source: Gasgoo.comMay 12, 2008 - China's FAW unveils plans to launch its Besturn B70HEV before the end of 2009, but the automaker said it has to dramatically cut costs before putting the model into volume production.
The Changchun-based automaker said the B70HEV is the first strong hybrid model developed by a Chinese automaker and it has taken the automaker 16 months to make it.
"Though it delivers super performance, the B70HEV carries a cost that is triple the base Besturn model," claimed Zhao Ziliang, senior engineer of Electric Vehicle Project Team of FAW.
Zhao said the high cost is the main barrier to accelerated development of hybrid-electric vehicle technology in China. There are also other obstacles including the lack of qualified hybrid parts manufacturers in China, poor consumer understanding about hybrids, lack of policies and so on.
However, with the fuel price hike and the fact that China may stop levying taxes on hybrid-powered vehicles, the market for this type of new energy vehicles is promising, auto industry insider says.
It already got 4 stars in C-Ncap.SadRabbit said:nice looking car...now we have to see its reliability and its safety test (3stars at least). Keep up the good work FAW. But the fact that they had to cut cost to make this car is not too encouraging.
FAW first started their Besturn brand in mid 2007 but obviously didnt think the whole plan through from the start. They had free use of the excellent last generation Mazda6 platform and engines, they hired an Italian designer to do the car, but their branding department really let them down with the name Besturn which could be either Bes Turn or the rather more ghoulish Best Urn. It seems that the Besturn brand has been quietly dropped and replaced with Hong Qi branding on certain models, the Chinese name 奔腾 (Ben Tung) has stayed however.
A facelifted Besturn B70 was spotted out testing recently with the most awesome camoflauge we have ever seen from a Chinese car company. The B70 has had a minor facelift to the front end, especially around the lights. The interior has also been changed from a dark leather to rice colored leather. Apparently FAW are planning to offer more for less with this car and will increase the no of options for the base price without raising pricing. FAW are currently selling around 4000 B70’s per month, which is unusual for a self developed brand in China, only Roewe has figures that are comparable.