By on November 20, 2011

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.

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14 Comments on “Hyundai Hops On The China Brandwagon...”

  • avatar

    “you can see a Shouwang in the flesh”

    Shou me the wang!

  • avatar

    “In tonight’s news, Obama sends Biden abroad and Hyundai shows China its wang.”

  • avatar

    Shou means Leading and Wang could meaning Vision. Meaning of the Chinese words all depend on the accent (no pun intended).

    The sheet metal doesn’t look too bad but yeah the platform is bound to be last gen or even older.

  • avatar

    If I was Porsche, I would protest, as it seems like Hyundai is trying to trade on Porsche’s reputation in the “grow wang” segment.

  • avatar

    And I know just the right celebrity spokespersons.

  • avatar

    Just thinking about the picture again I’m wondering is the car held together with tape or is that some kind of low-budget camouflage?

  • avatar

    Ironic North Korea’s Dear Leader has no cars to send China…

  • avatar

    Proportions suggest RWD, and the interior is much more interesting than the Genesis sedan. Is this related to Hyundai’s upcoming US-market GenCoupe-sized RWD sedan?

    • 0 avatar

      I had the same thoughts Karesh. As much fun as it can be to poke fun at the sounds of the Chinese language, I wouldn’t count on this being completely last Gen tech.

      Hyundai/Kia is pushing hard in China, I know that the last I heard which was a couple of months ago was that Hyundai was giving some substantial rebates to garner market share. They want to be a dominant player in this market. You can get a Kia K7 (not sure which equivalent Hyundai it is, the K5 is the Optima) deeply discounted here. And it’s one hell of a nice car. Same for many other cars here.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Hyundai advanced some technology more than other JV’s here.

    • 0 avatar

      In case it’s not obvious, I meant exterior, not interior.

  • avatar

    Can anyone make sense of this policy? Seems counter-productive if what they want is to be a car producing (and exporting) nation someday, like Japan and Korea. Instead of supporting local brand and slowly help them mature and someday able to export, they want foreign brand to come up with China-only brand with names that are unpronounceable and unattractive to foreigners, and cars that are mostly rebadged version of cars already produced elsewhere. I guess they were really looking inward in terms of their automotive policy. Makes sense since China is the only large car market that’s still growing rapidly, most developed nations facing shrunken demand and over-capacity.

  • avatar

    Oh look, another bland featureless sided gun slit windowed over size tired bland mobile with little to no identity or Wang edition.

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