Over the past few years we have seen a change in direction with Chinese manufacturers, for a time it seemed that they were in a continual race to the bottom with ever cheaper cars, see the BYD F0 and Cherry QQ series for strong examples. Cheap cars don’t provide too much in terms of profit, but they do provide volume. If BYD and Chery didn’t have vehicles…

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What’s the best way to road test your facelift car without it getting noticed by the general public who are armed with high quality cellphone cameras? Obviously not covering your car in eye catching camo is one method. The facelift Grand Cherokee has been spotted road testing in China ahead of a launch in March-April this year.

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In 2007 I declared the Roewe 550 was the best looking Chinese car to date. Autoblog disagreed. Five years later, the Chang-an Eado hatchback is on the verge of launching and has now taken the title of best looking Chinese car to date, the compact…

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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…

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According to the SMCP, some Chinese car dealers are ready to drop their Chinese brands and move over to other ‘safe brands’, but what exactly is a safe brand in China? With mob mentality at an all time high its easy for Korean, French, German or American brands to ‘Upset the feelings of the Chinese peoples‘. French supermarket chain, Carrefour,…

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The diplomatic fall out and consumer backlash against Japanese products continued into November with Honda announcing that sales were down in China 29% in year on year figures.

Although the figures are down, it seems that the situation is slowly improving as October’s sales were down nearly 50% in October.In November 2012 Honda sold 41,205 cars in…

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The BYD Qin Hybrid is an entirely new hybrid from the makers of the original BYD F3 DM, the Qin was aired in concept form at the Beijing Auto Show in April where it was well received by media and consumers, however the real focus of that auto show was on the Su Rui sedan, the donor vehicle for the Qin’s electric hybrid engine. The F3DM was criticized…

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So long time China Car Times reader and comment box user, Gerald, sent me a message over Weibo on Saturday evening asking what car you would buy if you had a hypothetical 1 million RMB lying around doing nothing. Gerald pointed out that the 1 million RMB (circa 160,000USD) was to be used only for the car purchases and any running costs or maintenance…

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Luxury car maker Fisker are pushing back their plans for a China launch until 2013 according to Reuters reporter Nichola Groom who managed to corner Fisker’s Roger Ormisher on the floor of the LA Auto Show which opened this week.

Fisker said earlier it would launch in China by the end of this year. But the company encountered a slight delay…

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From Auto Evolution

We never though the day when a Chinese car brand would sue an automaker from another country over trademark-related business would come, but it seems that this is exactly…

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The Youngman-Proton tie up is producing some interesting cars, not interesting in a ‘wow‘ factor but more interesting in the ‘What were they thinking?‘ aspect. Youngman bases its cars off the Proton RCR, a car that was originally sold in China but has since given away to two self developed models from Youngman, neither products are…

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MG are aiming to copy Kia’s rise to success according to MG’s new chief designer, Martin Ulharik, the former Nissan designer was interviewed by Automotive News on MG’s plans for the future. Just ten years ago it would…

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The Honda NSX aired for the first time in China at the Guangzhou Auto Show, although Japanese brands were suffering from political fall out from the Sino-Japanese island spat back in September Acura did not fail in their mission to draw crowds to their stand. Whilst the rest of the Acura range could be considered questionable, the NSX Concept is clearly…

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Are you an aspiring dictator? Do you lead a Communist nation that likes the color red? If you’ve been answering YES! to all of these questions with much fervor, we can calm you down by telling you the Hong Qi L9 is heading your way.

The L9 is the civilian version of the state sedan that Hu Jin Tao used in 2009′s 60th…

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SPRINGO, or rather Springo for those that don’t like to be shouted out is the new brand/model name for the Chevrolet Sail EV. The Sail was designed and developed in China for the Chinese market and other developing markets, South American markets have already been on the receiving end of the gasoline variant for several months now. The pure electric…

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It seems that when joint venture companies are left to their own devices to design, develop and produce cars for the Chinese market sales volume is sure to be had with a product that is able to capture the admiration and wallet of the local populace. See the VW Lavida for such an example, Wolfsburg apparently provided a platform and power train and…

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The new joint venture between Chang-an Auto and Citroen (CAPSA) is quite possibly one of the more exciting ones in China, rather than producing the usual three box sedans that Chinese consumers were once so fond of, CAPSA are eager to bring in their flagship DS5.

The DS5 is already sold in China but the DS dealer network is spotty at best, the DS3,…

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Its been another good month for car manufacturers, as normal the usual faces are making it into the top 10 passenger cars but the addition of the latest Hyundai Elantra is an interesting one. A revised fifth generation Elantra was only just launched in China, the Lang Dong was aired at the Beijing Auto Show in April and seems to be gathering speed with…

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BYD’s Su Rui sedan has a cousin in the BYD Si Rui. The name is similar, and the exterior looks similar too, so what are the differences? We’re not entirely clear if this model is placed above the Si Rui or below it either, but we can tell you that like the Su Rui it is packed with technology. A 12.1 inch screen is the obvious focal point in the center…

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The UK automotive media have mostly loved the MG6 but consumers didn’t due to the lack of a diesel. That’s changed, MG now have a oil burning engine available for the MG6 with a 1.8 unit that pushes out 148bhp, for UK’ers that translates into just over 53mpg and 139g of Co2. The gasoline MG6 was a tough sell in the UK with just ‘dozens’ being sold every…

