Brose sees window of opportunity in nation's safety rule

Updated: 2012-04-20 07:51

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

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German vehicle parts supplier Brose Group said that China's new regulation governing anti-trap features for car power windows offers an opportunity for the company to further develop in China, which will be its largest single-country market by 2015.

"China already accounted for 18 percent of our global revenue in 2011. The country will definitely overtake North America to be our second-largest regional market, only behind Europe, and our biggest country market, by 2015," said Thomas Spangler, president Asia and member of the executive board of Brose Group.

"Till then, revenue from China will contribute at least 20 percent of our global business."

He discussed the Chinese government's new window regulation, which took effect on Jan 1.

The regulation is similar to European technical standards requiring anti-trap technology with a maximum closing force of 100 Newtons for window regulators that have automatic "up" functions or remote control-window closing.

A Newton is a unit of measurement reflecting how much force is needed to accelerate a mass of 1 kilogram at a rate of 1 meter per second squared, and it is commonly referred to in the construction and machinery industries.

As the inventor of anti-trap features for power window regulators, Brose supplies almost all international vehicle makers with 30 million electronic components annually, and 7.5 million of those are fitted in cars in China. It has five manufacturing bases in China.

The German company's business in recent years surged rapidly. In 2011, its local revenue reached 5.4 billion yuan in China ($857 million), up 21 percent year-on-year.

According to Spangler, Brose targets sales in China this year equivalent to 687 million euros ($898 million).

In the coming years, "Brose will for sure grow faster than ... China's vehicle industry," added Tang Nianqiu, president of Brose China.

He predicted single-digit growth of 3 to 5 percent for China's automotive market in the coming years.

"The new regulation, as well as ... the increasing percentage of luxury vehicles that invest heavily in safety features, will spur our business and promote the usage of anti-trap systems", said Tang.

Manually cranked windows are becoming less common, as power window regulators have become almost standard for passenger vehicles, at least in mid-sized and larger cars. About 80 percent of all vehicles in China are equipped with power window regulators and the proportion is increasing.

China's new rule requires the window to stop and reverse if more than 100 Newtons of closing force is exerted on objects in an area where there is a risk of injury from becoming trapped.

During the automatic "up" operation without anti-trap features, forces of up to 400 Newtons are exerted, which corresponds to about 40 kilograms.