Chinese Numerology, FAW Edition

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
chinese numerology faw edition

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.

In the audacious dept., FAW singlehandedly wants to achieve a sales volume of five million vehicles by 2015. Not a small feat. It’s about half of what all of the U.S.A. bought in 2009. But with a Chinese car market that goes nowhere but up, this target should be achievable.

They also plan to have a market share of 20 percent. Let’s book that in the audacious dept also. With around 100 automakers in China (nobody is quite sure), achieving a 20 percent share comes close to total market domination. 20 percent … wait a minute!

According to my Made in China calculator, 5 million cars at a 20 percent share comes to a total market size of 25m cars. And with that, we are entering the timorous world. China wants to sell between 16 and 17m cars this year. 25m by 2015 would come out to a growth rate of less than 10 percent per year.

That’s all you dare to put in the 5 year plan, FAW? Come on. No guts, no glory, or Chinese words to that effect. Let’s hope there was something lost in translation.

(Speaking of China: I found myself alone at the office this morning, as all of China has taken off to celebrate the Moon (a.k.a. Lantern or Mooncake) Festival. It will last through the rest of the week. Those who wish less news from China will get their wish fulfilled! There should be pretty much nothing from China while the country is partying.)

Join the conversation
  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Sep 22, 2010

    Hey Bertiil, howzabout providing us a translation of some of these car names? I'm going to guess that "Hongqi" is a car for white guys from the suburbs. But a Dongfeng?

    • See 1 previous
    • Wallstreet Wallstreet on Sep 23, 2010

      Hongqi means red flag. Dongfeng means east wind. p/s My bad, I didn't see "Blowfish" has already done the translation part.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Sep 22, 2010

    “Hongqi” is a car for white guys from the suburbs. It meant Red Flag, in the old days our beloved Chairman or Fuhrer bestowed his Army as Number " 8 " , 8 th Army, Uncle Eigth etc. They use Red flag, I guess the Red Flag was something to commorate those glory days. For a while during the 60s Red Army and also the Junior Red Guards was not some thing anybody wanted to talk about. SImply Auschwiz came to your local village. More than coming to your local theatre. Circa that time my fnd ate tree roots for Lunch, supper or the SPAM's worse equivalent of staples. Middle Kingdom for some reason had a few very bad years for crops, or took up Lysenko's growing/farming method Dongfeng= Eastern Wind I gues it symbolise of new growth, hope. A fnd told me the Red Flag Limousine sedans were totally custom made, should u banged up a fender, dont bother to swap a fender from another car, as Meister Liu did bespoked his fender for your car a little bit different from another production run, so u need to straighten out your old one. I suppose the newer ones would have more consistency. Many yrs a go a few of the Red Flags were being sold off by the central govt, as newer ones would replace them.

    • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Sep 23, 2010

      Of course, when I think 'red flag', I think, 'race stopped due to hazardous conditions'...

  • Arthur Dailey Any vehicle with a continental hump, even if vestigial, gets a thumbs up from me.
  • KOKing Actually a place called Sector111 in Temecula, CA was importing them for sale in the US starting around 2012. A friend had a shop right next door, and I recall seeing the very first one the owner imported for himself, and would bring it out to promote at various local events. Also shows this thing's been around for a while.
  • KevinB A $300 fine for me would be an "ouch". For someone else it may mean the electric bill doesn't get paid and there won't be enough gas to get to work.
  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.