China Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,450 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Re: Kaiyi brand - three models confirmed

Confirming recent speculations in the media, NDRC has reassigned three Chery cars to the Kaiyi brand, according to its latest release, i.e. Notice #262. These are:

SQR7161M117/M11T7 (ex-A3 sedan)
SQR7161M127/M12T7 (ex-A3 hatchback)
SQR7151J510 (ex-E2 sedan)

Final official model names under the Kaiyi brand are still unconfirmed.

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Kaiyi (Cowin) WHJ6440 (Karry Youyou long)

NDRC Notice #271 lists a new vehicle WHJ6440 which I find is nothing but a Kaiyi (Cowin) branded version of the extended-length Karry Youyou (SQR6440K06).

Interestingly, WHJ used to be the enterprise code for PLA No. 5720 Works, based in Wuhu like Chery, which made vehicles under the Whale (Wei'er) brand in decades past. In fact there used to be a sedan known as WHJ6440 about 20 years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Well a whole generation of minicars made in the 1990s by all these small factories was based on Japanese influences. This WHJ6440 had a length of 4250-4320mm and a wheelbase of 2480-2560mm. The name on the car was Whale (which is Wei'er) and there were versions named WHJ1010 (pickup and sedan). I estimate the total production at about 2200, made in the years 1995-1996.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
After our history tour (thanks Erik!), coming back to the present, what is significant is that the manufacturer listed against WHJ6440 is Wuhu Kaiyi.

Delving into some documents, it is revealed that in early 2014, PLA No. 5720 Factory was renamed Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co, Ltd. (安徽瑞鸿汽车有限公司) (see notification). Subsequently, Anhui Ruihong has been renamed Wuhu Kaiyi Automotive Co., Ltd. with its registered address changed to the that of the previously existing company of the same name (Wuhu Kaiyi) thus implying a merger (notification)

Also see: http://wap.miit.gov.cn/n11293472/n11293832/n12845605/n13916913/16347032.html (row 17)

Supplementing the above information, Chery already owned a company called Anhui Ruihong Bus Technology Co., Ltd., so when PLA No. 5720 Factory was renamed Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co, Ltd. it had moved into Chery's fold.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Cowin sold to Yibin/Wuliangye

Hot on the heels of the Qoros sale, Cowin Auto has been sold to the Yibin City government. Cowin Auto will be known as "Yibin Kaiyi (Cowin) Automobile Co., Ltd." and its head office relocated to Yibin, Sichuan.

Yibin Auto Industry Development Investment Co., Ltd. and Sichuan Yibin Pushi (PUSH) Group Co., Ltd. now own 50.5% and 0.5% respectively. Chery Automobile retains a 49% stake.

Yibin AIDIC is a new company registered in August 2017. Owned by Yibin City SASAC*, it is developing a New Energy Automobile and Parts Industrial Park in the Lingang Economic and Technological Development Zone of Yibin city.

Sichuan Yibin Pushi Group Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sichuan Yibin Wuliangye Group Co., Ltd., itself owned by Yibin City SASAC. PUSH is engaged in casting/forging, polymers/plastics, molds and machinery making. Yibin Wuliangye owns one of the largest distillery companies in China that is famous for being the chief producer of "wuliangye", a five-grain spirit or "baijiu". Moreover, Yibin Wuliangye and Brilliance Auto groups jointly own a Sichuan-based engine maker, Mianyang Xinchen Engine Co., Ltd. (link). Observers note that Yibin Wuliangye has for a long time been eager to participate in vehicle manufacturing and the Cowin acquisition by Yibin City government could be an indirect way of getting its foot in that door.


Screen cap from: http://www.gsxt.gov.cn Corporate Query Search. Text is translated.

_____________________
*Yibin City People's Government State-Owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Cowin Auto sale -- a reexamination

Apparently we all have been deluded. By "we all", I mean myself as well as all those journalists and reporters publishing hundreds of articles, in Chinese, English and other languages (example, example), on the Cowin share transfer to Yibin AIDIC.

