Spotted in China: Nanjing Auto “Unique”

This is a Nanjing Auto NJ1020 “Unique”. It is another example of two different cars coming together in China to form something unique to China… pardon the pun. For more detailed information on the Ibiza’s life in China, please check out these articles we wrote earlier.

Created by taking the front half of the 1st generation SEAT Ibiza (the hatchback version of which was also made by Nanjing Auto) and the rear half of the SEAT Inca van, the Unique was a new twist on the traditional station wagon and almost in a market of its own, expect for its arch rival the SAIC Sai Bao.  The first generation SEAT Ibiza hatchback was made in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province by the Nanjing Auto as the NJ6400 from 1999 up until around 2004. When exactly the van version went on sale is unclear but it too appears to have killed off in 2003/2004 when it was replaced by the NJ6400 Panel van, basically the same car with an updated front end. This is a little confusing because the original hatchback produced by Nanjing Auto was called the NJ6400, replaced in 2004/2005 by the NJ7150. So whilst the old car may have died, its model designation lived on.

Rear 3/4 view. Here you can see fully the Inca rear end. It seems that most NJ1020s came with the 1.5 liter “System Porsche” 4 cylinder engine, also obtained from SEAT. A 1.2 liter engine was also available. Fantastic green graphics were factory options on some cars!

English and Chinese names of the car – characters are You Ni Ke 优尼柯.

中国 – Zhong Guo –  China, 南京 – Nanjing.

The badge on the grill is still used by Yue Jin branded trucks to this day. Nanjing Auto is actually one of the oldest Chinese Automakers, with a history dating back to the 1940’s and their YueJin trucks are well known throughout China, though perhaps were never as numerous as the more well known JieFang trucks.

The interior o the NJ1020 was 100% from the first generation Ibiza, albeit with some minor upgrades like the tape player, still no CD players in all cars in those days.

A simple wheel for a simple car.

Whilst looking for some old pictures to put in this article I found this beauty – a police version of the NJ1020! Sadly I’ve never seen one so can’t say for sure whether any were sold. It seems there is some bars behind the window so it’s possible that this was a car used to transport criminals! The shape of the car is very similar to the Holden Police Vans we have back home in Australia so it seems only natural that the NJ1020 would be put into that line of service. In a later article we will show you the NJ6400 van.