China’s Lifan Appoints Ricardo as Development Partner for New Light-Duty Engine and Transmission Family
Chongqing Lifan Industry Group Co. Ltd (Lifan) of China has signed a Heads of Agreement with Ricardo plc to develop a new family of car engines and transmissions.
The initial focus for the collaboration is the design and development of a completely new family of car engines of 0.8-2.4 liters displacement, new transmissions featuring technologies such as automated manual transmissions (AMT) and dual-clutch transmissions (DCT), and support in implementing the manufacturing of these products. The first contract under the terms of this Heads of Agreement is expected to be placed imminently.
The proposed collaboration between the two companies is aimed at providing Lifan with internationally competitive powertrain products and technologies to facilitate its continued expansion, according to the company.
Lifan, formed in 1991, started as a motorcycle company, and has the capacity to produce 2.5 million motorcycle engines and 1 million motorcycles annually. In August 2003 Lifan announced its intent to enter the automotive sector and has now commissioned a new vehicle assembly facility on a greenfield site in Chongqing, China. In early 2006 Lifan went into production with its first passenger car, the Lifan 520.
This is a key strategic investment for Lifan as we move to develop our automotive business and expand both our market penetration in China and overseas. We chose Ricardo as our powertrain partner because of its extensive experience of designing and developing world-class engines and implementing them into production. We also have future requirements for advanced transmission systems and feel that Ricardo can offer Lifan a “one-stop shop” for both of these key areas of the powertrain.—Wang Yan Hui, President of Chongqing Lifan Passenger Vehicle Co Ltd