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Beijing Automobile Works (BAW) Introduction

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Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd is one of the pioneers of Chinese automobile industry, the origin and epitome of the development of automobile industry in Beijing in the last half century, and the representative brand of the nation.

The former Beijing Automobile Works was founded in 1958 as the second largest automobile factory in China, with its name inscribed by Mr. Zhude, Chairman of the National People’s Congress. In 2001, it was developed into Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. (BAW) based on modern enterprise system.

BAW has been manufacturing light off-road vehicles and trucks for 40 years, and is crowned as "family of road-off vehicles". While focusing on off-road vehicles, it also develops commercial vehicles and special vehicles to meet the demands of military users, the domestic civilian market as well as the overseas market.With an accumulated productive capacity of over 1 million vehicles, and a sound contribution to the economic development and national defense, it becomes the fixed supplier of military purpose vehicles and the backbone company in the light off-road industry.

BAW, headquartering in Chaoyang District of Beijing, has two separate plants, one in Chaoyang District, the other in Shunyi District. The capacity is 100,000 units per year. Its comprehensive distribution and service network covers the whole Chinese market, including all the provinces, cities and municipalities.

BAW takes the lead in China in independent R&D and manufacturing, the fruits of which include 4 series of products, military light off-road vehicles, civilian light off-road vehicles (SUV), trucks and amphibious vehicles. It has also established numerous independent brands, including Lu Ba (light off-road vehicle), Qi Ling (light &middle truck), Lu Ling (pickup), Zhan Qi and amphibious vehicle, etc.

Beijing Auto Works BJ2032 Tornado:

second generation
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Erik, I just briefly read about Gangstar in the New York Times, in the mid-nineties, a few years before I seriously started following the rise of auto development in China,
But looking into my archives, I found an article from that talks about a fellow by the name of Henry Wong, an importer, and CEO of "Beijing Auto of America". He apparently is the person who gave the name to the BJ212 that was aimed at the US market. Unfortunately the (old) link I have for that article is no longer valid. The article says that Shelburg was the marketing manager of Wong's company. However, as we know, Shelburg also had his own China Motor Corp, under which he later planned to import a number of other China auto manufacturer's products..., such as Brilliance, Great Wall, and Hafei (see CCF posts such as: None of course made it through the web of certifications and homologations they faced.
As for the Gangstar, Lindsay Chappell of trade publication "Automotive News" wrote articles about it, as did Dealer Magazine, USA Today, and others.
As for other photos of the Gangstar, I come up empty. Here's one of David Shelburg with a Great Wall (Admiral maybe) pickup.
Thanks for the heads up about China Trade Associates' Beijing Tiger, BAM North America, or FMW of America's Copia. I had not heard about them before.


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Dear readers,

I'm trying to figure out the history of BAW and its relationship to BAIC. I'm new here, so forgive me if my questions have been answered before.

My understanding is as follows:

1953: Auto Accessory Factory is created by Beijing municipal government.
1958: The name is changed to Beijing Automobile Works as car productions starts.
1973 BAIC Group is created by Beijing municipal government as holding company of several car industry related companies.

Q1: Does BAW become a subsidiary of BAIC Group at this point?

1983: BAW forms Beijing Jeep joint venture with American Automobiles.
1987: BAW merges with Beijing Motorcycle Company to become Beijing Automobile & Motorcycle United Company (BAM).

Q2: Is there still a legal entity BAW at this point?
Q3: Is BAM owned by BAIC Group?

1994: A new entity appears: Beijing Auto Assembly Company (BAA). This seems unrelated to BAIC Group.

Q4: What is BAA and what is its relation to BAM?

1996: BAM creates Beiqi Foton truck maker.
2001: There is a restructure of BAM. According to reports a new company called Beijing Automobile Works Co Ltd is created, that incorporates the old BAW, BAA, Beijing Jeep and Beiqi Foton. Confusingly BAA is named as majority owner of the new BAW.

Q5: Is BAA incorporated in new-BAW or is it the owner?

2008: BAIC Group acquires a majority shareholding in new-BAW. In the years following apparently there is a group restructure, because Beijing Benz (new name of Beijing Jeep) is now a joint venture between BAIC Motor and Daimler and Beiqi Foton is a direct subsidiary of BAIC Group.

Some related questions:
Q6: Under what brand name are BAW vehicles sold on the Chinese market: BAW, BAIC, Beijing, BJ?
Q7: There is a seperate BAIC Group subsidiary called BAIC Group Off-road Vehicle Branch, that produces civilian versions of BAW-vehicles, which are sold as BAIC BJ by BAIC Motor. Is this subsidiary just a fancy name for a factory?
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Hello Dmitra,

That was an interesting article. Thanks! However, I don't speak or read Chinese, so I had to use Google Translate and that's not perfect yet. So what I get from it, is this:

1983: Beijing Jeep created, many BAW assets moved to the joined venture, BJ builds cars for BAW.

