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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Lifan Group, a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer has recently ventured into the car business, with their US$9,700 Lifan 520 sedan. A recent move has shown this is not just a one-off shot at making a quick buck, they are in it for the long haul. Yup, Lifan is in the process of a potential purchase of the Campo Largo engine plant in Brazil from DaimlerChrysler and BMW AG, who jointly own the factory.



 

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Was the deal already confirmed ? This is great news. I've heard they have big plans for the future. The Campo Largo factory makes 1,6 liter engines for BMW/Mini/Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chinese firm eyes BMW/DaimlerChrysler MINI engine plant
22nd Febuary 2006

The Chinese Lifan Group has expressed an interest in acquiring and transferring to Chongquing the Brazilian joint venture engine plant owned 50/50 by BMW and DaimlerChrysler, according to a report in the New York Times. The plant is the product of a joint venture agreement, due to expire by the end of next year, between BMW and DaimlerChrysler, formed in the late 1990s with an investment of US$500m, and produces the 1.6-litre, 16-valve Tritec petrol engine used in the MINI.

http://www.autoindustry.co.uk/news/22-02-06_3
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Raul said:
Was the deal already confirmed ? This is great news. I've heard they have big plans for the future. The Campo Largo factory makes 1,6 liter engines for BMW/Mini/Toyota.
I read on another site that they purchased it but i guess it was a rumour...negotiations still going on
 

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That is what i think too. Negotiations are still underway. Let's hope for the best ;)


Some facts about Lifan:


- Biggest maker of motorcycles in China
- first passenger car model; the 520, was introduced in 2005. It uses a 1,6liter engine from BMW
- hatchback model will be introduced later
- Lifan is a big manufacturer of trucks and buses too. Also small minivans are in production
 

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yes, lifan is the biggest Motorcycle manufacturer in china and is not getting into the auto industry.

Their motorcycles are beginning to be exported all around the world like india...
 

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Lifan models update

The 630, 530, 720 and gasoline-powered 620, 320 and 330 have been officially discontinued in China. The 320/330 continue as electrics (NEV and LSEV), as does the 620 (the 620EV uses a 630 body; the new one is marketed as 650EV but the badge on the car is 620!)

The above models continue to be sold with gas engines in overseas markets though.

http://ev.lifan.com/
http://auto.lifan.com/
 

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Lifan in dire straits

Article: https://www.d1ev.com/news/qiye/72329

Note: I have seen sales figures from two other sources that are considerably lower than what is mentioned in the second para of this article.

Basically, it is the lack of technological innovation that is dragging Lifan down, which seems to be the gist of the article. Also, new products, although showing early promise, seem to be fizzling out in the market.

Commercial vehicles (trucks) are doing only slightly better but still in no way impressive.
 

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Lifan did not proceed with the Brazilian plant. Lifan has a CKD outfit (Besiney) in Uruguay from where cars have been sold in Brazil. This was an Effa factory but after some disagreement with Effa, Lifan is now running it. The plant was idle for more than a year since December 2015 and has just recently resumed operations. Batches of cars are now being prepared for export to Argentina.
Lifan has ended car assembly in Uruguay. The factory was idle since July 2018 and was making the X80 during its last days. The economic downturn, inflation, and adverse forex rates in the region are also to be blamed.

http://www.automotivebusiness.com.br/noticia/28810/lifan-abandona-operacao-de-montagem-no-uruguai

Nevertheless, Lifan's car operations are really in a mess. The Russian market was once very lucrative for Lifan, a large proportion of sales coming from there, then last year Derways group ran into problems with the authorities and assembly had to be shut down. There has been little progress with regard to Lifan's future factory in Lipetsk. There is no reliable information about the current state of operations in Azerbaijan, Ethiopia or Myanmar (speculation is that the Nakhchivan factory may be idle as well, these are minor plants anyway). In China, the less said the better. CAAM happily reports that 7,206 passenger vehicles were delivered by Lifan in January 2019, but a question mark has hung over Lifan's reported figures to CAAM. From other sources, I have learned (quite reliably) that sales were actually below 600 in January and production around 300* (passenger vehicles only, not including commercial vehicles or LSEVs). No wonder Lifan, a company that was at one time equated/compared with the likes of Changan or JAC, is turning more towards introducing outsourced LSEVs such as the C30E or C35E.

________________________________________
*will be able to confirm within a couple of weeks
 

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A November 2018 news article about the state of Lifan in Azerbaijian, indicated that some EV models may be slated for 2019.

https://www.news.az/articles/politics/134957

What about operations in Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, the Ukraine and Egypt?

As a result of the industry downturn will Lifan now go the way of Polarsun, Hafei and Shuanghuan? The cheating on subsidies in 2016 can not have helped things.
 

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A November 2018 news article about the state of Lifan in Azerbaijian, indicated that some EV models may be slated for 2019.

https://www.news.az/articles/politics/134957
Thanks. The lower half of the article is all what the stock market calls "forward-looking statements", i.e. "will do this, will do that, planned to" etc. I have been hearing about imminent production of Lifan EVs from Nakhchivan since God knows when. Yes, a few imported EVs were demonstrated in front of govt. officials or the President on a couple of occasions.

What about operations in Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, the Ukraine and Egypt?
Vietnam: Production (520) ended long ago (around 2009-2010, I think).

Iran: Continued more or less regularly till very recently, but now intermittent/idle due to difficulty in parts and kits procurement, which is affecting the entire car industry. Lifan cars are made by Kerman, which also does JAC and Hyundai.

Iraq: The state-owned auto assembler, SCAI, was producing Lifans (X60) till at least 2016, no news after that. The factory carried out a very basic, multi-brand, multi-product "screwdriver" assembly operation making cars and CVs, as and when the economic/political/financial situation permitted. The last I heard was that it was continuing to receive kits from only IKCO and Saipa. This was in 2017.

Egypt: Lifan did plan to start an Egyptian KD operation around 2006-07, but I do not recall it getting off the ground. Cars (320, 620) and Foison vans have been imported but not in great numbers, otherwise would have been reported in AMIC's (the industry body) sales figures.

Ukraine: The only car assembler operating right now is Eurocar (VAG marques, chiefly Skoda).

Would welcome any new or different information. I don't know anything about motorcycle assembly plants though; they may be present in these or other countries and performing well.
 

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The financial situation at Lifan Auto has exacerbated, and Lifan is now in extremely dire straits. We all know the general economic/auto market situation has worsened, but most of the blame in this case lies at Lifan's feet. The company and group are embroiled in a mass of litigation; there has been mismanagement of funds, issues with tight liquidity, inability to borrow short-term funds; monies are owed to multiple parties which the company cannot pay; dealers are furious and demanding return of deposits or compensation; investors are angry; funds raised for new product development have been used to meet day-to-day working capital requirements; ongoing projects are being terminated; lack of investment has caused Lifan to fall far behind competitors in technology with little hope of catching up; even motorcycle sales have fallen drastically. I might also add that monthly light-vehicle production is now down to double digits.

https://www.d1ev.com/news/pinglun/95804

Lifan group did receive about 650 mn RMB from the sale of one of their car-making units to Lixiang (i.e. Chehejia) but that does not amount to much in the auto manufacturing business and would not last many months (unless it has been set aside and invested elsewhere; for example, in real estate).
 

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