According to TTAC’s North Korean correspondent, “Mercedes of various models and age serve as the premium mode of transport for the rich and powerful.” China had to do something. And do they did. A Japanese car (of sorts) competes with German iron in the North Korean motor pool.
Before his passing, the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visited China in May 2011. At these events, it is customary to exchange welcome gifts. When Kim visited the First Auto Works (FAW) in Changchun, Jilin Province. Kim received a Red Star Hongqi with a big red bow on the hood. At least if the sources of Carnewschina are correct.
As the sources are identified as a “South Korean army fan-site,” reader discretion is advised.
Of course Kim had to reciprocate, that gift was generous. A full-spec HQ3 costs 688.800 yuan in China, or $108.000 US, or so we are told.
Kim ordered 3,.000 of the above pictured 6×6, FAW’s newest army truck. And some ‘army jeeps.’ as well. Consider everything settled.
Carnewschina opines that the choice of the a Hongqi HQ3 as a gift was a bit odd:
“The car is based on a Toyota Crown, made in China by the FAW-Toyota joint venture. Toyota for sure is a Japanse brand and North Korea hates Japan big time, even more than it hates the US and South Korea.”
Maybe, when the Dear Leader found out the truth about his gift, he had a heart attack.