large group of engine makers that had seen the rapid development of Yuchai introduced similar products one after another and reduced the market share of Yuchai engine. In 1997, its sales revenue plunged to about two thirds of 1995.

In the face of sales slip, Yuchai learned the listen; strengthened the R & D team; and accelerated the buildup of research team. Especially in recently years, the budget for R & D reached 220 million each year. It diversified the single product into 13 series diesel engines for auto, marine, construction machine, agricultural machine and power generator.  

Improving product quality by repeated testing  

At 8:20, Meng turned on the OAS to handle the incoming messages. As one of the head of the R & D team, he had to review a large amount of design drawings of new products and the supply of related parts.  

At 9, he went to the Lab. The lab of testing engineering department is more suitable to be called a small size plant. Inside the gate, the two sides of the pathway are lined up with varied cars. Some technicians are engaging in the testing of an engine of a bus. Meng said: this car was equipped with Yuchai diesel engines that specially developed for heavy-duty truck and 12 meters buses. Randomly Yuchai would purchase a number of cars equipped with Yuchai engines to conduct tests to improve the engines and to enhance the performance of the engines.

He pointed out that: each bus from the large heavy-duty truck to the small lightweight sedan cost about 400 thousand Yuan. Currently about 40 cars are in test which  include Dongfeng, Shuanghuan Jinbei and other heavy-duty loaders equipped with Yuchai engine.  All of them are bought by Yuchai. Yuchai is  willing to pay the costs.  

Of course, gains follow the pains. For example, there is a series of engines suitable for the Yutong coach. Beside test the original equipped engine, they will also test some other series of engines to try to find out the most suitable one for the car and make recommendations to clients. It became another magic weapon to win the trust of clients. Meng proudly said:  a group of clients went to the auto makers themselves to require auto makers to produce vehicles with Yuchai engines.

The auto idea passes from generation to generation  

At 10:10 am, Meng went to the flow field measurement lab to check the testing on two diesel engines. One was a 20 liter diesel engine to be used for the sedan, and the other was to be used for the SUV and pickup.  

Yuchai is only a part supplier for vehicle and has never owned a whole car manufacture plant. As a matter of fact, Yuchai had once produced its own car, but did not put it into production.  

In 1960, in celebrating the birthday of the CCP, the predecessor of Yuchai---Yulin Power Machinery Factory made the first sample car in July. Its the first vehicle that was invented in Guangxi, and was sent to Nanning , the capital of Guangxi, as a special gift. Since then, Yuchai made another two autos of the same types, but failed to succeed for the decision problem.

In 1969, Yuchai successfully developed Nanjiang model car.  

In December 1988, Yuchai developed TD521 jeep. Next year, Yuchai sales persons drove the car to Guangzhou commodity fair and attracted the public attention. Yuchai produced a large number of cars of this model, mainly for the mining industries and governmental agencies.  

However, in the end, it was regret that Yuchai did not persist in making the whole cars for some reasons.  

Regarding the future of the diesel commercial cars market, Meng analyzed that a total of approx. 6 million cars were made last year.By 2010, the output of the domestic commercial cars is expected to reach 10 million. The diesel cars will make up 20%, i.e. a large demand. He added that the diesel engine is more fuel-efficient, stronger, better in maintaining than gasoline engines and is bound to be the trend of commercial cars.  

The successful marriage between Yuchais diesel engines with Jinbei, Shuanghuan, Shuguang and Jialing auto makers made Yuchai marches towards the passenger vehicle market.

Author: Huang Qunfeng    Source: South Morning Post

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