Report: Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement

Filed under: SUV, China, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Jeep

Jeep Badge

Fiat has just finalized a deal originally set up in January between it and China’s Guangzhou Automotive Group to bring Jeep production to China. It remains unclear which models will be built, although we’re wagering that it’ll be the 2014 Cherokee. What we do know, now, is where production will take place.

According to Automotive News, Guangzhou originally wanted production to take place in its home assembly plant in its namesake city. Fiat has battled to send production to a joint venture facility established between Guangzhou and Fiat in the town of Changsha. The joint facility won out, and now the factory, originally built in 2010 with a 140,000-unit capacity, will see Jeeps rolling out of it.

Currently, the GAC-Fiat factory produces the Fiat Viaggio, a jointly developed product that is closely related to America’s Dodge Dart. And while it remains unclear as to which model will join the Viaggio on the assembly line, that model is understood to ride on Fiat’s Compact platform. The only Jeep to share those underpinnings is the new Cherokee, so there’s not much connecting of dots needed to see why this scenario would make sense.

Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chinese automaker looks to patent VW Taigun copy before original goes on sale

Filed under: China, Government/Legal, Volkswagen, Humor

China. Just when we thought the People’s Republic was finally developing its own unique, interesting design language and was attracting big-name manufacturers to set up design studios, this happens. This is not a Volkswagen Taigun. This is a patent filing from a company known as Jiangsu Lake Motors, and it is a virtual ripoff of the VW that’s slated to debut in China around 2016. Yes, a Chinese company is trying to patent someone else’s design before it can go on sale.

The profile is nearly a carbon copy of the stylish new mini-CUV, while there’s an incremental degree of originality in the front and rear of the car, with ever so slight styling tweaks. According to IndianAutosBlog, Jiangsu Lake came up with a name as original as the car its patenting: “SUV.” This is far, far, far from the first time Chinese designers have blatantly stolen the design of a western vehicle, as IAB points out, but so far as we can recall, it’s the first time a Chinese brand has attempted to patent the stolen design. Volkswagen should be lawyering up any minute.

Chinese automaker looks to patent VW Taigun copy before original goes on sale originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 03 Aug 2013 17:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: How Google unwittingly busted a Chinese car theft ring

Filed under: China, Etc., Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

Google China sign

Technology giant Google is a regular in headlines across the world, mostly for innovative hardware and online products, but this is the first time we’ve caught wind of the company stopping crime. A fascinating writeup on The Verge tells the story of Google doing just that – in China no less.

Sophisticated and non-stop anti-fraud measures used by Google’s AdWords to protect consumers from online scammers are at the heart of the story here. It seems that over the course of revising its security software back in 2010, Google started to see advertisements for normal-looking used car ads in China that had been flagged for removal.

As it turns out, the company’s algorithm for detecting fraud had stumbled upon a fairly long-standing practice of car theft within China. Thieves would take a photo of a random car on the street, use the photo to place an ad online, then steal the car before selling it to an unwitting buyer. The Verge article dives in to the hows and whys behind this unlikely method of halting (or at least attempting to halt) auto-theft in the far flung country – click through and enjoy the read.

How Google unwittingly busted a Chinese car theft ring originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Acura aiming for Chinese production by 2016

Filed under: China, Plants/Manufacturing, Acura, Luxury

Acura SUV-X Concept live at 2013 Shanghai Motor Show

Not wanting to be left out of the emerging luxury car bonanza in China, Automotive News is reporting that Acura could begin producing vehicles in the Asian country by 2016. Like Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Acura will reportedly build vehicles in China using a local partner – Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. in Acura’s case – while Cadillac and Infiniti will build their own vehicles locally.

Guangzhou already produces Honda models in China, but the article says that the first Acura produced in that country could be a new compact model based on the Acura SUV-X Concept (shown above), a showcar revealed in April at the Shanghai Motor Show. China’s luxury car market is expected to grow to 2.7 million units a year by the end of this decade, which would put it on pace to make it the largest premium car market in the world.

Acura aiming for Chinese production by 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Chinese Cadillac SRX ad with Karen Mok captures romance of Route 66

Filed under: China, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Cadillac

Karen Mok with Cadillac SRX

Karen Mok finds love on Route 66 with the Cadillac SRX – Click above to watch video after the jump

Like just about every other automaker on the planet, Cadillac is looking to stake out a larger claim of the Chinese automotive industry. Right now, the brand is viewed as somewhat downmarket from rivals that many in the U.S. see as being on equal ground.

Perhaps, then, Cadillac will look to try something new. In a new short film for the Chinese-market SRX, Cadillac attempts to bridge East with West via Route 66. The ad shows actress and singer-songwriter Karen Mok taking on Will Rogers Highway with a male friend. The Mother Road calls, romance blooms and the Cadillac SRX is the tool that unites the pair. Click past the jump to view the spot.

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Chinese Cadillac SRX ad with Karen Mok captures romance of Route 66 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Spyker to be renamed Swedish Automobile N.V. as Pang Da talks with Chinese gov’t.

Filed under: China, Government/Legal, Saab, Earnings/Financials, Spyker

saab badge

Spyker is on a Chinese money hunt, and it appears the automaker may have found a partner willing to pony up the cash. Pang Da, a Chinese automobile distribution company, had recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Spyker. Now, Spyker is set to rename itself Swedish Automobile N.V., and the Saab-owner believes Chinese authorities will give the green light for this deal to proceed.

