Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot: Fuzhou Automobile Works and Forta

Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF): Fuzhou Automobile Works and Forta. Fuzhou Automobile Works (also known as FAW, unrelated to the First Auto Works) was formed out of the existing Fuzhou Car Repair Shop in 1956. In 1958 FAW started to produce copies of Dodge Trucks and Mazda three-wheeled vehicles. In the same year FAW produced just 8 trucks and 1 motorcycle (believed to be units not different model types, so 9 vehicles in total). FAW was also renamed as the State Owned Fuzhou Automotive Repair Shop.

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The MG 7L, a Chinese take on a British classic

This magnificent machine is an MG 7L. For those of you who don’t know, when MG Rover went bust Nanjing Auto and SAIC were in a heated battle to get the brands. Nanjing ended up getting the most and made cars based on the 75/ZT badged as MG’s and SAIC obtained enough from the sale to make Rover Roewe badged cars based on the same platform. So yes, at one point there were two different companies making essentially the same car just 300km apart. Eventually someone realized this was a bit silly and SAIC ended up buying Nanjing Auto in 2007.

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The Soyat NJ7150, a modernized SEAT Ibiza

This is a 2005 Nanjing NJ7150 Soyat, seen in an area of Wuxi with lots of smaller car dealers and repair shops. Interestingly this place is only a kilometer or two away from the factory where this very car was made 12 years ago! The NJ7150 was an updated version of the original NJ6400.

The NJ7150 was only made between 2004 and 2006 and is a very rare beast outside its native Wuxi, although I have seen one as far away as Taiyuan in Shanxi province. Nanjing Auto got the tooling for the Ibiza in a deal made in the late 1990’s and made cars using it beginning in 1999 with the NJ6400.

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