Audi Approved for $3.3 Billion EV Factory in China

Audi and FAW Group, the state-owned partner it is effectively required to have in order to preferential treatment from the Communist Party of China, received some good news this week. Government officials have approved the duo for a new, jointly operated production facility in Changchun.

With Volkswagen Group having shifted its focus toward China in recent years, the market has become all-important for the German company. VW is currently the top-selling brand for the entire region, with its Audi subsidiary typically being the highest volume premium automaker from Europe. Building in China is good optics for brands hoping to remain popular there and has the added benefit of placing manufacturing complexes closer to relevant suppliers, especially if you’re swapping to electric vehicles.

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Volkswagen Reportedly Buying Carbon Credits From Tesla China

One of Volkswagen’s joint ventures in China has reportedly offered to purchase regulatory credits from Tesla in order to adhere to the regional environmental ascendancy. While VW may be doing everything in its power to swap over to an electric-vehicle manufacturer, it’s apparently falling short of government dictums.

FAW-Volkswagen — which shipped a little over 2 million automobiles in Asia last year — happened to be one of the biggest polluters of 2020 according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. As it turns out, selling internal combustion vehicles consumers actually want to purchase in large quantities has some kind of environmental cost. Fortunately, it’s one regulators think can be solved by buying green credits from rivals who do all of their polluting during the initial assembly process and launder any future emissions through the national energy grid.

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Get in the Back, Hongqi Cat – Civilian Version of Red Flag L5 Introduced at $800K

It’s not just Panthers that get some love around these parts. TTAC contributors Murilee Martin and Tycho de Feyter have both expressed admiration for the Hongqi CA770 “Red Flag” limousines made by China’s FAW (formerly First Automotive Works) and used as state automobiles from the mid 1960s into the 1980s. A few years back, FAW introduced the massive, 21 ft long Hongqi L9 (aka CA7600L), with styling heavily influenced by the vintage Red Flag limos. Since then, a slightly shorter version, the L7, has been used for foreign heads of state when visiting China. Last year the L7 went on sale to the public for the first time when a Red Flag dealership opened in Beijing’s elite Jinbao shopping district. Now, even a greater number of wealthy Chinese will be able to show up government officials in their mere Audi A6s. At the recent Beijing auto show FAW introduced yet a smaller version of the limousine, the L5, to the retail market and businessman Wang Zhonghua, who owns a chain of furniture malls in China, paid $4.9 million yuan, about 800,000 U.S. dollars, for the first one.

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VW Budget Brand Hitting Budget Wall, Still Under Consideration

In 2012, Volkswagen began research into starting a budget brand in the vein of Datsun and intended rival Dacia, with the aim of having a full lineup ready for sale by 2015. Two years later, the budget brand has hit a budget wall, and that’s only the start.

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Cabal Of Chinese Managers Embezzles Billions

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.

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EXCLUSIVE: Bernstein Research Literally Dissects Chinese Cars, Auto Industry In 200-Page Report

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.

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Volkswagen And FAW Kiss, Make Up, And Stay Married For Another 25 Years

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.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Daihatsu Charade CLS

Has anyone seen a Daihatsu Charade on the street in the United States at any time during the current century? Strangely, I’ve now seen two of them in Denver junkyards this year. First there was this ’90 Charade SE, and now we have this ’89 Charade CLS.

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Tycho's Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars: A Red Flagged Audi With A Chrysler Engine

Hongqi CA750f.

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?

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Tycho's Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars: Red Flag's Lincoln Years

First Hongqi CA7460 rolling off the line at the factory in Changchun

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.

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Now Available In Glorious 1:32 Scale Diecast: Hongqi CA770TJ Limo With Lights and Music

In what kind of limo did Chou En-Lai and the Great Helmsman ride during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution? The “Red Flag” CA770, of course!

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Surprise: Foreigners Get The Upper Hand In China

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.

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Secret Recipe Revealed: How FAW Gets A Tiguan Without SAIC Losing Face

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?

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Volkswagen Demands More Of Its Second Chinese Wife

Much to my own surprise I read in China Daily that Volkswagen only holds 40 percent in its partnership with its Chinese joint venture partner FAW. I always thought they had the usual 50:50. Well, it looks like my beliefs will become reality.

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China Gets A Few New Passats - And Keeps The Old Ones

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.

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  • El scotto It leaves the loading dock/loading are in the morning. It gets parked in the same place. Bubba/Bubbette plugs in and it charges overnight. Driver forgot to plug in?First time a warning, second time no pay while their vehicle is recharging. That problem will correct itself.
  • El scotto Hmmm, because it would take ohh another 20 minutes; if you rent an EV on the company dime stay at a hotel on the company dime that has EV chargers. I know crazy talk.Common sense would dictate don't rent an EV where there aren't chargers. No, I'm not downloading a find a charger app for a business trip either. People who don't like EVs won't rent them. Some do like EVs and will rent them. However most EV research on here consists of: I bought a dozen eggs, four large dill pickles, and a loaf of bread; therefore I have egg salad."
  • 28-Cars-Later Here's another thing you can't buy; and another, and another!
  • JREwing It suffered the same small back seat problem that the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique did. 2 more inches in wheelbase or a taller roof would've helped a lot.But the biggest issue was that it wasn't a SUV/crossover/soft-roader with 3 rows in a market that couldn't get enough of them.
  • Inside Looking Out Ford also was bankrupt with his first company that became The Standard of the World.