1987: BAW merges with Beijing Motorcycle to form BAM. Apparently a company called BAW remains active. Is it just a holding company for the BJ joint venture?

1993: Wang Jinyu of Shandong Zhucheng Vehicle Factory begins cooperation with BAM.

1996: Beiqi Foton created. The article says Wang Jinyu is the de facto controller, but doesn't mention a share ratio. Since Foton still has a Zhucheng based factory, I assume Wang's assets are added to Beiqi Foton.

2001: Yao Changshen of Beijing Auto Assembly Plant becomes an investor in BAM and acquires 67% of the share capital. The whole thing is restructured and a new BAW company is formed, with several assets moving from one company to another.

Then all the restructuring described in the linked article begins to take place. I have 2 related notes, probably from Gasgoo autonews.

2007: All shares in Beiqi Foton held by BAM are transferred to BAIC Group, making BAIC the controling shareholder of Foton.
2008: BAIC Group acquires a majority share (51%) in new-BAW by buying shares from Yao Changshen.

In 2010 BAIC Motor Co is created, the BAIC company for Beijing-branded cars. Some assets from elsewhere in the BAIC empire end up in this company, like Beijing Benz (the former BEijing Jeep), some factories and Beijing Hyundai. Now I wonder, but this is speculation on my because I can't find any English language sources, is BAIC Motor an entirely new company, or is it a restructure of some of the new-BAW/old-BAW/BAM assets?

Also BAIC Offroad Vehicles Branch pops up around that time. I can't find anything about the origins of that company as well. It is listed as 100% owned by BAIC Group and the only other car manufacturing company that was a wholly owned subsidiary of BAIC (that I've seen) is BAM. Is this Offroad Vehicles Branch restructered assets as well? Again speculation on my part.
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Glad that you found the article somewhat helpful.

I have been looking into your questions and will try to clarify some of them, just give me some time. Even I am not conversant in Mandarin Chinese and have been using Google translate all these years (although I would have learned the language by this time if I had wanted to!). I can spare some time delving deeper into the matter after the upcoming motor show season (Guangzhou, LA, and Bangkok) gets over.

Meanwhile, if other history stalwarts on this forum such as Erik or Lawrence want to help our new friend with his queries, feel free to proceed.
BAW BJ212 New Chassis

Some new information has come to light regarding specifications of the New Chassis versions. 3-door and 4-door versions will be launched, seating 4 and 5 respectively. The new dimensions are 4245 x 1830 x 1910 mm (4-door)/1970 mm (3-door). This makes it longer than the current BJ212 although somewhat narrower. Wheelbase has increased to 2460 mm, i.e. +160 mm compared to the current model. Track is widened to 1530 mm front and rear. [Any specification mentioned previously on this thread regarding the New Chassis version may please be disregarded]

For the 4-door, the prototype body seen in post #65 will not be used; it will be closer to the model seen in post#75 but doors will be new. The vehicle(s) will be powered by the 1499 cc, 110 kW turbocharged petrol engine (National VI-compliant) used in the current model (no info on diesel).

Update on the suspension/chassis: Front suspension (independent) is double wishbone, coil spring; rear suspension (non-independent) is four-link, coil spring.

Project 008: The New Chassis version of the BJ212 is part of BAW's Project (or Plan) 008. I don't know whether the all-new model shown as BAW 008 in 2017 has been canceled or not, but which if produced might have utilized this new chassis (or a modification thereof). Short- and long-wheelbase variants of this chassis are planned. Reportedly the new chassis is based on (or borrows from) that of the Kia KM420 military "jeep" [and related Kia Retona] which used to ride on a similar setup. Previously (see post#66) it was mentioned that the chassis was based on the BAW 007 but that could have been early speculation and can be ignored.
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BAW BJ212 8-seat (BJ2030CED2)

Long-body, 8-seat version of the BJ212, incorporating some elements from the Yongshi series. Wheelbase is 3035 mm. Track front and rear are 1510 mm and 1500 mm, same as the old model (not New Chassis).

[This may be considered a spiritual successor to past vehicles like the BJ6460HF1 or BJ6460F1]
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2020 BJ212 1.5T canvas top, "triangle door", 2300 mm WB (BAW2023CHA2).

This is the traditional variant that has remained on sale alongside the New Chassis lineup, with a China-VI compliant engine.

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BOMBSHELL!! -- BAW acquired by Fulu Group, will relocate to Laixi

Beijing Automobile Works (Qingdao) Co., Ltd., a new company founded in May 2020, held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new complete vehicle manufacturing base in Laixi City, Qingdao, Shandong on July 6th. BAW (Qingdao) will invest up to 2.15 billion USD in the entire project. The facility will manufacture engines, parts, and complete vehicles, both conventional and new energy. The engine facility will have the capacity to produce 700,000 engines annually, in technical collaboration with Liuzhou Wuling Liuji Power Co., Ltd. (of the Guangxi Auto Group) and South Korea's Blue Planet Co., Ltd.

