Manufacturing News

FAW to launch 15 battery EVs by 2025 to bolster Hongqi luxury brand

China FAW Group Corp., a major state-owned automaker, plans to roll out 15 battery electric vehicles and two gasoline models for its Hongqi luxury brand to rebuild the marque.

Hongqi’s first battery EV will hit the market this year. In 2020, the brand will launch sales of a battery EV developed on a new platform that will have a range of 600 kilometers (373 miles), FAW said on Monday.

The company disclosed no further details on its product plans.

By introducing a slew of EV models, FAW seeks to boost Hongqi’s annual sales to 100,000 vehicles by 2020 and 300,000 vehicles by 2025.

Rebuilding the Hongqi brand is part of a broad plan by FAW’s new chairman, Xu Liuping, to revive the automaker’s proprietary passenger vehicle business. Xu, previously chairman of state-owned Changan Automobile Co., was dispatched by the Chinese government to lead FAW in August.

Hongqi, which means “red flag” in Chinese, was created in 1958 as a limousine brand for government agencies. In the 1980s, it started selling full-size and compact sedans to private customers. But sales have remained small because of aging models and a narrow product range.

The brand has only two gasoline models in its lineup: the L5 limousine and the H7 full-size sedan. In 2016, Hongqi delivered 4,398 vehicles. FAW has yet to reveal the brand’s 2017 sales.

Hongqi vehicles are assembled at FAW’s plant in the northeast China city of Changchun where FAW is headquartered.

FAW, a leading truck maker in China, also builds and sells passenger vehicles under its own mass-market brands. The company also runs passenger vehicle joint ventures with Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp.

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