By on May 18, 2010

5 years ago, disturbing news reached Germany. A Chinese company called Jiangling had the nerve to disturb the peace of the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA by displaying a Chinese SUV, with the intent to sell the vehicle. With dispatch, a crash test was arranged by the ADAC, the German equivalent of the AAA. The car failed miserably, the video became a hit on Youtube, and turned into an example for all that’s wrong with Chinese cars. Landwind was done. Never mind that rumors wouldn’t die that ADAC’s Landwind test had used, shall we say, “enhanced techniques.” Never mind that Germany’s TÜV, the company that officially tests cars for the German government, tested the car later and certified that it met all mandatory safety criteria. Never mind that the ADAC has a sometimes incestuous relationship with German auto makers. Landwind was destroyed, the first attempt to invest European soil with Chinese cars was repulsed. Later, ADAC did the same to Brilliance, again under questionable circumstances, again with the predictable results: Brilliance was dead, had to leave Europe. Well, Brilliance is coming back. And so does Landwind.

Jiangling’s European distributor is reintroducing Landwind to Europe. Landwind Europe started sales of Jiangling’s CV9 Minivan in the Netherlands. According to Automotive News [sub], next will be five other European markets including Germany, Italy and Belgium. Having passed Whole Vehicle Type Approval, including mandatory crash tests, and being equipped with Euro 5 engines, the car is street legal in all of Europe.  The importer expects the minivan to earn least a three-star rating out of five when the voluntary EuroNCAP releases its next batch of official results in fall. Unless ADAC upstages the official EuroNCAP test and conducts its own unofficial tests “under EuroNCAP conditions.”

The CV9 Minivan has enough European DNA to qualify as an Eurasian. The design comes from IDEA of Turin. The 1.6- or 2.0-liter gasoline engines were developed by Jiangling with the help of F.E.V. Motortechnik GmbH, of Aachen, Germany. The five-speed manual transmission is from Getrag of Germany.

Size wise, the CV9  is similar to an Opel Zafira. The price (€11,950 in Germany), is much lower than the Zafira’s German MSRP of €20,295.

Jiangling just announced an investment program to lift their annual production capacity to 210,000 vehicles. Jiangling is a joint venture partner of Ford and produces the Transit for the Chinese market.

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15 Comments on “China’s Landwind Back In Europe...”


  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    The downward slope of the roof in the rear reminds me of a Mazda 5, while the front reminds me a KIA Rondo.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Just looking at the picture, before looking at the story, I would have sworn it was an “updated” Kia Rondo.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Actually the rear is more reminiscent of a previous gen Toyota Matrix.

      In truth, I like it. I like it a lot. It looks very well-proportioned, much more so than the Rondo, Mazda5 or the Fit. The shape just looks pleasing to the eye. They did a great job on the styling.

  • avatar
    windswords

    “Never mind that rumors wouldn’t die that ADAC’s Landwind test had used, shall we say, “enhanced techniques.” Never mind that Germany’s TÜV, the company that officially tests cars for the German government, tested the car later and certified that it met all mandatory safety criteria. Never mind that the ADAC has a sometimes incestuous relationship with German auto makers. Landwind was destroyed, the first attempt to invest European soil with Chinese cars was repulsed. Later, ADAC did the same to Brilliance, again under questionable circumstances…”

    Hmm, sounds like the stuff the Japanese used to do. “Yea, we’re an open market, really – sorry, your rutabagas have to be inspected by agricultural committee, and they are attending a conference but they’ll be back in a week.” Next week: “What? You’re rutabagas rotted? Gee, that’s just too bad. Better luck next time”!

    Of course the Chinese will crack the Euro market, but they will now have a tarnished image, which is almost as good as “rutabaga” inspection.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      But you have to agree in this case that the open Europeans are smarter than the Americans…

      AFAIK, they don’t have the japanese invasion you have.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m confused. I’m in Japan at the moment. I immediately asked what a “rutabaga” is, and all I earned was a “nani?” (What?) Tried a “lutabaga” for good measure, and was called “baka” in return.

      So I went to the trusted Wikipedia and found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga

      Now I’m totally confused. Unless Windsworth is in the turnip biz.

