Dongfeng Renault Automobile Co's vehicle test track completed the first phase of its research and development center in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province.
To ensure world-class quality and quick response to the local needs in China, a carmaker launched research and development facilities, including newly built test track with a longest dust tunnel in the industry, on Thursday.
Dongfeng Renault Automobile Co's vehicle test track completed the first phase of its research and development center in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province. The investment made into the entire R&D center, consisting of a prototype shop, test lab, and test track, totaled about 590 million yuan (.4 million)
"We are required to have independent competence to develop vehicles that fit the local demands of the Chinese market, besides the capability for localization," said Francois Provost, president and CEO of Dongfeng Renault.
"Now the engineers, prototype shop, lab, and track completed Dongfeng Renault's research and development facility. And I'm surprised by the China speed to achieve the target."Jacques Foulquier, R&D vice-president of Dongfeng Renault.
Fifty months is the time that the Sino-French joint venture took to realize the R&D competence and localization capability. Four years ago, the test track, R&D office building, and the entire Dongfeng Renault Wuhan plant were a field of bog and ruins.
Jacques Foulquier, R&D vice-president of Dongfeng Renault and general manager of R&D Center, told the reporter, "We not only introduced the best development tool in the world, but also installed various global top-ranking lab equipment."
He added that, "The most important thing is that, we built and cultivated a great development team which includes local excellent talents and overseas experts."
It's the great effort of the staff members from China, France, South Korea, Japan and more countries that made the achievement possible. The company has put in place a team of nearly 300 engineers, with extended skills to develop vehicle and powertrains.
A prototype shop has been established as the first building of the Wuhan plant, which is key to anticipate industrial challenges and to allow the engineers to check very early the adequacy of the design to the market.
The test laboratory for vehicle and powertrain is built for the purposes to cover as much as possible the Chinese customer requirements and regulation compliance. A second laboratory is in construction to complete the capabilities to cover more than 90 percent of the validation plan.
Gaspar Gascon-Abellan, executive vice-president, Product Engineering of Groupe Renault, said in his speech, "This is the right direction and the first quality results of Kadjar and Koleos confirm this strategy."
The Dongfeng Renault's development team has successfully achieved the industrialization of the new Koleos and Kadjar, which has won the media awarded best quality in the same class of China market. The domestically made Kadjar achieved in 2016 the five-star grade in C-NCAP collision tests, among the top of the sport utility vehicle models by joint venture auto makers.
Test track helps localization
The test track, just put into use on Thursday, is the milestone of the first step R&D capacity building, after the multinational engineer team has very rich experience; prototype shop and lab are ready to start operation.