December 8, 2008 - Chinese carmaker Youngman Auto saw the Lotus RCR model rolls off line on December 6 at its Guizhou facility, said xinhuanet.com today. This marks the Chinese carmaker's capability to assemble and produce this Lotus model.
The Guizhou base, former Yunque Auto, was invested by Zhejiang Jinhua-based Youngman Automobile together with China National Guizhou Aviation Industry (Group) Co in 2004 and has started making some Lotus cars before Youngman's Jinan base is completed in 2009 as scheduled. Its production of the Europestar Lotus RCR ("Jingsu" in Chinese) was delayed from August to December due to policy requirements.
The Europestar RCR model for Chinese production has been developed jointly by Youngman Auto, Guizhou Aviation and British Lotus Engineering under the aegis of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd, with total investment of 2 billion yuan ($293 million). Youngman Auto began to market the Lotus RCR, a smart roadster coupe based on the 2nd-generation Persona sedan model of Lotus Proton.
Youngman Lotus is a joint venture between Youngman Auto and British Lotus Engineering, an affiliate of Proton. Another Lotus car, the Proton Persona sedan model ("Jingyue" in Chinese), will also be specially built by Youngman Lotus for the Chinese market. The Jingyue sedan model was launched on November 18 at the Guangzhou auto show.
Youngman Auto, formerly a commercial vehicle OEM, is entering the passenger vehicle market by making its British partner's models at first. The company will design eight models jointly with Lotus Engineering over the next four years and produce them at the Guizhou base. The models will include the family sedan, Coupe, SUV, MPV and others.