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Magneti Marelli is growing in China: development goals and technology presented at Auto Shanghai 2013

- 22.04.2013

The Shanghai Auto Trade Fair, from 21st to 29th of April, is the ideal occasion to promote another excellent year for Magneti Marelli China: turnover in 2012 reached 287.4 million Euros, a decisive increase compared to the 240.7 million Euros recorded in 2011 (232 million in 2010). This is an increase of over 19% in the last year, with performance that exceeds even the growth of the Chinese auto market – the largest in the world – which nevertheless grew by 6% in 2012 in respect of cars produced (from 17.27 to 18.23 million – source: IHS data from March 2013).



Despite being a significant result, it remains part of a continuing trend that has seen Magneti Marelli increase from 44 million Euros in turnover in 2005 to 287 in 2012, with a 31% average annual growth rate. Again, this rate is superior to the average annual growth of the auto market in China, which increased from 5.2 million vehicles produced in 2005 to 18.2 million in 2012, an average annual increase of 21% (source IHS data March 2013).


Magneti Marelli, which has had a presence in the country since 1996, is a strategic participant of the Chinese automobile industry (Shanghai, Jiading, Guangzhou, Wuhu, Hangzhou, Changchun, Changsha and Hefei), the company serves 13 Chinese carmakers and 10 international carmakers present in China, relying on 8 industrial sites – including direct presence and Joint Ventures – which currently employ over 3000 people, of which 370 handle R&D.


Future prospects indicate the possibility of a significant, constant increase in business volume, both in the medium and long term, considering three key factors such as the relentless development of the “local” automotive market in a country inhabited by billions of people, the growing importance of China as a global player on the automotive market and the need for increased technological content.


According to IHS, in 2025 China will reach a total of about 34 million vehicles produced, partly to satisfy local demand and partly to assume a role as a global player in the automotive sector, with an important presence on foreign markets.


In order to be competitive, the technological content of Chinese vehicles must necessarily increase both in quantitative and qualitative terms, as well as in such areas as safety, consumption or emission of CO2.


This is the setting in which Magneti Marelli, as a company with a great market experience and existing technology, can hope to have a big share in the growth of the Chinese market. Based on this trend of constant growth, it is possible that the turnover will double in just two-three years, potentially achieving the symbolic level of a billion Euros turnover in four-five years (in 2016, again according to IHS, China will produce 26.3 million vehicles).


From a technological perspective, Magneti Marelli boasts achievements that will support and add value to such growth, mainly the direct injection systems and hybrid-electric engine technology, as well as telemetry and infotainment technology which enable connection of the car to information and service networks. Alongside these, basic products such as shock absorbers and exhaust systems should be mentioned.


To a great extent, Magneti Marelli benefits from know-how and methods derived from the world of racing and the largest world Motorsports championships, “transferring technologies from the track to the world of road cars”. Motorsports, in which the company has been involved since its establishment in 1919, is for Magneti Marelli a tech lab and an incubator for new solutions that measure up to the “green” standards and are in compliance with “sustainable mobility”, especially Powertrain (hybrids and GDI) and Infotainment (broadband data transmission between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure).


Another key area of growth on the Chinese market is car lighting, one of Magneti Marelli’s top business sectors at a global level and technological point of excellence, especially with regard to LED and Xenon solutions. Lighting plays a fundamental role in safety; it is also relevant in reducing consumption and emission and has a decisive impact on the aesthetic of a car. In the lighting sector, Magneti Marelli, besides the “first assembly”, is also present at the aftermarket, providing original, top quality spare parts.


The requirement for growth is to build up a stabile structure of plants distributed over the country (a structural increase is already planned for example in Guangzhou) and to reinforce existing Joint Ventures, which are structured as follows:


SMMP (SAIC Magneti Marelli Powertrain Co.Ltd.)

Joint Venture between Magneti Marelli and Shanghai Automobile Gear Works (SAGW) for the production of components for the Freechoice AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission). The JV was signed in January 2009 and production began in June 2010. Production is located in Jiading, on the outskirts of Shanghai, with volumes reaching 60,000 units per year. The workforce stands at approximately 200 people.


Magneti Marelli and Wanxiang Qianchao Company

Magneti Marelli and Wanxiang Qianchao Company signed an equal Joint Venture in August 2011, for the production of parts for shock absorbers in Hangzhou, capital of the Zhejiang province. Activity began in January 2012 and production was up to over 7500 units/day by April 2013 with a workforce of over 300 people.


Changchun Magneti Marelli Powertrain Components Co. Ltd

The Joint Venture between Magneti Marelli and Changchun Fudi Equipment Technology Development (Fudi) signed in early 2012, sees a 51% Magneti Marelli shareholding. Production of throttled bodies and intake manifolds began in March 2013, in Changchun, North East China. When fully operative, annual production is 1.3 million throttle bodies and a million intake manifolds with a workforce of over 200 people.


Hefei Magneti Marelli Exhaust Systems Co. Ltd.

In 2012, a Joint Venture was signed between Magneti Marelli, Hefei Jianghuai Automotive Co., Ltd (JAC) and Hefei Lingdatang Collective Assets Management Co., Ltd (Lingdatang). Magneti Marelli holds a 51% shareholding, JAC 37% and Lingdatant 12%. The JV handles research, development, design, production and sale of exhaust systems for engines, including intake manifolds, exhaust pipes, catalytic converters and silencers.

Production began in March 2013 and the plant is located in the Taohua Industry Park in the city of Hefei in the Anhui province. When fully operational, the workforce is approximately 130 people.


Magneti Marelli at Auto Shanghai 2013


Magneti Marelli will be in Hall N4, Stand B040 at the Shanghai Auto Fair.

