Date posted: 07-07-2006
HEBEI, China — According to French automotive portal Autoactu.com, Hebei Zhongxing, a Chinese manufacturer of SUVs and pickup trucks, is set to make its debut in Western Europe next year.
Zhongxing, which for years offered Toyota and more recently, Hyundai knockoff products, introduced its first self-developed SUV last year. Aptly called the Landmark, it is powered by a EUR3-compliant locally produced 2.4-liter Mitsubishi gasoline engine. It may not look revolutionary, but those who have seen it claim that build quality is not as low as one might expect.
A few weeks ago, Zhongxing announced that a North American distribution company has been set up in New Jersey. Called ZX Automobile Company of North America, it will distribute the Landmark in the United States beginning next year.
Europe is up next. Cardoen, a Belgian used car dealer that recently held a road show of Chinese vehicles in Belgium, is reportedly very close to signing a distribution deal, and there are talks about a French company as well.
It seems that the Benelux area is very receptive to Chinese vehicles. Last year, a Dutch company introduced the Landwind off-roader to Europe, which later failed miserably in crash tests. Another Chinese company, Shanghai Wanfeng, also set up its European subsidiary in The Netherlands.