There are innumerable design and engineering hurdles to clear if you're an automaker intent on selling your wares worldwide, but few are more core to the business than safety. China knows this all too well. For years now, we've been hearing how the nation was planning to go global with its vehicles – several companies have even gone so far as to hold press conferences at U.S. auto shows.

And while there are many reasons why you don't have a Chery or BYD dealer down the street yet, China's expansionist efforts have been hampered by the persistent perception of poor automotive safety standards, an impression not helped by the viral spread of a number of frightening crash-test videos on the internet (like the 2007 Brilliance BS6 shown above and after the jump). But that may be about to change. According to new reports, the China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) is coming in for a comprehensive overhaul.

A raft of changes are expected to go into effect in July of 2012, and the revised standards are expected to include new low-speed crash testing and whiplash standards. In addition, the safety of rear seat occupants will be considered for the first time (previously, only the safety of front seat occupants was measured). The more stringent crash test standards will reportedly also weigh the presence of other safety systems, including electronic nannies like stability control. Overall, the new standards are expected to more closely mimic the standards of other markets (namely Europe's NCAP), including tougher scenarios like the 40 mph offset frontal crash test.

China Car Times reports that only 59 new models have been awarded five-star ratings under current C-NCAP standards – about 43 percent of those models tested since 2006. As Chinese automakers are already having a tough time meeting current crash test regulations, meeting the new standards that go into effect next year will likely pose a very serious challenge. But while any Chinese automaker looking to play in established markets like North America or Europe will still have to pass local crash test standards, they'll almost certainly have a better shot at good results – and better public perception – if the regulations in their home country are similar.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      SpikedLemon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why can't we all adopt some global standards - why does each market feel the need to re-invent their own version?
        Narom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        Exactly, why not just adopt the Euro-NCAP standard? Most other countries NCAPs are based on the Euro one so why not the rest? The Euro model proves it's possibly to standardise safety regulations through more than one country,
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          [blocked]
          lemonite
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          Forgive me for talking out of my ass, but aren't Euro standards way more stringent on fuel efficiency requirements, and therefore incompatible with the lobbying of Big Oil here in the states? /conspiracy hat on
          Mike Pulsifer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          Our standards are more stringent, hence why FIAT had to strengthen the 500 for the American market. http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/label/Safety
        Jew
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        America could never fathom a universal standard ( for anything for that matter), that would insinuate compromise. Besides a 70mpg VW Polo Diesel would render the Chevy Volt a FAIL thus it would be un-patriotic.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jew
          Pity, cause it might have forced Chevy to make a 71mpg diesel Sonic, instead of the Volt with almost no comparable mpg standard (with gas engine alone, low 40mpg, only electric or both, how the hell do you measure the equivalent mpg of a partially electric car?). Pity fat expensive hybrids gather all the hype and tiny superefficient diesels get mostly rejected from immigration?
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        Because our standards are quite expensive and in many markets the cars people are able to afford are priced extremely cheaply. Look at the new Hyundai Eon that's for the Indian market, the whole car costs about 6 grand flat. If India had our car crash test standards they wouldn't be able to sell any affordable new cars.
        Kris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        Yeah! That won't happen in the next century.
      tump
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Wal-Mart crowd will whine about how their jobs are going to China, and then turn around and buy these cars because they're cheaper.
        Adrian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tump
        Couldn't agree more. Everyone wants something for nothing, even at the cost of quality and their own economic well-being.
      breakfastburrito
      • 3 Years Ago
      Such stupid comments. The American auto industry took many decades to make safe cars. Same with every country. China enters the industry, and we expect them to catch up instantly? Ludicrous. Korean cars were deathtraps a short time ago. Now they're better than most American cars. We should be glad that Chinese cars are still in their infancy.
      Wolf
      • 3 Years Ago
      The airbags, they do nothing!
      Soul Shinobi
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could have just said "China announces... crash test standards."
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought their crash safety standards were meant to be like their "one child" policy, something to thin out their population.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        They also tried to thin out the population by putting real people instead of dummies in their crash tests, but censored those videos from the internet and edited out the people to look like dummies. China's one child policy is to me more disturbing than having real people crash testing deathtraps. They want less babies? Give free condoms with everything. Dont friggin force abortions. Even if your country is bursting at the seams with 1.5 billion.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Made in China.
        Andre Neves
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Well, there goes the politically-correct crowd, down voting my comment. Afghanistan Iraq Russia Iran North Korea All countries perceived to be our enemies, yet none can compare to the damage China is inflicting on the world economically. Mark my words, they WILL be the downfall of all great nations out there. And then you folks still have the freakin' nerve to be politically correct and take offense by a little comment against them? Shame on you.
          C4RBON
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Andre Neves
          I think they are down-voting because its not a very good comment. It doesn't offer any substantial information or perspective on the issue at hand. If they thought it was politically incorrect, I can personally assure you it would be even lower. I up-voted. I won't buy any durable (3+ years life expectancy) goods made in China. It's my own personal contribution to maintaining a decent US and Western manufacturing base.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Andre Neves
          [blocked]
          C4RBON
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Andre Neves
          Cars, nice kitchen appliances, agricultural and construction equipment, aircraft, military equipment, tools, production equipment, the list goes on. If you start looking at where stuff is made before you buy it, you will be surprised where some stuff comes from. Its actually not too hard to avoid Chinese made goods. Consumer electronics are the only area its actually difficult to do; but then, most consumer electronics aren't 'durable' anymore, are they? I get a new phone every 2 years (besides, my current one was made in Taiwan, which is like, only sorta from China).
      _M7_
      • 3 Years Ago
      deam the chasis almost crack at half... just like every chinese car...a pice of crap so far
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Haha, AS IF!
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