The exhibition motto of Magneti Marelli is “A part of…” interpreted in three key messages: “A part of Mobility Revolution”, meaning constant commitment to research into sustainable mobility solutions; “A part of Continuous Innovation”, meaning constant and continuous innovation; and finally “A part of Chinese Automotive Industry”, meaning firm commitment to contributing to the growth of the Chinese Automotive Industry.


The central part of the stand is taken by the Lotus E21, star of Formula 1, which use various technologies and systems by Magneti Marelli Motorsport (KERS, coils, alternators and injectors). This presence testifies to Magneti Marelli’s know-how in Motorsports. Various examples of racing technology transferred to road cars are displayed at the stand: the GDI direct injection, hybrid engine systems based on ERS technology (Energy Recovery System that includes K- ERS and H-ERS), telemetry solutions and info-telematics technology. Furthermore, the data logger used by all the sport tourism vehicles in the CTCC championship (China Touring Car Championship) is on display.


A large area of the stand is devoted a large area to Lighting technology, setting up a “dark room” for visitors where they can try out a nocturnal drive with the different technology within the framework of power and range of the beam, thanks to four different types of light: halogen, xenon 25 watt, xenon 35 watt and LED. In addition, the “dark room” also contains different design solutions for DRL (Daylight Running Light), so as to demonstrate the Company’s ability to satisfy carmakers within the framework of style and technological integration with vehicle aesthetics. The full-LED adaptive lights from the Audi A7, an innovative LED Tail lamp prototype and an LED beacon are also on display.


In the Powertrain sphere, Magneti Marelli presents its contribution to the HY-KERS system that will be used on the new LaFerrari, the first hybrid vehicle by Maranello. The electric part developed with Magneti Marelli consists of two electric motors (one principal and one for auxiliary systems) for maximum power of 120 kW (163 HP).

GDI systems (Gasoline Direct Injection) composed of injectors, pump and electronic control unit and software are also on display. GDI technology, which was initially used in series production, has already been applied in the Motorsports field too and in 2014 will also be used in Formula 1. Magneti Marelli is testing injectors and pumps for motors with petrol pressure up to 500 bars for this racing application.


The Electronic Systems area is present at Auto Shanghai with three multimedia totems that underline the technical characteristics of Magneti Marelli multimedia systems. Among these: the Touchscreen used by Peugeot, the Touchscreen chosen by Paccar for a truck environment and a demonstration of the power of the telematics box. The Touchscreen in particular is a modular device for reproducing music and photos; the most advanced version allows internet connection via a USB stick. Once connected to the vehicle CAN network, it represents a diagnostic HMI interface that makes it possible to see vehicle and navigation information through a 7” high-resolution touchscreen (800x480 pixels).


The telematics box totem illustrates how, by integrating a wireless connection into communication networks, satellite localisation and an accelerometer, this device can enable on-board use of intelligent mobility management services. The stand also presents the first infotainment solution with Genivi compliant software in automotive Linux hardware.

A series of technologies dedicated to cluster instruments and display are also exhibited to represent Magneti Marelli’s technological ability and development in this sector and highlight the different possibilities for customisation and the scope of this range, which extends from basic models to more evolved dashboards. Among these, the instrument cluster used for the Qoros 3 produced in the Magneti Marelli plant in Guangzhou and the innovative E-Tron Amoled, a display inserted into the rear-view mirror within the car, which is activated when reversing, allowing the driver to see the area behind the car thanks to a camera positioned there.

The stand also displays technology such as Shock Absorbers, Exhaust Systems, Plastic & Modules, with pedals and components, and Aftermarket, which will be officially launched in China in 2013 as the Magneti Marelli After Market Parts & Services business area, with initial production of Magneti Marelli batteries for the local Chinese market.


Magneti Marelli technology in vehicles present at Auto Shanghai 2013


Magneti Marelli technology can be found in some models that will be previewed at Auto Shanghai.

Among these, the new Maserati Ghibli, for which Magneti Marelli provided a Xenon illumination system with AFX (Advanced Frontlight Extended), instrument cluster, GDI pump for 3.0 V6 gasoline engine, shock absorbers and hands free module system. The Maserati Quattroporte, equipped with instrument cluster, LED lights, GDI pump for 3.0 V6 and 3.8 V8 gasoline engines and hands-free module system produced by Magneti Marelli.


A large amount of Magneti Marelli technology is used on vehicles by Chinese Carmakers, including the new brand Qoros. An instrument cluster was produced in the Magneti Marelli plant in Guangzhou, China, to equip the Qoros 3.


Furthermore, the Chery A2 Sedan (electronic motor control system and throttled body), GAC Triumpchi GA3 (transmission control unit…), JAC YueYue FL and JAC Heyue S30 (Freechoice AMT complete with electronic control system, hydraulic kit and exhaust systems), BAIC E-Series HB (throttled body), and JAC Refine S5 (exhaust systems).


For the Audi Q5 intended for the Chinese market, in addition to the LED lights, Magneti Marelli also provides the instrument cluster, again made in plants in China. In the lighting sector, Magneti Marelli technology is used on LED lights on the Buick Regal GS and Ford Mondeo and projectors on the BMW X4 and Citroën C4L Sedan.

The Fair will also see the Chinese presentation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with

Magneti Marelli LED lights and the Renault Fluence with halogen and xenon lights and projectors.


Powertrain applications are used on many previews. A throttled body on the Skoda New Octavia, Skoda Rapid (this also uses GDI system injectors – Gasoline Direct Injection) and the Citroën New Elysee (also with shock absorbers). Intake manifolds and shock absorbers on the Citroen C4L Sedan and GM Cruze HB. Throttled body and intake manifolds on the Volkswagen Lavida HB and Sagitar GLI. The latter also features Magneti Marelli GDI system injectors.


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