When the ‘Toyota Wars’ broke out between Chad and Libya, Toyota was slightly concerned with its good, honest, family orientated brand being associated with North African wars and skirmishes as the Hilux became the light cavalry vehicle of choice for militias that wanted to move people and heavy guns ASAP. You can understand Toyota’s apprehension about using the opportunity as a marketing tool, Japan became very anti war after its 1945 loss in the Second World War. During the Libyan Civil War last year, Zhong Xing (ZX Auto in English) vehicles became the tool of choice for the rebels as they conquered the desert kingdom and rolled in on Tripoli with home made guns attached to the top of ZX’s wares.
At the Beijing Auto Show Zhongxing were the polar opposite of Toyota, they were more than keen to point out that their trucks were battle hardened beasts that are quite capable of taking on the rigors of Chinese country life just as they are fighting Colonel Gaddafi to the death.
ZX Auto launched their ‘City Ark‘ which is a CCT appointed name due to the Chinese name being ‘éƒ½å¸‚æ–¹èˆŸâ€™ (Du Shi Fang Zhou’ The hatchback is ZX Auto’s first shot at making a hatchback vehicle and is a clear step away from their usual SUV and truck product up line up.
See the huge LED screens in the background? They were showing non stop coverage of ZX Auto’s battle scarred vehicles from the Libyan front, clearly it was a marketing coup for the Baoding city based company. For a company that sits in the shadows of the much larger Great Wall Motors, the Libyan front was a major marketing piece that just couldn’t be avoided.
Elsewhere on the ZX stand was the new Wei Hu truck, the truck has gained a clear design style that makes it look somewhat similar to the giant Ford style grills that are used on larger trucks in the North American market – but what ever makes these vehicle distinct in a crowded market can only be a good thing.