China Slips A Toyota To The Dear Leader

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
china slips a toyota to the dear leader

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.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jan 29, 2012

    Kim/North Korea are China's von Ribbentrop in the region. They blow hard then Beijing has to gently apply the brakes.

  • Lokki Lokki on Jan 30, 2012

    Cars and trucks? Such cold and emotionless gifts. Ah, for the good old days, not so long ago, when a dictator could expect to receive a couple of well 'educated' nubile virgins (gendered as to personal preference) to warm 'relations' between countries. For really special occasions, twins.

  • RHD I wonder if these will be as easy to steal as so many other Kias are...
  • Zerog Isn't this the car that the self anointed AutoExtremist said would finally shut down Tesla AND the Prius?Just like his father - that Detroit bubble does him no good
  • Zerog When will the media admit that Mary Barra has simply been a disaster of a CEO, and "Dan the Man" Akerson is to blame?
  • Tassos When the Volt was on sale, it cost twice as much as the (better looking!) Chevy Cruze on which it was based. The interior of the Volt did not match that lofty price either. I like plug-in vehicles with a good Electric only range and no range anxiety. People with a 40 mile commute each way, if they were allowed to free charge at the office especially, could save some $ with the Volt, but not as much as to justify its lofty price.The 2nd gen VOlt was less nerdy looking than the 1st, but also even more similar to the new Cruze and indeed the Civic, which cost almost HALF. Then the geniuses at GM made a 2-door Caddy out of the Volt, the ELR, which was much smaller inside than the already cramped Volt, and... asked for... 4 times the price of the CRUZE. Don't remember the failed Caddy Cimarron? Neither did those morons.So a good idea in principle was screwed beyond recognition. GM Bled billions despite the lofty price, sold a bunch of VOlts, and finally had to cry "UNCLE". The end.I am not at all attracted by the VOlt's lousy interior. Its gas only MPG is also lousy compared to the ICE competition. A prius was 50% cheaper and far more sophisticated mechanically and got a stellar 50 MPG overall, and could be had in plugin with 10-20 mile range (the current one will double that again).
  • Buickman GM marketing killed many a car.