As the world’s largest automotive market, China accounts for 50% of the industry’s global growth. And sales look set to continue rising with China’s passenger car penetration rate still low and purchasing power on the increase. Targeting above-market growth, Sika Automotive is expanding its presence and supporting local and global automotive manufacturers in China with high-quality product technologies and outstanding technical service. China’s biggest SUV manufacturer Great Wall Motors numbers among them.
Sika’s automotive solutions make vehicles lighter, stronger, safer, more comfortable and more environmentally friendly. Trends such as lightweight design, electromobility and, at the same time, heightened passenger safety are feasible only with innovative sealants and adhesives as well as structural strengthening components. Sika products are already used in more than 50% of all vehicles manufactured in the world. And the declared aim is to achieve a 50% increase in the proportion of Sika materials per vehicle by 2020.
High-quality solutions for China
China is a key market for Sika. The Chinese automotive market is a growth sector, especially for SUVs. Many families still do not own a car, roads outside the population centers are underdeveloped, and purchasing power continues to grow. Quality is progressively becoming a more important consideration as well. More and more people in China want premium cars that are spacious, comfortable and offer a positive driving experience. In the cities, vehicles with alternative drive systems are also becoming increasingly popular. Financial incentives from the state, high registration fees for gasoline and diesel engines above 1.6-liter size, and heavy smog are bringing about a change in thinking among numerous inhabitants of large agglomerations. This attractive market is shared by Chinese and global auto groups: in 2016, 43% was held by Chinese manufacturers, and 57% by joint ventures with international automakers. The majority of vehicles sold in China are produced in the country itself. Sika already has business rel ationships with many of the global groups and their suppliers and is also contributing to rising quality standards in the country’s auto construction sector. By expanding its organizational structure in China, introducing new technologies plus local production and opening a technical service center, Sika Automotive has also positioned itself as a dependable partner among up-and-coming Chinese manufacturers.
Sika and Great Wall Motors
Sika relies on its high level of technological and solution-led expertise as well as its broad portfolio. The fact that Sika products are manufactured locally is crucial in the Chinese auto market too. Having production capabilities in China allows Sika to respond optimally to changes to order quantities made at short notice by local automotive manufacturers. Long delivery times for imports are no longer an issue, and the advantages of production being costed in local currency help Sika to remain competitive. Another crucial factor is the excellent technical service provided. Jianhiao Zhang, Director Purchasing with China’s biggest SUV maker Great Wall Motors, provides an example to confirm this. When the group was facing difficulties with the bodywork on one of its large models, Sika was there to help right away, calling in its own engineers from Europe and the US and very quickly resolving the problem by using SikaReinforcer® to partially strengthen the bodywork. Since fast response times are critical for Great Wall Motors, there is someone from the Sika team permanently on site to ensure that interfacing between the two companies is both consistent and flawless and that customer issues can be dealt with quickly. The trust that has been built up is reflected in the continual expansion of the business relationship between Great Wall Motors and Sika.