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Hongqi to launch a new model each year, starting with HQE

By George Gao  From Gasgoo.comMay 12, 2008

Shanghai, May 12 ( FAW's premium Hongqi (Red Flag) division has plans to launch an own-brand vehicle model each year starting 2009. The carmaker will release its HQE limousine next year, to be followed by the Hongqi SUV. The sales target of the HQ3 this year is set at 1,400 units.

The first ever Hongqi SUV model was displayed as a concept car at the recent Beijing auto show. It measures 4,805mm (L), 2,000/2,042mm (W, including the rear mirror), and 1,800mm (H), and powered by FAW's self-developed 12-cylinder, 8-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines for choice.

The HQ3 was made on the platform of the Toyota Crown Magesta 8-cylinder car. Starting in 2009, Hongqi will launch a self-developed car model designed as high-end SUVs. The HQE's design and development is in progress. Its production and sales will start in 2009. The design of HQE is based on the concept car that Hongqi displayed at the 2005 Shanghai auto show.

Hongqi has set up five dealership stores across the country since July 2007 and has sold only 500 HQ3 cars. The carmaker aims to increase the sales to 1,400 this year. A sales executive of Hongqi said that the HQ3 will not make profits unless it sells at least 5,000 units annually.

Hongqi is FAW's flagship line, which also includes the self-driving HQ3. In addition to its own range of vehicles, FAW also makes the Toyota Prius and several VWs and Audis under local joint ventures. The Hongqi HQE may find its share of buyers in China's burgeoning luxury market.

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