The vehicle manufacturing plant will have a production capacity of 50,000 vehicles annually in Phase I, rising to 250,000 in Phase III. The vehicle project will require an investment of 1.6 billion USD (out of the total), of which 1.1 billion USD will be spent in construction of the first phase. The complex will also include an industrial park making parts.

Now for the twist:

BAW (Qingdao) is promoted by Qingdao Fulu Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd., which holds 92% of the company. Qingdao Fulu Investment Holding is owned by Fulu group chief Lu Fujun. On May 26th, just 20 days after its establishment, BAW (Qingdao) acquired 51% of Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. from owner and former general manager Yao Changsheng. Previously Mr. Yao used to hold 87.5% of BAW through Beijing Automobile Assembly Factory. At present, his holding has come down to 39.7% through two entities, Beijing Automobile Assembly Factory [31%] and Beijing Auto (Huanghua) Parts Co., Ltd. [8.7%]. Another minor shareholder, Shanghai Qinyong New Energy Development Co., Ltd., has seen its shareholding come down from 12.5% to 9.3%. Moreover, the registered capital of Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. has been increased from 248 million RMB to 700 million RMB.

It has been reported that Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. will vacate the manufacturing plant in Huanghua (in Hebei), which BAW currently shares with BAIC BluePark, and relocate its operations completely to Laixi in two to three years when that facility is ready. Interestingly, BAIC BluePark also has a vehicle factory in Laixi.
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This is indeed quite the bombshell.

I read somewhere that Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. had dropped the Beijing brand name and the cars were marketed as BAW instead. I was wondering about that, but this development seems to explain it.

Your wonderful digging into the ownership situation does raise a few questions for me.
Some googling took me to the press release of the Laixi government. If the translation is right, the shareholding is now as you describe, but it's the intention of Fulu/BAW Qingdao to increase it's shareholding to 90,7%. That suggests they want to buy out mr. Yao Changsheng altogether.

Which brings me to another thing. In my research of BAW I have the following information, which I think is reliable:
-The current Beijing Automobile Works Co., Ltd. was established in 2001 as joint venture of BAIC Group (33%) and Yao Changsheng/Beijing Automobile Assembly Factory (67%)
-In late december 2008 BAIC Group acquired 18% from mr Yao, bringing the ratio to BAIC 51%, Yao 49%.
-After that, I noted no further developments.

Now before Fulu bought BAW mr. Yao apparently owned 87,5% (and this Shanghai Qinyong entity 12,5%), which seems to suggest that BAIC Group already sold it interest before the developments of recent weeks. In january or february of this year BAW cars were being re-registered in the MIIT notices with a BAW-code instead of the usual BJ-code. Would it be safe to assume that BAIC Group already got rid of its BAW-shares by then (sold them to Yao and Shanghai Qinyong) without telling anyone?!
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On June 28, after mutual agreement between the two parties, it is planned to increase the shares by 39.7% (90.7% of the total holding) and relocate all the qualifications of BAIC Manufacturing to our city.
On June 28, the two parties agreed to increase shares by 39.7% (total holding 90.7%) and relocate all qualifications of BAIC Manufacturing to Laixi, Qingdao.
The Laixi govt. release and the Sohu article I linked state the above (in translation). The wording perhaps lends itself to ambiguity. One has to implicitly assume that the acquirer will increase the shares by 39.7% to a total of 90.7%. Currently Fulu group and Mr. Yao own 90.7% together.

Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (a.k.a. Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd.) exited BAW in October 2010, handing over its 51% shareholding to BAIC Motor Corporation Ltd.

BAIC Motor Corporation Ltd. exited BAW in November 2012, handing over its 51% shareholding back to Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd.

Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. finally exited BAW in May 2016. After this point, Mr. Yao (or more correctly, Beijing Automobile Assembly Factory) probably held 100% for some time. I can't find out when Shanghai Qinyong NEDC Ltd. entered BAW, but it was founded in September 2016, and articles in 2019 (such as this) were already documenting Shanghai Qinyong as a shareholder owning 12.5%.
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Yes, I agree something is lost in translation with respect to the shareholding of BAW.

Did some searches in my coffee break and found this website that claims Shanghai Qinyong is a wholly owned subsidiary of a company called Shanghai Yongshi Automobile Development Co, Ltd. (上海勇士汽车发展有限公司) Can't find anything about that company though, except for an ancient looking logo with the name translated as YS Auto Group.


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In recent years I have noticed a distinct difference in quality of the Daimler affiliated "Beijing" brand, and the "Beiqi" or BAW brand models. I think that BAIC is moving to distance itself from BAW, and will eventually spin off the brand completely.
It's an interesting development since BAW was at the heart of this automakers beginnings from 1953, and the birthplace of the first Western-China auto joint ventures, in 1983, that is, Beijing Jeep.
The Chinese names are Wangpai (MPV -- Google Translate gives me "trump card") and Kaluli (PU -- "Calorie"). The S5 minicar will probably be called "Jiabao".
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