BEIJING – FAW Jiefang’s flagship heavy-duty truck model, the J6, received the top prize of the 2010 National Award for Scientific and Technological Advancement, China’s highest-level award for science and technology innovation, at a ceremony held on January 14 in Beijing.
This was the first time that an independently developed heavy-duty truck along with related diesel engine technologies has won such an award.
The J6, the sixth generation of FAW’s heavy-duty truck product lineup, was launched in July 2007 after seven years of R&D. The model had breakthroughs in the development of five key heavy-duty truck technological fronts relating to whole vehicle, engine, automotive electronics, cabin and manufacturing. The model now has three major platforms covering medium, heavy-duty and super heavy-duty trucks, four major model series, and over 100 different models covering vehicle tonnages of 18-100 tons. It also owns 193 national patents, 15 patents of invention and two software copyrights.
Over the last three years since start of production in 2007, more than 86,000 units of the J6 were sold, providing an output value of ¥20.87 billion ($3.13 billion) and profit before tax of ¥4.09 billion. In 2010 alone, more than 60,000 units of the J6 were sold, accounting for nearly a quarter of the 260,000 medium and heavy-duty trucks FAW Jiefang sold during the year.
J7 launch expected by 2015
With the success of the J6, FAW Jiefang has already started development of the J7, the next generation of the company’s flagship heavy-duty truck model, according to Li Jun, director of FAW Group Technical Center.
“The development began in the second half of 2010 and is expected to last about five years,” said Li, who led the development of the J6. “The J7 will become the high-end model in the Jiefang medium and heavy-duty truck product series.”
In addition, FAW Jiefang is also developing a 15-liter heavy-duty diesel engine that will power the J7 and become China’s first independently developed 15-liter diesel engine. Out of the ¥2.4 billion in R&D investment FAW will inject this year, over ¥700 million will be earmarked for the R&D of the J7, including ¥300 million for the development of the 15-liter engine.
“We now make engines covering displacements of 9-13 liters and in the future, all of our Jiefang trucks will be powered by engines developed in-house,” said Li.
This year, FAW Jiefang has set a medium and heavy-duty truck sales target of 280,000 units, including 80,000 units of the J6, for a market share of 23 percent to remain as China’s largest heavy-duty truck maker. By 2015, annual sales are targeted at 360,000 units, accounting for over a quarter of the market. Its annual truck output capacity in Changchun, Jilin Province stands at 150,000 units but will be doubled within the next few years.