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German business helps carmakers cut emissions


As air quality becomes a top concern in China, century-old German family business Freudenberg is offering a helping hand to reduce carbon emissions in the auto industry.

One of the most important ways to cut emissions is to reduce friction among vehicle parts, said Chen Delin, a business manager for automotive industry sales at the NOK-Freudenberg Group China.

Chen said the company's seals equip about 80 percent of the country's vehicles to help reduce emissions.

"Our sealing technology unveils new potential for the automotive industry in China," he said.

He added that the company's latest achievement - a gas lubricated seal - can cut 90 percent of friction, which means a reduction of 0.5-1 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

Chen said the new technology was not yet in mass production but that it had already attracted the attention of Chinese auto manufacturers due to the government's tougher regulations on emissions.

Another effective weapon against poor air quality in Freudenberg's product portfolio are its air filters.

Two of every three new cars that have air-infiltration devices in China use Freudenberg air filters, according to the company.

The filters, which cover engines' air intake, already help several Japanese and South Korean brands improve engine performance, said Xu Jia, sales director at Freudenberg & Vilene Nonwovens (Suzhou) Co Ltd.

Freudenberg also offers synthetic and eco-friendly specialty lubricants that make sure everything from door seals to brake systems and steering units run smoothly.

"For years now, demand for high-performance lubricants has been increasing as important key industries in China continue to grow," said Wang Shu, general manager at Freudenberg's subsidiary Klber Lubrication in Shanghai.

A new research and development center for specialty lubricants and release agents is due to be introduced in the company's plant in Qingpu, Shanghai.

Freudenberg's sales in China rose 33 percent to 5.4 billion yuan in 2013, accounting for 10 percent of its sales worldwide.

"In some areas, growth in this region is significantly higher than in our other regions. In 2013, the share of the China region in the group's sales increased by approximately 2 percent," said Hanno D Wentzler, the group's regional representative in Asia.

Based on the market performance, Wentzler said the company planned to scale up its investment in China, with 50 million yuan ($8 million) put aside for its filtration business alone in the next two years.

During the past 10 years Freudenberg invested about 2.3 billion yuan in China.



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