The Chinese bus has entered the Doha area and won the first gold on the outside with quality.

In Doha, a coastal city in Qatar, where the Asian Games was held in full swing, a bus with a stylish, elegant appearance and a light green Asian Games shuttled between each competition venue and the Asian Games Village. Most of these buses built by Chinese companies have become the new urban scene in Doha, Gulf Pearl.

As far as the Chinese auto industry is concerned, Chinese passenger cars are advancing in Doha, which signals a deeper meaning: from dependence on import to learning and then to export, China’s autos are opening the door to the international market after half a century of development.

Doha: China's passenger cars won the "first gold"

“You see these cars are produced by us.” Standing in front of the Doha Asian Games Village, Wu Wenwen, general manager of Suzhou Jinlong Company, pointed to more than a dozen buses that had passed each other. According to reports, the buses that were invested during the Doha Asian Games, except for a few produced by the German Mercedes-Benz and Mann, were all produced by the Suzhou bus company Suzhou Golden Dragon.

As early as the start of the 15th Asian Games, Qatar has chosen to purchase buses for the Asian Games on a global scale. As the second Chinese company to produce 10,000 units per year and the "top 100 machinery manufacturers in the country," the Suzhou Golden Dragon Company defeated world-famous companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Mann, and obtained a contract with a total amount of 300 million yuan to export 500 passenger cars. For the first time, China's export cars have served as an international large-scale event.

"Winning this contract shows that the international market's recognition of China's passenger car quality is of great significance to the impact of the expansion of the Chinese bus brand in the international market," said Huang Shuping, deputy general manager of operations of Suzhou Golden Dragon. Previously, the Qatar passenger market had been monopolized by a few internationally renowned bus manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Man.

“At the time Qatar was negotiating with Mercedes-Benz and Man Corporation at the time, but after arriving at Suzhou Jinlong, they felt that this was the product and service they wanted and they did not need to go to other companies anymore,” said Huang Shuping. "We can deliver goods in two and a half months. This is something that German manufacturers can't do. This is an important reason why Suzhou Jinlong beat Mercedes-Benz and Man." He said.

In fact, the Chinese passenger bus Doha is a microcosm of China's passenger cars entering the overseas market in recent years. With the gradual increase in the level of passenger car manufacturing in China, domestic passenger cars continue to go abroad. Zhengzhou Yutong Bus and Cuba signed a total of 240 million yuan in export orders, Great Wall buses are sold in UAE, Kuwait, and Dongfeng buses are exported to Ukraine... Domestic passenger car companies have started their internationalization strategies.

The temptation of overseas markets

"It is inevitable that Chinese passenger cars will enter the international market," said Zhou Ming, editor-in-chief of the China Weekly Auto Weekly magazine. According to statistics, so far, the output of passenger cars in China has ranked first in the world for four consecutive years. In just over a decade, China has entered the era of export from the import of high-end passenger cars.

Relevant data show that prior to the 1980s, passenger cars used by high-end users such as tourism in China were completely imported. After 2000, imported passenger cars have already withdrawn from the tourism industry. At present, China's passenger car models have no difference with foreign countries. Since entering the “10th Five-Year Plan”, the average annual growth rate of passenger car exports in China has reached 63.68%.

Insiders believe that one of the reasons for the rapid rise of Chinese passenger cars is that domestic passenger cars quickly learn to “swim” in the “sea” of marketization. In recent years, domestic passenger cars have absorbed the technology and management of advanced foreign companies through joint ventures and technology introductions. The quality of products has rapidly increased and a number of well-known Chinese brands have been born. At the same time, the production cost of passenger cars in China is low, and the prices have advantages, which also gives Chinese passenger car companies the strength to expand overseas. The huge business opportunities overseas also make bus companies look abroad. According to statistics, in 2004, the total output of large and medium-sized passenger cars in the world was 241,000, and China’s output of 78,000 units accounted for 33% of the world’s total output, while the export volume accounted for only 5% of the total sales of domestic passenger cars, and the passenger car exports had great growth. space. “Unlike previous Chinese bus exports, which often win with different prices, this time Chinese bus exports to Qatar are more of a quality win. This is a very significant change.” Zhou Ming, who has been paying attention to domestic bus industry for more than a decade, said. It shows that China's passenger car exports can completely exit a new path for the export of high-end products.

In fact, the strength of Chinese passenger cars in recent years has attracted the attention of global counterparts. Luc Glorieux, Secretary-General of the World Bus Alliance, said earlier this year that “Chinese buses have made major breakthroughs in technological innovation and have initially had the strength to compete with Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Kasbauer. The World Bus Alliance hopes to promote the exchange and common progress of the passenger car industry in Europe and Asia through direct dialogue with Chinese bus manufacturers."

The distance between ideal and reality

More and more bus companies realize that under the tide of global economic integration, Chinese companies must take steps to internationalize. Wu Wenwen stated that in order for the long-term development of bus companies in China, they must fully participate in international competition, use international enterprise management standards and advanced management methods, place their companies in the global economic environment, and operate in accordance with international market rules.

However, internationalization is not easy for many young Chinese companies. In addition to the external causes of fierce global competition, Chinese companies are also faced with many challenges.

The brand is a threshold that cannot be bypassed by auto companies including passenger cars in China. Huang Shuping told reporters with emotion: "Like Mercedes-Benz, Man, they do not need to talk about quality with their customers, but they can only talk about the price. This kind of international brand influence, Chinese auto companies have not yet formed." Behind the brand is the level of technology and services. Elements such as culture and culture reflect the overall strength. If Chinese passenger cars do not change the low prices, low-end markets, low profits, and low-quality images on exports, good brands cannot be established internationally.

The lack of innovation is still the current gap between Chinese autos and the world. Hu Shuhua, head of the Research Team of the National Automobile Innovation Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, believes that in recent years, China’s auto companies have relied too much on foreign technology and their independent research and development capabilities have lagged behind. The data shows that the proportion of R&D expenditure of China's auto companies to sales revenue was only 1.42% in 2004. This shows that Chinese auto companies mainly rely on foreign technology to produce new models. Due to lack of independent innovation and low technical content, the average unit price of imported cars in China is 28,200 U.S. dollars, and exports are only 0.9 million U.S. dollars. Passenger car prices are usually only one-third to one-fourth that of similar foreign products. This has led to the long-term breakthrough of Chinese passenger cars in non-European and European markets. In fact, if the products cannot occupy a place in the mainstream market, the internationalization of Chinese passenger cars will be incomprehensible.

For Chinese bus companies, international competition is in the final analysis the competition of international talents. Most of the bus companies in China have grown up in the local market, and the truly international talents are still rare. Going to the international market often faces many issues such as being unfamiliar with international market rules, unfamiliar with local laws and culture, and so on.

It is the dream of several generations of Chinese people to let Chinese cars go abroad. Today, Chinese passenger cars have taken the lead. However, if Chinese buses are to be recognized by the international market, it is obviously not an easy task. From the big bus country to the strong bus country, Chinese enterprises must make preparations for reluctance.

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