Manufacturing News

FAW to build plug-in hybrids, EV for its luxury Hongqi brand

China FAW Group Corp. will produce two plug-in hybrid vehicles plus an electric car for its Hongqi luxury brand over the next few years to meet China's increasingly strict fuel consumption requirements.

The state-owned automaker will start building the plug-in hybrid version of the Hongqi H7 midsize sedan this year, according to the company's website.

While FAW has not yet announced prices, the vehicle is likely to be pricey. The gasoline-powered version of the H7 has a starting price of 249,800 yuan ($38,400).

Hongqi's first electric sedan, developed on a new vehicle platform, will enter production in 2018.

FAW also plans to build a second hybrid that will be positioned below the plug-in hybrid H7. Details about the second plug-in hybrid and the EV under development have yet to be disclosed.

Hongqi needs EVs to meet tough fuel economy targets. Beijing requires automakers to cut fleetwide fuel consumption to 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers (34 mpg) this year, and to 5.0 liters (47 mpg) in 2020.

Currently Hongqi has only two gasoline models for sale: the H7 and the L5 limousine, which has a starting price of 5 million yuan.

To date, demand for the two models has been propped up by fleet sales to government agencies.

Last year, H7 sales surged 42 percent year on year to 4,210 vehicles. Sales figures for the L5 weren't available, but were widely believed to be limited.

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