Our friend Erik has pointed out to me that this Wuhu Cowin Automobile (now Yibin Cowin) is not the auto-producing company but a spare parts company established in 2014. He bases his opinion on the business scope mentioned in the screenshot from the govt. site attached in the post above. The scope says (translated) "Automobile and parts and components manufacturing...automobile and auto zero parts sales..." etc. So it can be interpreted as an automobile company or an auto parts company.

So what is it? I set out to examine the issue further.

Cowin cars are sold by a company called "Cowin Automobile Sales Co., Ltd." However, Cowin cars are made by two companies. Cowin vehicles have NDRC codes starting with both SQR and WHJ. SQR enterprise code refers to Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. whereas WHJ code refers to Wuhu Kaiyi Automobile Co., Ltd. The production locations are 8 Changchun Road, Wuhu, and Dalian Free Trade Zone in the case of Chery, and 9 Anshan Road, Wuhu, for Cowin. 8 Changchun Road and 9 Anshan Road are part of a huge industrial complex, so obviously Chery is sharing the facility with Cowin. So far so good.

Now, when I look at registered addresses, there is a problem: In company bureau records, Wuhu Kaiyi Automobile Co., Ltd. had the address Jiangbei Industrial Zone, Building B, Anhui. In MIIT records, Wuhu Kaiyi Automobile Co., Ltd. has the address Wanli Airport, Wuhu.

Remember, Wuhu Kaiyi has a complicated history. When it was set up as the "Jiangbei project", there were three founders: Anhui Jiangbei Development Co., Ltd., Chery Commercial Vehicle (Anhui) Co., Ltd., and Wuhu Construction Investment Co., Ltd. Also, in early 2014, the PLA No. 5720 Factory, situated at Wanli Airport, was acquired either by Chery Auto or Chery Holdings and renamed Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co, Ltd. Subsequently, Anhui Ruihong was renamed Wuhu Kaiyi Automobile Co., Ltd. with its registered address changed to Jiangbei Industrial Zone, Building B. It is thus implied that there was a merger between the two entities: the "Jiangbei project" and the PLA No. 5720 Factory successor into one company. It appears that the Wanli Airport address appearing in MIIT records has not been updated. In the company bureau records, the original three shareholders are not mentioned; the single shareholder is shown as Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. So, at some indefinite point in time prior to this merger, the original three founders must have divested their stakes in favor of Chery Auto.

When Wuhu Kaiyi (Jiangbei project) was originally founded, it did not have a car production license. At that stage, it may have been just a "spare parts company" as Erik puts it. It was actually the acquisition of the PLA No. 5720 Factory, which possessed a car production license, and the subsequent merger (more like a reverse merger) that enabled the "combined" Wuhu Kaiyi to have access to a car production license. We already know that companies execute such mergers with idle car/CV companies to get the "coveted" licenses, as we have seen recently in the cases of Bisu or Hanteng.

So, that is the story. The company that Yibin AIDIC acquired is indeed a car-producing company, and not just a parts company. Yibin city paid 2.5 bn RMB for a 51% stake, valuing the company at around 5 bn RMB ($800 mn). Yibin city perhaps did not pay this sum merely for an auto plant, although it does allow the company to continue producing cars at Chery's Wuhu complex as Chery still holds 49%; it is highly unlikely they are coveting the old aircraft plant at Wanli Airport; moreover Yibin is already creating an auto industrial complex in Lingang. It is therefore the same old tale about getting a license. Irrespective of whether Yibin continues with "Cowin" or creates new brands down the road for Yibin-made vehicles, it will need the license for producing vehicles at its upcoming complex. Yibin city has no experience in making modern cars as far as I know, thus Chery's retention as partner for the latter's experience, guidance, technologies, and expertise.

Postscript: Yibin Wuliangye group has denied that it is looking at getting into car manufacture and accused the media of over-interpreting and misrepresenting facts; it says if that were so, it would not have taken merely a 0.5% stake (through Pushi). Pushi is interested marginally because of some synergy with the parts-making aspect of Cowin; otherwise the Cowin acquisition is totally the decision of the Yibin city administration (link).

TLDR: No TLDR. Go read the whole damn thing!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top