FAW to launch 2 crossovers, SUV under premium Hongqi brand

Automotive News China

Automotive News | 2019-2-8

China FAW Group Corp. plans to introduce two crossovers and an SUV under the Hongqi premium brand this year, expanding the marque¡¯s product lineup into key light-truck segments for the first time. 

One of the two crossovers is an electric vehicle with a range of 390 kilometers (242 miles) on one change, FAW said. The compact crossover will be the first EV in Hongqi¡¯s product mix. It will arrive before the end of March.

The other crossover is a gasoline vehicle similar to the Audi Q5 in size. It will be launched later this year along with an SUV, which will be equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine. 

FAW didn¡¯t release additional details about the three new models. 

Hongqi now has only three products -- the L5 limousine, the H5 compact sedan and the H7 full-size sedan. It delivered a little more than 30,000 vehicles in 2018, according to FAW.

Hongqi, meaning ¡°red flag¡± in Chinese, was created in 1958 as a limousine brand for government agencies. The brand started selling full-size and compact sedans to private customers in the late 1980s but sales remained limited.

When Xu Liuping was appointed FAW chairman by the Chinese government last year, he pledged to revitalize Hongqi. 

While developing new products for Hongqi, FAW also hired Giles Taylor, former design director of Rolls-Royce Motors, as vice president with responsibility for the design and styling of the brand. 

FAW, based in the northeast China city of Changchun, is a major commercial truck producer with a smaller light-vehicle unit. It also runs passenger vehicle joint ventures with the Volkswagen Group, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp.

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