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Opportunity in Challenge Themed 2021 China Auto Supply Chain Conference

By Kenny DongICHONGQING|Oct 19,2021

Chongqing – Experts of the Chinese auto industry have reached the common view that the Chinese auto industry is coming to a new age, characterized by both technological innovation trends and also challenges due to the unstable international trade environment, according to the 2021 Report of Chinese Auto Parts Industry Development issued in the 2021 China Auto Supply Chain Conference held in Chongqing International Expo Center of Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, ended on Oct. 16.

Luo Junmin, Vice Secretary of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that the Chinese auto supply chain is meeting a strategical window for development.

“Electrization, intelligentization, and internetization provide an opportunity for the industry moving to a new racing track, which can let China catch up the world,” said Luo. 

At the issuing ceremony, the blue book of the Report is shown to the audience. (Photo / China Associaton of Auto Manufacturers)

There were 20 products of auto parts that were awarded the prize of innovation at the conference. Some winning enterprises have set the independent display areas outside the meeting hall.

Horizon Robotics, a young technological company, displayed its latest fruit of the auto chip, “Journey 5”. Though it’s not been commercially used, it already demonstrates the stronger hash power than the old chips developed by the company, which means that it can support the updated applications of the smart car, like autonomous driving. Lu Subo, the display manager of Horizon Robotics, introduced that some Chinese high-end electric auto brands are using their company’s chips. Li’s One, one of the most trending e-cars in China, uses “Journey 3”. “Apart from that, we have business cooperation with other famous brands like Xpeng, Nio.”

An integration board embedded with four “Journey 5” chips was displayed by Horizon Robotics at the conference. (iChongqing / Kenny Dong)

There were some well-known auto parts companies also joining the display. The display manager of Jinyi Jixie(machine), Qiu Yiping, told the journalist that their company has strived to compete in the field of steel tube automation, with the leading competitor, Dong Sung, a Korean automation company. “They used to be the main supplier of Chinese auto manufacturers, now we gradually lead ahead of them, taking one-sixth of the domestic market in this field.”

An Ironman-outlook item is an experimental sample for ASU’s light control system, showing how the door will open as the control system functions just like the Ironman opens its helmet. (iChongqing / Kenny Dong)

ASU has displayed its light control system. When the system recognizes the people with the special keys, the car will automatically cast an AR projection. As the people move on and touch the light sign with a foot, the trunk door will open. It is comfortable for those drivers whose hands are fully occupied, such as the situations after shopping.

“These are just a part of the industrial chain’s innovations. Now we have to work for applying them to the market,” said Luo Junmin at the conference.

But he also emphasized that the problem still exists. The most urgent issue for the industry is the car chips shortage. Chen Bin, Executive President of China Machinery Industry Federation, said that although it recovered a little in September, the Chinese auto production of 2021 will approximately decrease by two million due to the lack of chips. This revealed the problem that the industry was too much dependent on export. The good news is that through the hardship, some car manufacturers are starting to adopt domestically produced chips, such as Li Auto and Arcfox.

The chips shortage is a problem for the auto industry worldwide, triggered by the Covid-19 Pandemic that caused many factories to stop production for a long time. According to the KAMA’s data released on Sunday, the production of the passenger car in the third quarter will drop by 20.9% year-on-year, a record low in the past 13 years. AutoSAP indicated earlier that the loss of the car industry in the Czech in the first three quarters equals 3.3% GDP of the country. Canada’s car production decrease is more serious than in many other countries. The Scotia Economic Report says Canada may produce only about 1.2 million cars this year, down from 1.4 million last year.

“We must realize that for ensuring the security of the supply chain in the long run in case of any disasters, we have to put our strength on developing domestic chips, now,” said Luo Junmin.

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