Many news coming from Landwind's Belgium-based importer.
Automotive News Europe
Landwind will promote the Chinese origins of its vehicles when it launches sales of an SUV and a minivan in Europe next year. "We will be positioning the models as made in the workshop of the world. After all 60% percent of the world's computers are made in China," said Paul Williams, managing director of Landwind Motor Corp., the carmaker's Belgium-based importer for Europe.
Williams said the Landwind X-Pedition medium SUV will go on sale in 10 European markets including Germany, France and Spain in the first quarter of next year. Italy, the UK and Switzerland will get the car in the third quarter. Sales in the rest of Europe start in 2009. Landwind's Fashion medium minivan will launch in late 2008 with five- and seven-seat variants.
The X-Pedition will be aimed at buyers who live in rural areas who want a cheap, practical vehicle, Williams said. It will be offered with a choice of two gasoline engines, a 2,0-liter priced at €15,000 and a 2,4-liter priced at €18,000. A diesel model will be added later, Williams said. He did not specify a date.
The Fashion's prices will start at about €13,000. Landwind will target sales at value-conscious families and private businesses. "It will be the cheapest seven seater in Europe. We expect it to be a big hit with taxi drivers." Williams expects the Fashion to account for 35,000 of the 50,000 units that Landwind expects to sell annually in Europe by 2011. Landwind hopes to recruit 800 dealers in Europe including 300 in Germany.
Two years ago, Landwind pulled the X-Pedition from the European market. Sales were stopped after the car failed a crash test run by the ADAC. Williams said Landwind has since made 350 engineering changes to improve the SUVs safety. The X-Pedition will be crash-tested by EuroNCAP next month. The SUV will not go on sale unless it receives a three-star safety rating, Williams said.
He expects the Fashion to achieve a better safety rating than the X-Pedition because it has a more modern design. EuroNCAP has not set a date to test the model.