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American MG fans maybe waiting just a little longer for MG making it Stateside. Although certain rumors of MG setting up production in the US were circulating in the early days of 2005-2007, nothing ever came of it, now MG has a wide range but still those cars wont be seeing any North American roads in the near future. SAIC has however opened an office…

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Earlier this year at the Beijing Auto Show Haima showed off a concept named ‘Yao’, after months of seeing the ‘Yao’ road testing around China getting acclimatized to different weather conditions we can say the car is ready to hit the production lines. A pre-production model was recently spotted outside a hotel in…

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Cadillac is far from catching up the likes of Audi and BMW in the Chinese market, but they might grow their current market share in the next few years if they play their cards right. According to a Reuters report filed yesterday, Cadillac just isn’t cool with Chinese consumers due to the use of sharp angular designs on show which goes against Chinese…

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Jeep became a political over the past two weeks when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared in a series of television adverts that Jeep was moving all of its production to China. The Obama camp were quick to respond, as was Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat-Chrysler CEO who stated time and time again that Jeep was moving to China to satisfy Chinese…

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China and Japan’s diplomatic spat in September looked like it was leading towards actual war at one point, both parties eventually backed down but in China where street protests turned violent, Japanese branded cars, stores and restaurants bore the brunt of an angry youth. Chinese car buyers backed off Japanese car brands in September for a number of…

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The Chinese market has some howler brand names, we can point at Roewe, Besturn, Venucia, Ciimo, Everus and now we can welcome CINTURX to the party.

Ford and Mazda produce a wide range of vehicles with Chang’an, but with increased attention on the Chinese market by both companies has lead to greater technology cooperation between the three way tie…

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Late last week the UK taxi company Manganese Bronze announced that it was going to enter into bankruptcy protection and this week it would end 156 jobs at the UK plant. The company is partly owned by Geely who have a roughly 20% stake in the company and a joint venture in Shanghai, according…

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Saab maybe an entry in the automotive history book but the brand sort of lives on in Beijing, when Beijing Auto bought the rights to the last generation 93 and 95 as well as the engines.

Although the C70G is based on Saab architecture it looks nothing like a Saab, its side has more of a BMW Bangle wrinkle

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Brazil’s Districar have announced partnerships with China’s Haima and Chang’an Auto to produce the range of vehicles in Brazil by 2015, the same factory will also produce Ssangyong vehicles.

The three brands are currently imported into Brazil but Districar’s CEO Abdul Ibraimo believes that there is a strong business car for localized production…

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China loves the Santana. The car was first introduced in 1984 and claims the title as the first passenger car made in China, of course the Jeep Cherokee made it a few months earlier but claimed the crown as the first foreign vehicle made in China. The partnership between Shanghai Auto and Volkswagen bloomed from a tiny few hundred units per year into…

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During the 2008 Olympics Beijing Drivers were asked to toggle their driving based on their license plate numbers with plates ending in odd or even no’s being barred from the roads on alternate days. Beijinger’s being Beijingers simply bought second cars to get around the rule, but in 2012 they cant do that thanks to the license plate lottery that limits…

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The Chinese auto market is made up entirely of individual auto makers, there are the larger state owned companies that have several of their own brands, such as SAIC that owns Roewe and MG and Maxus, and First Automobile Works that owns Xiali, Besturn and Hong Qi, but these companies are shouldering the burden of design and development entirely by themselves,…

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Ironman was a popular flick in the People’s Republic, and with all popular automotive slanted flicks that air in China the cars are ultimately the star, just ask GM about the halo effect of Bumblebee. Ironman’s then concept Acura NSX is going to be turned into a production car at the Detroit Auto Show in January and should be on the market in China…

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Over the past few days a number of rumors have appeared regarding VW in China, the rumors are basically:Shanghai VW are planning a new factory in Changsha, FAW-VW are planning a factory in Inner Mongolia.

As before with the Shanghai-VW investment in Xinjiang we broke the story first, it seemed an odd investment for a Shanghai based auto company to…

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This piece was written by long term China Car Times commentator August Schwartz who has been following the Chinese auto industry closely and from affair for the past decade.

The last week or so I have had a burning desire to do something I have not done in a very long time. It has been nearly five years since I wrote my last piece on Lifan,…

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One man bought himself a Great Wall Hover M1 to get around town in Guiyang city, but the gent also has a knack for painting in the dirt on his car windows. The ‘painting’ is not shabby either, taking his paint brush to the ever present dirt in China, the cars owner has managed…

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The ASX has very quietly been produced in Changsha earlier this week, the compact SUV is the first product from the joint venture between Guangzhou Auto and Mitsubishi and came after Guangzhou took over Changsha Auto who originally had the JV with Mitsubishi.

The ASX comes with a 1.6L and a 2.0L engine with both 5 speed manual and CVT gearboxes…

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The recent worldwide Toyota recall has finally landed in China, the recall which has quickly been dubbed ‘Toyotal Recall’, will effect 1.4 million cars in China alone, globally it will see more than 7 million cars returned to Toyota dealers for repair with 2.4 million US cars and more than 1 million EU cars being recalled.

In China affected…

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Ford employees have a major cause for celebration this weekend, Ford announced its best sales ever in September 2012 with passenger car sales up 54% and total sales increasing 35%.

“Achieving record sales makes us more committed than ever to provide consumers with a full family of high quality, fuel-efficient,…

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