      @Stingray: The Euros definitely used to have more finesse in, well, managing imports, without creating a huge stink. A common ploy was to demand a form filled-out in triplicate, but the form was unavailable. The French were the masters. For a while, they assigned custom offices all over the country to different product classes. Importation had to be filed at these customs offices. The customs offices were staffed according to the French willingness to import a certain product. Get a number, get in line. All that went away with the EU and the WTO. The ADAC tests supposedly are based on private initiative, but the rumors won’t die that all 735 Chinese cars that were imported to Europe from China last year (true number) were bought on behalf of European car manufacturers who smash them to pieces.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Bertel,

      A rutabaga is a kind of turnip. I doubt the Japanese eat them. *I* don’t think I have ever eaten one. “Rutabaga” is just an agricultural equivalent of a”Widget”, and not an actual example of an import.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widget_%28economics%29
      Widget (economics), a placeholder for a manufactured device.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I have no evidence to refute the assertion that the ADAC tilts testing away from German-produced vehicles …

    I still remember, however, the Opel Sintra (a U.S.-built, badge-engineered version of the Pontiac Montana minivan)…

    When that baby met ADAC’s wall, the A-piller kinked and the driver-dummy surely would have died from head-injuries and broken knees …

    Immediately after sales dropped to near-zero and the vehicle quickly and quietly disappeared from the market.

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    I don’t understand why everyone is so concerned about crash test results. The typical Chinese driver does not enjoy crashing their cars into concrete barriers and so their car designs reflect that.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I hear a lot of apologetics about the landwind/brilliance crash tests, but have yet to see someone describe exactly what ADAC did.

    Unless ADAC scored all the welds at the a-pillar or ran the things at double speed, I don’t think I’d get within a country mile of one of those things, massaged results or not. We’re living in a time when anything more than a few centimeters of distortion in the passenger cabin is essentially total failure. The landwind/brilliance tests were so horrifyingly bad that it’s difficult to see how anything aside from complete sabotage of the vehicles taking part could adequately explain them.

    Plus, I’ve seen enough non-ADAC tests of cheap cars to know that you get what you pay for. So ADAC massages the tests, and now landwind/brilliance get to crow about how they’re actually delivering cars that will cripple and maim you instead of killing you instantly – sounds great!

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      i’m with ya there, i’ve heard of these “enhanced techniques” when they tested these cars, but have heard nothing of what exactly they did

    • 0 avatar
      OMG_Shoes

      Gee, I guess that shoe doesn’t fit so comfortably when it’s on the other foot, does it?

      It is the absolute height of chutzpah for the Chinese or their agents or apologists — official or other — to be bitching (so far without even a shred of evidence, let alone proof) about “nonstandard” test protocols selectively applied to cause a predetermined result. This kind of crapola goes on every day in China, but the other way around. For a little over three decades ending late last year I was in R&D for one of the major global diversified Tier-1 suppliers. I watched the rise of the Japanese auto industry, the rise of the Korean auto industry, and the rise of the Chinese auto industry, and only in that last one did I see such reams of “test reports” showing Chinese car parts passing all the relevant performance and safety tests with flying colors…when tested at Chinese labs. Funny thing, though, when we tested those parts in non-Chinese labs, they failed almost 100% of the time. Occasionally we’d get this same accusation, that we must have deliberately created the failure by unfairly testing the parts more stringently than actually required (which we never, ever did), but most of the time the Chinese maker would mutter some flimsy excuse and slink off to “try again” (usually with the same result).

  • avatar
    OMG_Shoes

    TÜV, the company that officially tests cars for the German government, tested the car later and certified that it met all mandatory safety criteria.

    Yeah, sure, fine, but the sticking point is that word “mandatory”. Thing is, there is a lot more to building a good, safe car than just what’s written in the regulations. There’s a whole hеll of a lot of what is so basic that it is just universally considered standard practice among automakers — until now, because now we’re dealing with the Chinese, who only give a ѕhit about those regulations they can’t figure out how to cheat past, and who certainly don’t give a ѕhit about accepted basic standard practice that’s not written into the mandatory regulations because up to now nobody’s been callous enough to deviate from it on a systematic basis (with an exception here and there, like the Pinto).

  • avatar
    Znork

    The ADAC test reflects Euro-NCAP.

    Euro-NCAP is NOT mandatory. The mandatory crash test is way easier as it’s run at considerably lower speed. But if you fail in a Euro-NCAP test, you will not sell a single car, period.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    NCAP is like the NHTSA?
     
    Still waiting to hear these enhanced crash techniques that were used. Maybe they bolted heavy weights under the seats? But then the cars would appear lowered. I think the cars just suck


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