Remember the Maestro? MG-Rover sold it to the Bulgarians who sold parts back to the UK and EU markets, then they sold it to Qingdao based tobacco maker ETSong who tried to make a local car for Qingdao residents. Qingdao natives didn’t take to a 20 year old car in the year 2000 and ETsong soon ditched their car making plans in 2002, FAW picked up the slack but quickly dumped the Maestro when it became clear it was not profitable to make cars nobody wanted, they turned the Maestro factory into a truck factory. Sichuan Yema steps into the frame. They picked up the Maestro hatch and van platform along with the tooling to the Montego and other cast off British Leyland stuff.
Sichuan produced a Forester clone on top of the Maestro platform, they’ve sold well in tier two, three and four cities across China with it being an incredibly rare sight (treat you might say) for 1st tier city dwellers. Now Sichuan Yema have plans for a low cost 7 seater MPV, the MPV has been codenamed M302 and should be launched in the first half of 2012. Don’t expect to see Sichuan Yema at any major auto shows like Shanghai any time soon.
The M302 measures in at 4720mm/1780mm/1860mm and has a wheelbase of 2800mm, power comes from a 1.6L, 112BHP with a 5 speed gearbox. Does the M302 look familiar? That’s because it looks a lot like the Honda Elysion which is made by Dongfeng-Honda.