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Five Chinese auto brands, which have become household names in China for their popular low-cost sedan cars, showed off their ten newest models in a European debut in Antwerp yesterday.
The show of the five brands, namely Hafei, Changfeng, Dongnan, Xiali and Changhe, were sponsored by Cardoen group, a Belgian car dealer specialized in selling a wide ranges of brands in the West European market.
Cardoen plans to have the cars on a rotating tour in ten separate business halls in Belgium and the Netherlands, three days for every hall. The company estimates that over 500 visitors will come to see or have a test drive for themselves each day.
However, these cars cannot be driven out onto European expressways because they have not yet gone through the testing and qualification procedures required by the European Union.
"We are in the process of doing that," said Tony Nai, Cardoen's chief representative for the Chinese market.
Nai said the company would collect opinions and complaints from visitors of these cars, and then send them back to China.
"They will make necessary alterations and improvements of the cars in accordance with these opinions," he said. Nai said Cardoen hopes that these cars could be sold in the European market "as late as 2008"...

source: http://english.eastday.com/eastday/englishedition/business/userobject1ai2011172.html
 

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cardoen

As far as I could recognize from photos and that are described in articles, I identified & cars in Belgium:

Hafei Saima
Hafei Lobo
Changhe Ideal
Xiali N3
FAW Jiaxing MPV
Dongnan Lioncel
Changfeng Yangzi Lucky Bell Travel

Erik
 

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market survey strategy

This exposure to the Western market is sure to produce valuable feedback.
From what I observed so far, Hafei has a good chance of success. A brief check of quality at a recent show only turned up a minor flaw in the rear door's outside handle of the Saima. Too little clearance resulted non-return.

As for Dongnan as it's called above, the parent company needs to clear up the confusion about the brand's name. It's called the "Soueast" in some places but then the press tries to correct that and prints "Southeast". Sow (sou) evokes images of a pig in some parts of the world. So a better name for this very nice product is in order.

I think the product quality has benefitted by the experience of its Taiwan equity partners. And this company has also made a point of acheiving "just in time" delivery by its suppliers. I hear that most are located a short distance from the assembly plant.
 
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