Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF): Kaite Auto, a brand owned by a company called Beijing Fengtai Auto Refit Factory, based in Fengtai District in the Chinese capital Beijing. In the 1990’s, Kaite Auto made a series of pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
When China’s Nanjing Auto bought the name and assets of the MG brand in 2005, the deal included the MG TF roadster and the IP for the MG TF GT coupe. Nanjing Auto eventually produced a few thousand TF’s in China, but sadly the TF GT didn’t fare so well.
In 1954 Simca bought Ford France, the factory and her products. Ford produced since a couple of months a new Vedette and this car became the Simca Vedette. This car was very important for China, as it was the example for China’s officially first motor car, the Dongfeng CA71.
Landwind has always been a minor Chinese car brand, yet it is also a brand that quite some car enthusiasts will have heard of. Outside China, the Landwind X7, a copy of the Range Rover Evoque, received widespread media coverage across the world. However, one decade in advance an older SUV made headlines in Europe for being one of the first Chinese carmakers to enter the European market, and for a disastrous result in a slightly fishy crash test by European national consumer motoring associations. This article will cover the eventful history of the debut model by Landwind: the X9/X6-series.
Diesel engines in passenger cars have long been problematic in China. Many large Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing, ban diesel-powered passenger cars within the city limits because diesel is considered a dirty kind of fuel only suitable for trucks and buses.
Still, in the early 2000’s, several car makers launched diesels in China, pointing at the low fuel consumption and low greenhouse emissions. A well-known local diesel proponent was Hawtai, which developed its own 2.0 turbo diesel engines. From the foreign side there was really just one car maker that was serious about diesel, and that was, no surprise, Volkswagen. In 2002 the Germans launched a diesel-powered variant of their popular Jetta sedan, made by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture.
Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF): Jinma Auto / Soar, famous for their gigantic Rolls-Royce ‘wedding cars’. But there was more, much more!
Jinma (金马) means Golden Horse. The brand was owned by a company called Qingdao Shengma Classic Car Co., Ltd. (青岛圣马老爷车有限公司). Designation was QJM. In 2001, the company changed name to Qingdao Suo’er Automobile Co., Ltd. (青岛索尔汽车有限公司). This was abbreviated to Soar Automobile (索尔汽车), and that is the name they are best known for. In that same year, the Jinma brand name was replaced with the Soar name.