CCVS – China is catching up

CCVS – China is catching up

If there is one thing the CCVS exhibition in the plagued “coronavirus city” of Wuhan proved, it is that the Chinese are rapidly making up the backlog they had in truck development and operation relative to countries in the Western world. Story by NIELS JANSEN. Photos by Vladimir Chekhuta

Just before the outbreak of coronavirus that started in the Hubei province, the China Commercial Vehicle Show, or CCVS 2019 for short, was held in the city of Wuhan. With a floor space of 80 000m2, this is the largest truck exhibition not only in China, but in all of Asia.

The motto of this year’s show was “Intelligent Drive, Green Development”. As a result plenty of attention was paid to environmentally friendly and safe commercial vehicles. Because Euro 6 norm engines come into force in 2020 on Chinese roads, there were manufacturers galore offering top-spec heavy vehicles with a modern driveline and state-of-the-art cab. The latter is often produced in collaboration with foreign (read European) designers and truck manufacturers.

Makes represented at the Wuhan International Expo Center included Chenglong, CIMC, Dayun, Dongfeng, FAW, Foton, JAC, JMC, Nanjing, SAIC and Shaanxi. Curiously, a few major brands such as CNHTC-Sinotruk, BeiBen, Genlyon and C&C were absent. But all in all, there was enough news to absorb.

Dongfeng

One of the best-known Chinese truck manufacturers is Dongfeng, which celebrated its 50th anniversary at the show. New for 2020 are the next generation KL, KC and KR series. Although there was a slight decline in commercial vehicles sales in general, Dongfeng closed 2019 with a sales volume of 185 000 medium and heavy trucks. They showed a wide range of new models in Wuhan, among which were three concept trucks. The Tianlong is a 40-tonne GCW tractor that has a hybrid driveline and various intelligent systems. The white streamlined cab with small rearview cameras instead of mirrors looked very unusual, as did the futuristic interior with an odd-shaped multifunction steering wheel and two large LCD monitors rather than a conventional dashboard. Power comes from a 13-litre Dongfeng Euro 6 diesel engine plus a permanently operating electric motor of 80kW. The transmission is a 14-speed AMT.

Another concept vehicle for Level 3 operation was the full-electric Tianjin medium-duty chassis. Dongfeng also showed a Level 4 robot truck that could drive autonomously, called the “Sharing Box”.

More down to earth was the winner of the Chinese Truck of the Year 2020 award, which also came from the Dongfeng stables. The KL-series heavy tractor is fitted with a completely new cab, a frugal Renault-derived six-cylinder, 10.8-litre Euro 6 diesel engine and a 14-speed manual (Volvo licence). An automated transmission is also available, and it is equipped with all the modern comfort and safety features.

Unlike a decade ago, the majority of Chinese heavy trucks of today are cabovers. But Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Co. still builds “conventional” tractors. The new Chenglong Dragon T7 tandem drive tractor looks very American with its long bonnet and integrated sleeper. This attractive truck is equipped with a 14-litre Dongfeng Cummins Euro 6 diesel engine pushing out 560hp, and a ZF 12-speed AMT transmission. Younger drivers especially favour it.

FAW

FAW Jiefang is the largest Chinese automaker. It showed the new FAW J7 “Eagle” with a GCW of 40 tonnes. The top of the range cabover not only looks much better than its angular J6 predecessor, but it is also technically more advanced with a Level 2 autopilot system. There was also a FAW J6P tractor shown with a 440hp Xichai Euro 6 engine and 12-speed FAW gearbox. The 6×4 drive truck had a 1000-litre cryogenic fuel tank behind the cab.

JAC

JAC Motors unveiled the JAC K7W, which has a 14-litre Dongfeng-Cummins Euro 6 diesel engine pushing out 560hp, and a 12-speed automated ZF box under the European-style sleeper cab. It was proudly announced that the new truck could achieve a top speed of 115kph!


JMC

Built in collaboration with with Ford from Turkey, JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Co displayed its new Veyron range. The HV5 6×4 tractor shown was fitted with an adapted version of the latest Ford F-Max cab. The 13-litre, 530hp Euro-6 diesel engine is also a Ford licence and is coupled to a ZF 12-speed AMT. The JMC Veyron 4×2 FCV is a hybrid with an old-style Ford cab. It has a 250kW electric motor and a hydrogen fuel cell.

Shaanxi

Shaanxi exports commercial vehicles to many foreign markets. Its new X3000 LNG heavy tractor has a 460hp Weichai Euro 6 engine that can run on a mix of 95% liquefied gas and 5% diesel.

Transmission is a manual 12-speed from Chinese manufacturer Fast. Some components are European sourced, like the licence-built MAN rear tandem axles.

Dayun

Another new flagship that attracted quite a lot of attention was the Dayun V9.550. Under the good-looking cab lies a 13-litre Weichai Euro-5 diesel that is coupled to a 16-speed Fast manual transmission.

Foton

Beiqi Foton Motor Co, which has close ties with Daimler-Benz, showed the new Foton Auman EST-A 2.0. Power comes from a 13-litre Foton Cummins X13 diesel of 560hp, with a 16-speed automated ZF transmission. The cab is a modified Mercedes-Benz Actros MP4 and it comes with all the intelligent monitoring systems for comfort and safety that are seen in the latest heavy Benz. Why Foton as a partner of Daimler-Benz does not make use of the proven OM-engine platform is not exactly known, but the rumour goes that the Chinese cannot match the high quality of (licence) build that the Germans require.

This story was first published in New Zealand Trucking.
More info: https://nztrucking.co.nz

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