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Re: Hongqi news

FAW may abort Audi A6 killer Hongqi C601 model

September 18, 2008

Shanghai, September 18 ( FAW may have stopped developing its Hongqi C601, a premium sedan model to rival Audi A6, largely because the Chinese auto giant has failed to reach any deal with Audi about the introduction of Audi's platform and technology for this Hongqi model, said today.

The Hong C601, first displayed at the 2006 Beijing auto show as a concept car, was oriented to the Chinese luxury sedan market, mainly used as the government car. With a length of 4,886mm and a wheelbase of 2,850mm, the Hong C601 sedan was once rumored to be priced between 250,000 yuan ($36,550) and 350,000 yuan and scheduled to go on sale in late 2007.

Audi, a luxury sedan division of FAW's German partner Volkswagen, had played a special role in developing the Hongqi C601 model. Initially, Audi was said to have promised that the C601 would share the same platform and technology like the Audi A6, but Audi only paid lip-service and did not fully deliver on this promise. The so-called production edition of the Audi A6 displayed at the 2006 Beijing show did not feature any Audi chassis but a plastic one (just a concept for the show).

In 2007, FAW began to revamp the exterior design of its Hongqi C601 concept model by restoring many of the traditional Hongqi features to the car, but no progress was made in the vital chassis technology. The launch time was postponed to the end of 2007 and then to early 2009. And after the 2008 Beijing auto show in April, FAW decided to suspend the development of its Hongqi C601.

An insider from FAW said that it is difficult for Audi to offer its platform and technology to the Chinese car giant for making a rival sedan and that FAW had actually decided at the beginning of 2008 to develop a Hongqi sedan of its own brand independently by pooling its R&D resources and technologies available.

This is a good lesson learnt for FAW and other Chinese makers, open your eyes, don't always trust your foreign partner, you only have yourself to count on. Foreign makers only here to grab Chinese market share not here to help local makers, don't always rely on them.
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