Sunday, February 08, 2009

Chinese cars gear up for emerging Philippine market

That was the first sentence from Wang Juhui, a representative from China-based Lifan Motors, at the launch of the auto brand's first showroom in the Philippines' capital of Metro Manila.

With the young and energetic assistant general manager, there came the LF520 mid-size sedan, a car model exported to more than 50 other countries, including Australia, Germany, Spain, Russia, Vietnam, Iran, Chile and Venezuela.

Dubbing LF520 as a "World Car," Wang said that the engine was designed by the renowned automobile design firm Ricardo Plc. Based in the United Kingdom. And Italian designers were employed by the manufacturer so that the model became top of the line in the looks department.

"We want to keep the design of the car sleek and stylish to appeal to the young at heart. It is loaded with features that will definitely appeal to the adventurous spirit," said William Agcaoili, general manager of Lifan Cars Philippines, the manufacturer's partner in the Philippines.

Lifan Motors, a motorcycle manufacturer-turned car company like Honda, entered the global passenger car industry in March 2007 with the release of the LF520 in Vietnam. In 2008, the company sold over 20,000 units in markets outside China.

Today, it "sailed" to the Philippine archipelago to seek new opportunities. As explained, the Lifan logo means "powerful sailing boat."

Last year, the Philippines posted a 5.6-percent growth of auto sales despite the global financial crisis. The sales reached 124,449 units in 2008, compared to the previous year's 117,903.

"We are bringing the LF520 in the Philippines so that Filipinos can also enjoy our world-class vehicle which is priced more affordably," said Nelson Ong, president of Lifan Cars Philippines.

The price is expected to be set around 500,000 pesos (10,600 U.S. dollars) for the 1.3-litre model.


Anonymous Seon Comrodsky said...

The price is expected to be set around 500,000 pesos

5:50 AM  

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