Hyundai, which has a flourishing and fast-growing joint venture with Beijing’s BAIC, is jumping on the bandwagon of fake Chinese brands. Probably not on Hyundai’s own volition, and probably with a lot of gentle urging by the Chinese government which thinks that the answer to China’s cluttered market is brands, brands, and more brands.
Carnewschina has it that the new brand of the Hyundai/BAIC JV will be called “Shouwang.”
Google Translate claims it means “Number one watching”, but it is unlikely that the car is targeted at people who watch other people go to the bathroom. There is probably some deeper meaning, inaccessible to us longnoses.
Carnewschina has pictures of the first Shouwang, a BHCD-1 in mild camo, as it is rolled into the Guangzhou Auto Show. The show will open its doors tomorrow, should you be near Guangzhou, you can see a Shouwang in the flesh.
Carnewsschina has a negative outlook on the thing:
“It looks very cool indeed, but the real thing will likely look much worse and will likely be based on an old Hyundai Elantra. The BHCD-1 concept is a hybrid, the real thing will just get a normal petrol engine.”
It is an open secret in China that the darned foreigners usually don’t contribute more than has-been technology to these brand exercises in futility. By the way, the Chinese insist on calling these joint venture brands “sub brands.” They are not. They are freestanding brands, just like “Lexus” or “Scion”. A sub brand would be a “Toyota Prius” and its family of v, c, plug-ins. or what have you. But the Chinese insist on calling freestanding brands sub-brands. Goes to show how much they know about branding.