source: China DailyApril 14, 2008 - Beiqi Foton's first car model, the MP-X Midi, debuted in China yesterday. The automaker said the car, with 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter versions, will be available to customers as early as this June.
Initial production capacity is a planned 50,000 units per year. The 1.6-liter diesel version is still under research and may be rolled out next year along with the 1.5-liter gasoline version, according to the China Business News.
Wu Xuebin, Beiqi Foton's deputy general manager and the head of Beiqi Foton's automotive engineering institute, said the MP-X Midi, featuring roomy interior space and extra carrying capacity, is for both commercial and domestic usage.
Nearly one million equivalent models to the MP-X Midi are sold in Europe annually, Wu added.
Ye Ziqing, assistant to the general manager of Beiqi Foton, said that successive Foton car models will mainly target medium- and high-end car users.
In addition, Foton also plans to add a car production line with annual output capacity of 300,000 cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to its plant in Nanhai district of Foshan City, Guangzhou Province. Construction is expected to be complete in one or two years.
Beiqi Foton, which primarily produces commercial vehicles, sold 125,000 vehicles in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 28.1 percent year on year. A record 65,000 units were sold in March alone, accounting for half of the domestic commercial vehicle market.
Beiqi Foton Motor debuted China's first "business-family car" — Midi, a model originating from Europe CDV (Car Derived Van) and looking to go global.
Midi is promoted by the global R&D center of Beiqi Foton through three-year hard work as the center's first product since its establishment. As a classical CDV of European lineage, Midi highlights four features: strong bearing, large space, top safety and super comfort. Two kinds of body length are available, the maximum at 4388 meters. With a capacity of 3000L, Midi is able to hold 1.8-meter-long goods. The roomy space, largest among the same models, could bear goods at 650 kilos. Midi' top speed reaches 170km/h.
Midi also adopted the unique X-TEC technology of Foton Motor, delivering its dual performance for both business and family use.