The Chinese brand JAC is well-known, known mainly as a manufacturer of trucks and commercial vehicles. Even in the middle of the last decade, its trucks filled the roads of large industrial cities, although later brand cars began to appear in our country. So let's look at her story, what caused the high demand for her commercial vehicles, how things are with the brand now, as well as how she feels in the cramped Chinese market.
The history of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd begins in 1964, when a truck component factory was opened in Hefei. Four years later, the plant gave its first model to the surface - an on-board truck weighing 2.5 tons, but until the end of the 80s of the last century the enterprise developed slowly and produced only various modifications of cargo models. The situation began to change closer to 1990, when the plant designed a new frame chassis 6700KY, which became the main one for many buses, so in 2005 this development entered the top 50 most important Chinese products over the past 50 years. Already in May 1990, Jac established the export of the first 36 trucks and 24 buses to Bolivia, and by 1993 the plant was producing 12,000 trucks and buses a year - not so much, given 25 years of history.
However, by 1996, JAC Motors had prepared the light commercial truck HFC 1061, which very quickly became the standard in its class: without major revolutions, this model has now sold more than 500,000 units, and simplicity and reliability of the machine design played a significant role in this. .
By 2001, the Chinese had entered into an agreement with Hyundai to sell documentation for the H1 model, and set up a copy of it in China. The car was called Refine, and in our country this model appeared in single copies in 2006, however, through unofficial channels (in those years the official representative was engaged in sales of only commercial models, but we will return to the brand’s representative office in Ukraine later). At the same time, the production of Gallop heavy tractors was opened. Until 2007, the company specialized in minivans, tractors and commercial vehicles, but back in 2005, management began to take steps towards starting production of cars in other passenger cars. Having opened offices in Italy and Japan, JAC designers enlisted the Hyundai-Kia Y4 chassis in 2006, releasing a Santa Fe crossover clone based on it, which was clearly borrowed from Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Lexus RX300. The car was named Eagle and the S1 index in the domestic market, later it was renamed Rein, and it was with her that the company began to storm the segment of passenger models. In 2007, the brand made an attempt to enter the Russian market with a crossover by assembling it at the TagAZ plant, but the model was doomed to failure: in the basic configuration, the car was valued at $ 19.900, and our neighbors could buy for the same money at that time “ the real "Santa Fe. There were no pluses on the JAC Rein side: the car received at least 16-valve, but retarded atmospheric “fours” with a volume of 2.0-2.4 liters, whose power is 127-134 hp, and because of no degree the crossover could consume more than 15 liters of fuel in urban mode. In addition, the build quality was frankly lame.
In the Chinese market, JAC held strong positions in the cargo and commercial segments (30% for the LCV segment), although by 2008 the brand sold only 56,000 cars a year. But the course on expanding passenger models has already been taken, and a bet has been made on our own development, and in the same year two models were presented - the large Binyue J7 sedan, which was developed in alliance with the local TJ Innova studio, as well as the subcompact Turin sedan. also known as Heyue J3. The large sedan was equipped with 2.0-2.4-liter aspirated engines of its own design, the power of which was 127-135 hp, although a two-liter “aspirated” Mitsubishi MIVEC 4G63 with the same output of 135 forces was available, as for the subcompact sedan J3, he received a reliable and economical 1.3-liter JAC engine, which had identical characteristics with the Mitsubishi 4A90 series engine, which was installed on the Colt hatchback. In 2009, the company introduced the mid-size Heyue J5 sedan and the Refine J6 minivan, the 1.5-liter engines from a technical point of view also very much resemble Mitsubishi units. However, it is worth noting that the atmospheric units of the Japanese brand of past years, equipped with a classic distributed injection, due to their high reliability, often fall under the hoods of Chinese models.
The rapid expansion of the model range has borne fruit: in 2009, the manufacturer sold almost 200,000 commercial, 12.900 trucks and 123.862 cars, thanks to which the brand received many awards from the government. However, in those years, a fashion for crossovers began, and rising fuel prices led to a demand for electric cars, and it should be noted that the JAC leadership realized this, but a decent “electric train” did not appear immediately in the range of the brand.
In the past five years, JAC has introduced a number of new models to the market: crossovers Refine S2, S2 Mini, S3, S4, S5, S7, minivans Refine M3, M4, M5, M6, R3, compact J6, pickup T6, as well as a separately positioned large luxury sedan A60. Starting with the S5 model, which was presented at the Guangzhou Motor Show in 2012, turbocharged engines of 1.5-2.0 liters of their own design, which are equipped with direct injection, were registered under the hood for medium-sized and large JAC cars, and they work with double-disc "Robot". It can be stated that in this regard, the brand has been following a parallel course with European automakers, which in recent years have introduced direct injection into their turbo engines, thanks to which, for example, the 1.5-liter crossover S5 consumes 9.3 liters of fuel in the combined cycle - the two-liter VW Tiguan has approximately same fuel efficiency.
The company has come a long way and at the moment has mastered the segment of not only trucks, but cars. However, the success of competitors in the person of Geely, BAIC, BYD, GAC and Chery does not allow JAC to be one of the leading car manufacturers in China.