According to Saab CEO Victor Muller, a very important portion of the deal has already gone through; a cash infusion of €30 million ($42M USD). Muller states that “Pang Da’s advance payment and sales of imported Saab cars are not subject to approval from the NDRC. The first advance payment of EUR 30 million was received last Tuesday.”

Bloomberg reports that the rest of the deal may not move forward so easily. According to analysts in China, the country’s government is unlikely to allow Pang Da’s purchase of a stake in Swedish Automobile N.V. because the nation is working to consolidate its auto industry, not expand it.

If approved, however, Pang Da will spend $91 million and receive a 23 percent share of the automaker’s business. Despite the negative view of Chinese analysts, Pang Da says it remains confident the transaction will be approved.

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Spyker to be renamed Swedish Automobile N.V. as Pang Da talks with Chinese gov’t. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Maserati family growing larger thanks to Chinese market

Filed under: Sedan, SUV, Maserati, Rumormill

maserati sedan mule

Spy Shots: Maserati “Baby Quattroporte” – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Maserati family of automobiles is a small, tight-knit clan of exotic Italian machinery that sounds as good as it looks. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to expand that family, and capture more of the growing exotic car market that is currently taking shape in China. What does this all mean to the Trident brand?

We’ve known about a baby Quattroporte for some time, but the grown-up sedan is also due for a refresh. Each model may get an all-wheel-drive version thanks to the new tech found under the body of the Ferrari FF. In addition to the pair of four-doors, a Maserati SUV (to be based off the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee) is in the works. Once here, it will surely do battle the Porsche Cayenne for the title of “most hated vehicle amongst purists-slash-best seller.” That vehicle may be built in Italy at Fiat’s former Bertone plant.

And finally, according to a report from Car and Driver, the Italian brand may use a turbocharged and MultiAir-equipped version of Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 engine with 400 horsepower along with a turbodiesel from Fiat in lieu of a V8 borrowed from Ferrari.

Maserati family growing larger thanks to Chinese market originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Muller says Saab could sell $10,000 Chinese autos in States

Filed under: China, Safety, Saab

spyker ceo victor muller

Saab has been in the news quite a bit lately, and mostly for the wrong reasons. But now that the Swedish automaker appears to have secured loans and buy-in from Hawtai Motors in China, Victor Muller and company are looking to go on the offensive.

Automotive News reports that the Spyker CEO is still talking China, but now he’s entertaining the possibility of partnering with a Chinese company to distribute low-cost autos in the U.S. Muller reportedly says that Saab could utilize its dealer networks in the U.S. and Europe to sell $10,000 Chinese vehicles in two or three years. And just because Saab struck a deal with Hawtai doesn’t mean that the Swedish automaker is restricting its plans to its newest strategic partner. Muller pointed out during an interview in Washington, D.C. that there are 120 companies in China, and that Saab is interested in “the one with a strategy.”

There are many hurdles for Chinese automakers to overcome to finally breach the U.S. market, not the least of which is passing federal safety standards. Muller acknowledges that a five-star-rated Chinese vehicle likely won’t happen any time soon, but he says that made-in-China SUVs can be had with tons of features for about $10,000, adding “Do you really worry about a five-star rating? They Look good.”

Hmmm. We’re guessing there will be plenty of buyers who don’t want to drive a vehicle with compromised safety capabilities, but a low price tag could cure those fears. Of course, we also can’t help but wonder how many luxury car shoppers will want to pay premium prices for Saab automobiles if they share showroom space with discount Chinese offerings – the Swedish automaker’s residual values have been problematic enough as-is.

Muller says Saab could sell $10,000 Chinese autos in States originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 May 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab to celebrate Chinese and Russian partnerships with global tour

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials

Saab emblem

So far in 2011, Saab has been riding a ragged roller-coaster filled with major ups and downs. Just recently, however, things have been trending more positively. Saab inked a deal with Chinese automaker Hawtai that will pump in millions of dollars, and open up major inroads to the vastly expanding auto industry in China. The Swedish automaker is understandably excited by this new deal, and has decided to embark on a global tour to highlight its new partnerships.

Besides discussing its new manufacturing teammate Hawtai, Saab will also bring Russian investor Vladimir Antonov along for the ride, once his deals have gone through. Victor Muller, Saab Chairman, wants the world to meet Saab’s newest partners. All involved parties will be hitting the road to reach out to the world-wide media, once all respective deals have been finalized and approved.

Saab to celebrate Chinese and Russian partnerships with global tour originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chinese big rig tips going too fast around corner

Filed under: China, Etc., Videos

chinese truck driver rolls vehicle

Chinese driver rolls big-rig in traffic – Click above to watch video after the jump

Running a red light in your standard passenger vehicle is never a good idea. Trying to rush a trailer-laden semi-truck through a busy intersection is far, far worse. Such a machine has a lot of weight to throw around, as one Chinese driver recently learned. Physics strikes again!

The truck ends up on its side, but this crash could’ve been a lot worse. A quartet of two-wheeled traffic-goers hit the brakes at just the right time, and fortunately, a nearby cyclist was also paying rapt attention to the wayward cargo-hauler.

Click past the jump to watch a truck driver try to imitate Sam Hubinette… unsuccessfully.

[Source: YouTube via CarScoop]

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Chinese big rig tips going too fast around corner originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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