Dear Readers,

Its a hot summer in Beijing so I’ll go on holiday to the Netherlands for one week to cool down, with Heineken, windmills and a billion tulips. This site will not be updated until July 2nd, except when FAW finally brings this one to the market. Guess they won’t so see you all early next month.



(on the picture a Chang’an-Suzuki Alto with some changes)

Spy Shot: Besturn B30

Besturn is a brand from First Auto Works (FAW), they now sell the B50 and B70 but are working on much more. One of the new cars is this B30, a small sedan. Its platform is, don’t laugh, the ancient PQ32 (!) that still underpins the ancient Jetta. In March we saw some renderings showing ‘the B30’ based on a Tianjin-FAW-Xiali Vela. FAW has a jont venture with FAW and owns Tianjin-FAW-Xiali. So could it be tha FAW will use the Jetta’s platform and the Vela as base for the body? It could, because the car in the spy shots look a lot like the renderings.

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Chery-Riich G5 ‘Messi’ – Special Edition

Chery brings a special edition Riich G5 to the market. It is meant to ‘honor’ the World Cup and is called ‘Messi’, to Lionel Messi of Argentina. Could be a good idea, Mr Messi is very popular in China. The G5 Messi gets a lot of extra sportyness, new wheels, new grille, and costs 138.800 rmb. Good deal, the standard car costs between 142.800 and 179.800.

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Spy Shots: Roewe 750 Facelift

The facelifted SAIC-Roewe 750 was expected at the Beijing Auto Show but didn’t make it. Earlier on we saw spy shots of an almost naked new 750, now we have a camouflaged car but better pictures. Changes are small, it will get new lightclusters, bit different bumpers and an updated interior.

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Ford to recall 236,643 sedans in China

China’s top quality supervisor said Monday that Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. has started a recall of 236,643 Focus cars over a problem that caused vehicles to stall.

The recall covered vehicles manufactured from August 18, 2008, to May 28 this year by the joint venture owned by Ford, Chongqing-based Changan Automobile and Mazda Motor Corp., the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement on its website.

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Volkswagen plans to Sell 3000 Phaetons in China this Year

“We will be delivering over 3,000 Phaetons this year in China,” said Peter Thul, head of brand and product communications for Volkswagen based in Germany. Mr Thul made his remark at a test-drive event for the new Phaeton in Sanya on Hainan island in southern China.

Volkswagen sold 14oo Phaetons in China in 2009, making China the largest market for the luxury sedan. The brand new Phaeton, introduced at the Beijing Auto Show, has to make sure another 1600 make it to the Chinese market.

VW will likely hit the 3000-target. The Chinese economy is booming again, it never really slowed down, and customers will especially appreciate the long-wheelbased car. And this time I can check it personally, the are near VW’s China headquaters.

Phaetons for the Beijing market arrive there first before moving on to dealers around town, they come by boat from Germany via portcity Tianjin. Last time I looked there were 6 new cars on the parking lot, all in a not too flattering brownish color. Likely demonstrators for dealers, but had better been black.

The Cheapest Benz in China

Benz brought the new C180K Classic to the Chinese market for 308.000 rmb. The C-class is made in China by Benz’ joint venture with Beijing Auto. The name of the jv is so ‘Beijing-Benz’.

The C180K Classic comes with a 1.6 ‘BlueEfficiency’ engine that makes the Benz the only sedan in its segment to qualify for the government’s vehicle sales tax discount for clean and energy-efficient cars. Fuel consumption is 7.7 liters per 100 km.

Chinese consumers buy whatever Benz can sell so this entry-level C will likely be a succes. Benz never took the ‘A’ and ‘B’ class to China, they are trying the Smart now but so far without much succes.

China extends ‘old car for new’ subsidy to Dec 31

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Sunday it will extend the auto replacement subsidy from May 31 to Dec 31. The move aims to accelerate the elimination of high-emissions and polluting vehicles, and stimulate automobile consumption, said the MOC in an online statement.

Consumers who trade-in their used small-and- medium-sized trucks and some types of mid-sized passenger cars for new ones can receive subsidies ranging from 3,000 ($349.2) to 6,000 yuan. The government rolled out the “old car for new” subsidy last June, to encourage people to replace their old cars. It was initially scheduled to end May 31, 2010.

As of May 31, relevant departments had handed-out 1.7 billion yuan in subsidies that had resulted in 127,000 vehicles being replaced, boosting domestic automobile spending by 15 billion yuan, according to MOC data.

Souce: ChinaDaily.