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The concept is embodied in the front grilles and lighting arrays of a new generation of automobiles.

Stephen Moore

January 18, 2024

2 Min Read
EV charging
Blue Planet Studio/iStock via Getty Images

At a Glance

  • “Intelligentization” emerged in China denoting the use of artificial intelligence with decision-making capability
  • The technology is increasingly adopted in automotive front grilles
  • Vehicle lighting is also benefiting from intelligentization

The Chinese automotive market gradually regained momentum in 2023, with the performance of new energy vehicles (NEVs) particularly eye-catching. Amid the trends of “reverse joint ventures” and “exporting technology," Chinaplas organizer Adsale asks what are the materials and processing technologies needed for the NEV sector to bring a safer, more comfortable, and sustainable experience?

According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China's automobile production and sales increased by 8% and 9.1%, respectively, year-on-year from January to October, while NEV production and sales increased by 33.9% and 37.8%, with a market share of 30.4%. Further, NEV exports reached 995,000 units, up an incredible 99.1% year-on-year.

Front grille reflects intelligentization trend

Young consumers are paying more attention to NEVs. Research shows that consumers under 30 years old account for up to 43% of NEV users. In addition, young consumers prefer aesthetically appealing NEVs.

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As the front facade of a new generation of automobiles, the intelligentized front grille is becoming the mainstream of the industry. Advances in injection molding technology and new materials also play important roles.

Some examples that spring to mind include:

Related:Chinaplas Returns to Shanghai After Six-year Hiatus

  • The kidney-shaped front grille of the BMW iX series, which adopts Engel's integration processing to achieve a 3D effect;

  • Magna’s intelligentized front grille, which uses Mezzo panels made of polycarbonate to achieve a highly translucent visual effect;

  • Hyundai Mobis’ use of advanced lenticular lens sheet film to make the lens grille lighting module look slimmer and lighter.

Lighting also a path for intelligentization

In addition to intelligentized front grilles, automakers have injected new ideas into smart car lighting with the help of processing technologies and materials.

For example, the headlights of BYD’s Yangwang U8 model are manufactured using a Tederic NEO M27220 injection molding machine to achieve high-precision results; the headlights of Li Auto’s L9 model are manufactured by large multi-color injection molding machines; and HiPhi uses Covestro's polycarbonate (PC) for the headlight and LiDAR grilles of its latest luxury SUV. In addition, Wanhua Chemical's multi-color PMMA adds color to smart taillights without coloring and painting, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

This article is an edited and abridged version of source material provided by Adsale Plastics Network.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and a proud dachshund owner.

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