Southeast Asia's first real-vehicle collision test lab set up in Taiwan

Jan 20, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Auto Parts and Accessories Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 20, 2005 (CENS)--Taiwan's semi-official Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC) recently inaugurated a real-vehicle collision test laboratory, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, in Changhua County, central Taiwan, to provide vehicle-collision test service to local and foreign makers of automobiles and parts.

Taiwan's government has mapped out new regulations requiring all new autos sold on the island to pass vehicle-collision standards in 2008, and the test lab is expected to help local automakers cut expenditures on the development of new car models.

Many dignitaries witnessed the inauguration ceremony, including Economics Minister Ho Mei-yueh, Chairman Kenneth Yen of Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers' Association (TTVMA) (concurrently vice chairman of the Yulon Group, Taiwan's largest automobile-production conglomerate), and Lin Hsin-yi, a senior adviser to the Presidential Office and former vice premier.

China Motor Corp., in partnership with Mitsubishi of Japan, tested its newly demonstrated Galant Grunder sedan at the maiden show of the new test lab. The sedan crashed into a concrete wall at a speed of 48 kilometer-per-hour (Kph), but both the cabinet structure and the dummy inside got no hurt at all. A senior China Motor official said that the test attested to the well-designed vehicle structure of the Grunder.

According to Yen, Taiwan used to lack an internationally recognized vehicle-collision test lab, forcing local auto and parts makers to send their products abroad for tests. This not only led to higher costs, but also made makers unable to accumulate needed experiences and techniques. The new test lab is expected to help upgrade the local automobile line, the association chairman added.

ARTC president Huang Long-chou said that the average cost for a real-vehicle collision test at the lab is about NT$400,000 (US$12,500 at US$1: NT$32), compared with about NT$1.5 million (US$46,875) for a test abroad.

Huang said that his center invested some NT$180 million (US$5.63 million) to build the new lab, which is expected to provide intensive test services to all locally produced and imported automobiles, especially after 2008.

Huang continued the government plans to require foreign automakers maintaining technical cooperation ties with local partners to ask their countries' vehicle-certification units to sign mutual-authorization agreements with ARTC, so as not to incur double-certification problems.
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