Hongqi to reclaim role as official ride?

Updated: 2012-02-06 10:03

(China Daily)

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New Hongqi sedans made by FAW Group are likely to be used as standard ministerial-level officials cars as part of government demonstration efforts, according to recent Chinese-language media reports.

Once the premium vehicle used by national leaders, the Hongqi lost its shine and halted production in the 1980s due to high fuel consumption and costs.

In the 1990s, FAW resumed production of the Hongqi using foreign technologies and continued to roll out new models in the 2000s. Yet the brand never really succeeded.

Statistics from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that zero Hongqi cars have been sold since August last year.

FAW announced in 2010 that it will invest about 1.8 billion yuan to develop a new, high-end Hongqi model, with code name C131. The car is planned to be put into volume production at the end of this year and reach annual output of 30,000 units in 2013.

Reports said that it will have engine options of up to 3.0 liters and target competitors include Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Regulations on ministerial-level official cars require an engine displacement of 3.0 liters and smaller.