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.