December 15, 2008 - China's first wide sedan Mutiplan, based on the Fiat Multipa, came off line today at the Changsha auto-manufacturing park of Zotye Auto. The wide car, which also began to sell today in the Chinese market, marks a new departure for China's auto industry.
The Mutiplan model measures 4,089mm x 1,871mm x 1,695mm, with a 2,666mm wheelbase and is the widest sedan in the Chinese market to date. As the first wide "multipurpose" family sedan, the Mutiplan sedan is 24mm wider than the GL8 Firstland MPV, Buick's "business class on the road" for China's business elite, and more spacious than the Honda Accord. The Mutiplan sedan can seat six.
The wide sedan made by Zotye is based on the Fiat Multipla model and is named Mutiplan for the Chinese market. With its origins in Italy, this China-made multipurpose sedan features an innate European flavor and a mix of arts, fashion, humanity, practicality and high-tech. Zotye Auto has bought the production line and technology of Fita's Lybra and Multipla sedans.
By 2008 the Chinese company may have bought about ten other Fiat models. The Fiat-born vehicles will be produced under a new brand and will be sold in Chinese and export markets. The Lybra car will be positioned as a mid- to high-end sedan and will go on sale in 2009. Production of the Lybra stopped in Italy in July 2005.
Zotye's market position, with it selling one of the most popular SUVs in China, has given it a great cash reserve to buy technology, a plan that looks set to give Zotye an impressive line up by 2010. The launch of Zotye's wide sedan Mutiplan marks a new departure for China's auto industry.
Zotye Holding was formed in 1992 in Yongkang City, Zhejiang province, as an automotive sheet metal supplier, and entered the auto industry as of 2006. It is expanding its main manufacturing base in Changsha city of Hunan province, where the Zotye Multipla is made.