Red Flag is on the upswing

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Your best days of China’s luxury car brand Hongqi under Mao had. Today, German manufacturers in the people’s Republic of the tone. But now, an Ex-Rolls-Royce-Manager from Munich, is preparing a Comeback.


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Tom Grünweg

Tom Grünweg

More of Tom’s articles Grünweg

Friday, 23.11.2018
At 08:16

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Some of the men in the Midlife Crisis with a new sports car. Giles Taylor has to 50. Birthday a more radical step.

The Briton gave up his prestigious Post as design chief of Rolls-Royce and moved in the summer to a brand that knows hardly a: Hongqi. Taylor is intended to give the luxury subsidiary of Chinese auto group FAW a face. For this, he has to get home in Munich in a private Studio. The is to commence in the new year with initially 50 and later significantly more work for employees.

FAW has with Hongqi much

At first glance, this step is a huge descent. However, Taylor interpreted the exchange differently. Anyone who speaks with him, seem to be fast: Rolls Royce is not for all the Reputation, perhaps not the ideal employer. Just all the switching years, a new car comes on the market, and with the Premiere of Phantom, and Cullinan, the powder for this decade is fired.

The Job for the Chinese is, in turn, is attractive: Because Taylor in Munich works and not according to Changchun. Because of the Hongqi (Chinese for “Red Flag”), the first and only local luxury brand is the largest automobile market in the world. And because the Chinese are still a lot of projects.

17 new models up to 2025

The new chief of FAW, Xiu Liu Ping, wants to bring dusty brand new Shine. You should break the dominance of the German brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and the hottest label on the streets of the people’s Republic.

A whopping 17 new models to muster Hongqi, therefore, up to the year 2025 and Taylor will make of it. In six years, the more cars, to answer for than many a Designer in his professional life – and more than the Rolls-Royce has presented in its entire company history.

There will be a luxury liner on the level of Rolls-Royce, business sedans like the fives and the sevens, BMW’s, sports cars, and finally, the inevitable Crossover, located between station wagon, SUV, and Van.

Focus On Electric Cars

The majority of the models are Plug-in Hybrids and all-electric vehicles. In the case of the battery car, the designers have more freedoms, because of the small E-motors to save space.

Taylor must not think only of the needs of Chinese motorists. Although Xiu Liu Ping wanted to focus first of all on the market of the people’s Republic, says Taylor. However, in the medium term, FAW “Red Flag” has a global perspective. Taylor’s designs can gain well therefore of international importance.

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Abroad Hongqi is so far, however, only from TV Broadcasts known. The 1958-built luxury sedans from the very first day with parades, party conferences and state visits.

As the great Chairman Mao in the open parade, had already, cars with chrome and tail his folk fins demonstrate. US President Nixon was just picked up as Federal President Joachim Gauck.

The model L5 is reserved to the state and party apparatus, only the other models can be freely sold. Initially, the car based on the Chrysler technology and later through a Joint-Venture Partner, VW were built on stored Audi models.

So far, a mere sales figures

The current sales figures are modest: Hongqi comes in the whole year only to just under the 10,000 approvals. Mercedes sold in October alone, more than 50,000 cars in China. And so Xiu Liu ping’s plans sound a bit overblown, if he want to increase up to the end of the decade, the production to 100,000 by 2025 to 200,000 by 2030 to 300,000 cars a year.

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Hongqi:
Mao’s automobiles heritage

It was ambitious, expert Jack Yu. The editor of the prestigious industry newspaper, China Automotive Business Review believes, however, that Hongqi can achieve the goals.

Firstly, because of the Hongqi is a historically significant brand in the country the greatest attention and the full backing of the state. As a result, the manufacturer was in fact financially strong than any other car manufacturer in the world, says Yu, and thus prepared for in-house developments and acquisitions.

Special offers for high state officials

Secondly, Xiu Liu Ping is simply a good Manager. “The man is a clever head, demonstrates the will to reform and doesn’t take itself so important,” says Yu. “If he can bring FAW to the front man and the Red Flag hoisted, will be open to him in Beijing still a lot more doors.”

Ping have already brought some solid models like the H5, which reached the customers. His Slogan of “New Noble” the Chinese Elite. Special offers for high state officials and private clients in major cities such as Beijing or Shenzhen are well thought out.

The well-heeled clientele had adorned in the past few decades, however, increasingly aware of Western cars as a status symbol. It is now up to Giles Taylor, to break this Trend, of all things, with cars that have their roots deep in the communism.

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