What is C-NCAP? The offical explaination is: China New Car Assessment Programme (Chinese:中国新车评价规范),the offical website of C-NCAP is: http://www.c-ncap.org/C-NCAP/index.htm
NCAP, or New Car Assessment Program, originated from the US in 1970s, and it became further recognised in developed countries such as Japan, Europe and Australia in the 90s. a common feature of NCAP is that all the test cars have to be bought from the market, ie, assessable by ordinary consumers. It is an independent test for the benefit of consumers, without the intervention from automotive producers.
“The automotive industry in China is big, but few people really understand cars. Common criteria such as engine displacement, inside space and door numbers don’t really matter, what’s important is how safe when you are sitting in the car.” Zhao suggested that the creation of C-NCAP is to provide star ratings on safety, so that there can be a standard for consumers to choose cars. The chief purpose of conducting C-NCAP tests is to prompt vehicle producers to upgrade their technologies and improve car safety.
“C-NCAP is a new car assessment program, not just a new car SAFETY assessment program. We do have to go through crash tests initially, but then we add up other results to establish a systematic evaluation standard for new cars, including safety, displacement and oil consumption tests.” Zhao said that as China is a large energy user with insufficient energy supply, and for the environmental consideration as well, it is necessary to conduct displacement and oil consumption tests in the Program.
C-NCAP can become a guideline for Chinese automotive manufacturers, said Zhao. “Many manufacturers are now designing products for the next 5 or 10 years by referring to C-NCAP. For example, once fuel consumption limits of passenger cars are given, product designers have to follow these limits. In addition, C-NCAP’s analytical results, which are based on existing road and traffic accident statistics, will also serve for future standards setting, so this could also be guidance for manufacturers.”
A cooperative deal with PICC (People’s Insurance Company of China), China’s largest property insurer, was another successful initiative by CATARC. Last year, a vehicle safety crash test laboratory sponsored by PICC was opened, and PICC had also provided US$2 million to C-NCAP as crash test funds. For an independent assessment institution like CATARC, its cooperation partners have to be without vested interests, so the country’s number 1 insurer could be an ideal partner.
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