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Jack Cheng: Environment, health and safety to reshape industry

Environment, health and safety are three key issues in improving the auto industry, according to Jack Cheng, president of Magneti Marelli China and vice president of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) APAC.

“Automobiles impact the environment the most with exhaust gas taking up 20-30 percent of environment pollution,” said Cheng. Traffic gridlock and air pollution brought by vehicle boom must be changed radically.

The government is making laws and regulations to solve the problems. For example, China requests a 5.0L/100 km average fuel consumption for passenger vehicles by 2020. Automakers are also producing hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles to meet that target.

Although restrained by insufficient range extension and charging infrastructure, electric vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles are developing rapidly with new electric motors developed by automakers.

“The auto industry is undergoing drastic changes in the internet+ era,” said Cheng. “A consumer’s outing through taxi software will be collected by cloud service and becomes part of the big data of institutions. Automakers may get more opportunities on the sharing platform.”

Digitization also drives the development of smart vehicles, which corresponds with the health and safety requirements of automobiles.

Google has developed autonomous vehicles for years with altogether 11 accidents during road test period. Most of the accidents are man-made accidents rather than technical defects. The fear of people hindered the development of autonomous vehicles, and Cheng believes these problems will eventually be solved with time.

Infrastructure facilities for smart vehicles, including payment service, traffic information, and accident alert will finally be completed and monitored by intelligent facilities, according to Cheng.

“Use” rather than “possess” is also a popular and fresh way of thinking,” said Cheng. “Many customers abroad would rather use cars instead of owning them. It is a future tendency and enterprises should pay attention to it and get prepared in advance.”

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