More than 100 senior managers of China’s FAW have been questioned and some have been detained over and unfolding scandal that involves more than 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) in assets that went missing. (Read More…)
Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty.
In February 1991, Volkswagen signed its second Chinese joint venture deal with First Automobile Works (FAW) in frigid Changchun in Northern China. This deal, and the older JV with SAIC turned into the cornerstone of Volkswagen’s world domination plans. In no country does Volkswagen sell more cars than in China – and it wants to double the current number in a few years. Written for a 25 year term, the joint venture with FAW would end in 2016. It won’t. It has been extended for another 25 years.
The old contract is still good for a few years, so why the rush? Well, there was that other matter. (Read More…)
It’s one of those Tuesday afternoons here in Beijing. The air is barely breathable, and somewhere, a hammer drill is duking it out with a concrete ceiling. Time for another installment of Tycho’s Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars. Today we have a very interesting Chinese car. It’s a 1983 Dodge 600 sedan, dressed-up as a Hongqi CA750F. How did it get into China? (Read More…)
Hongqi, or Red Flag, is China’s most famous automotive brand. Owner of the Hongqi-brand is First Auto Works, or FAW. Hongqi always was, and sometimes still is, the car for the country’s leaders – communist party bosses, and the car for the very influential. A Red Flag is not for the very rich – they take a red Ferrari, or a simple black Maybach. The Hongqi was strictly government business. Hongqi’s most famous cars are the CA 770-series, and the Audi-based limousines and parade cars.
There is, however, another less well known chapter in Hongqi’s history: a tie up with good old Lincoln from the USA in the 1990′s and early 00′s. This article will show what cars came out of this interesting marriage.
On the first picture is the first Hongqi CA7460 rolling off the line at the factory in Changchun, Jilin province. It was November 10, 1998. (Read More…)
Conventional wisdom says that the Chinese will suck all the know-how out of their foreign joint venture partners, and once they are through with them, they’ll discard them like Dracula a bloodless virgin. As a thank you, the Chinese will flood foreign countries with cheap Chinese cars. The trouble with conventional wisdom is that it is rarely true, or wise. Actually, the Chinese are now worried that the foreigners amass too much power. “Foreign car producers have begun to take more control of their joint ventures in China, sidelining their Chinese counterparts from business partners to factory providers,” China Daily writes today. China Daily is owned by the Chinese government. (Read More…)
SUVs are hot in China, and VW’s SUVlet, the Tiguan has turned into a hot seller. In the last few months, it steadily worked itself up the SUV charts and was in the second position in July, behind the Honda CR-V, and before the Nissan Qashqai. In China, the Tiguan is made by Volkswagen’s southern joint venture with Shanghai Volkswagen. What to do when Volkswagen’s Northern joint venture with FAW develops offroadish desires?
China Car Times heard around the hot water dispenser (they like to drink hot water in China, yuck, I know) that First Automobile Works has signaled its wishes that Volkswagen should go off-road with them. Volkswagen can hardly give them the Tiguan as well. That would be taking socialism too far. So what’s Volkswagen to do? (Read More…)
China is getting a double dose of Volkswagen Passat. The new generation B7 Passat will hit China’s streets in a longer wheelbase version, to provide legroom for the boss in the back while the driver up front braves the crazy Chinese traffic. Just like the previous-gen B6, the car will be built by Volkswagen’s northern joint venture with FAW and will be sold under the Magotan name. “Passat” was already taken by Volkswagen’s southern joint venture, more on that below. (Read More…)
China’s FAW, despite its name (First Automobile Works) only second largest manufacturer in China, joint venture partner of Volkswagen and Toyota, and owner of a large array of brands, including the Hongqi, has filed its contribution to the 12th Five-Year Plan (pretty much the only holdover from the olden days) with China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). The numbers, brought to us by CapitalVue, are both audacious and timorous. (Read More…)
When we reported that FAW will revive the monstrous Red Flag CA7600L limousine, it received mixed reviews. Some wanted it sight unseen. Others puked in the corner. Ever since I arrived in China, my secret wish had been to own the real thing, the huge handmade Red Flag car that luminaries used to drive down Chang’an Avenue. I had been told they don’t exist anymore. I had been lied to. (Read More…)
In April, everybody who walked by the FAW display at the Beijing Auto Show, yours truly included, did a double-take and took a lot of pictures upon seeing their Red Flag CA7600L monstrosity. It was a huge crowd magnet, and everybody walked away, muttering: “They’ll never build THAT.” Boy was everybody wrong. (Read More…)
Most likely filled with a certain degree of foreboding, Volkswagen signed today contracts with their joint venture partner FAW to build a new plant in the south of China, we hear from a Volkswagen press release. That VW has designs on building cars in the South of China is no news to the avid TTAC reader. But why the anxiety? (Read More…)