In the great year of 2003 BYD bought Qinchuan Auto, which got them a car-making license and the BYD Flyer, a popular mini car. BYD saw all kinds of possibilities with the Flyer platform. On the 2004 Beijing Auto Show BYD unveiled four concepts of new Flyer variants, designed and built in less than a year. No small feat for a then brand new auto maker!
In the late 1990’s the Beijing-Jeep joint venture wanted a sedan to compete with the Audi 100. They choose the Chrysler LeBaron, and it came very close to production. But in the end, it just didn’t happen.
Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF™): Jiuma, a brand under Shanghai Jinma Automobile Corporation. From the mid-1990’s until the mid 00’s the company made a series of interesting vehicles with lots of parts from the Volkswagen bin, some with Volvo design elements. Besides those, Shanghai Jinma also made a range of odd Suzuki Alto-copy cars.
Toyota production by Beizhi. Brochure collection mr. Bai Guang.
When Japan invaded China it needed the shortest supply lines, and it was for that reason that the Japanese regime encouraged truck assembly at several places in China. These factories assembled Japanese trucks for military and also for civilian use.
So after describing the American influenced Minsheng (Zhongshan) and the assembly of the German Mercedes, I will write here about the third country involved in the 1930s-1940s Chinese truck production.
Two side windows or three side windows? Beijing Limousine, 1958.
This is a difficult subject. With my friend Robert Jablonski I have a heavy discussion about the existence of a long wheelbase version of the 1958 Beijing Limousine (first generation).
I have written before about this car.
Yulon YLN701, Free China Review 1960/6, photo mobile01.com
Yulon (Yue Loong) Motor of Taiwan was founded in 1949. It started automobile manufacturing in 1953. In 1956 it made its first jeep. In 1960 the first motorcar, the YLN-701 (a licensed Datsun Bluebird 210) was introduced.
It is amazing to see how many small factories and workshops have developed cross-country vehicles in the 1950 and 1960s. I wrote already about them: “Jeeps made before the production of the BJ212.”
But it stopped not after the introduction of the BJ212. That was in 1966, at the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
I will show you here some of the more exotic cross country vehicles made during and just after the Cultural Revolution.
This is the history of the Dandong Auto Works.
The Andong Automobile Refit Works had the guts to make a copy of one of China’s most important cars: the Dongfeng CA71 made by the First Auto Works. It was chairman Mao Zedong himself who had ordered the design and production of the Dongfeng and Mao personally sat in the backseat of the first car on May 21, 1958.
Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF™): Yemingzhu, a brand owned by Chendu Tiuanju Automobile, a company based in the great city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province in China. In the late 1980’s and 1990’s they made some interesting cars.
When strolling along the Yangze River banks (Changjiang river) in Chongqing, 1980, Oliver Barnham met a Austrian Steyr-Puch Haflinger which appeared to be Chinese made!