Automobile fuel tank, based on materials, can be divided into metal fuel tank and plastic fuel tank, with the former chiefly used in commercial vehicles and cross passenger vehicles, and the latter primarily used in sedans, MPV, and SUV. Featuring merits such as lightweight, low cost, high safety, corrosion resistance, long life and effective use of body space, the plastic fuel tank has witnessed rapid growth over recent years.
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China’s plastic automobile fuel tank demand recorded a CAGR of 23% during 2009-2013, and totaled 14.864 million in 2013. Because of requirements on environment protection and energy conservation, more and more plastic fuel tanks will be used in medium-duty and light trucks in China in the future, further driving up demand for plastic automobile fuel tank. It is expected that the use ratio of plastic fuel tank in Chinese automobile market will reach 80% by 2017, creating a demand of 24.56 million.
Plastic fuel tank companies in China consist of foreign ones, state-owned ones and private ones.
Representative foreign company: Kautex Textron, TI Automotive, Inergy, etc.;
Representative state-owned company: YAPP Automotive Parts Co., Ltd.;
Representative private company: Wuhu Shunrong Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
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The supporting characteristics of these three categories of companies are as follows:
Foreign and state-owned companies serve mainly joint-venture complete vehicle brands like Volkswagen, GM, Nissan, Toyota and Honda.
Private companies mainly provide the products for homegrown complete vehicle brands, as they entered the market late. They are making a push into supporting market of joint-venture complete vehicle brands so as to enter the procurement system of international complete vehicle brands.
YAPP Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. is the largest automobile fuel tank maker in China and a Grade A supplier of fuel tank for international well-known auto makers like Volkswagen, GM and Ford. The company made revenue of RMB 4.067 billion and sold 5.52 million plastic fuel tanks (including exports) in 2013, up 19.37% from a year earlier. It maintained a good momentum in 2014, selling 3.05 million tanks in the first six months of this year.
Founded in 1995, Wuhu Shunrong Auto Parts Co., Ltd. serves the homegrown brands including Chery and JAC. In 2013, the company produced and sold 620,000 plastic fuel tanks, falling short of output and sales targets of 900,000 set at the beginning of the year. The decline in fuel tank business is mostly due to a falling proportion of domestic homegrown auto brands sold and a drop in auto output and sales volume of the company’s major customers.