In the great year of 2000 Chinese automaker Hafei Motors decided they needed a new design direction and a bit of much-needed cool. Hafei therefore asked famed Italian design studio Pininfarina to design a small city car and a concept car. The latter would eventually become the Hafei Menghuan.
We know the Tianjin Auto Repair Works from the Heping saloons made in 1958. People name this factory as developing the first Chinese car. For two reasons, the 1946 Feiying closed three wheel vehicle and the 1951 station wagon.
Earlier on I wrote about Sanxing Auto, a Guangdong-based company that built and assembled a bewildering number of different vehicles under all sorts of different deals, at the same time. Today we have a look at the passenger cars.
This article is a work in progress, because every time I think I know all the Sanxing cars; a new one pops up! I show the cars one by one, later on I will write more in detail about each car in separate posts.
The most important Chinese cross-country vehicle is the Beijing BJ212. Developed in the early 1960s, in production since 1965. Yes, still in production!! The introduction was during the mass-movement Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, chairman Mao using it to inspect the Red guards.
In a recent entry, describing some cars made in North Korea (see here), I introduced you to an unknown car made in the 1970s/1980s. This car showed up in a second movie, named Uliga saneun geoli (1982).
Xingtai Auto Works was founded in 1969 in Shahe Village to the southeast of Xingtai city. In my article on Xingtai 114 Auto Works I said that Xingtai 114 was one of the main manufacturers in Xingtai. However this is not exactly true and recent research has shown that Xingtai 114 was in fact an offshoot of Xingtai Auto Works, mainly focusing on the production of speciality vehicles such as ambulances, though they did make some regular vehicles such as buses. This explains why Xingtai 114 sold vehicles with Xingtai badging like Xingtai Auto Works. However, both companies were given unique company identifiers with Xingtai Auto Works getting XT and Xingtai 114 getting XTQ.