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China FAW Group launches high-end car model H7

2013-05-31 08:10 Xinhua     Web Editor: qindexing comment

Chinese automaker FAW Group Thursday officially launched its Hongqi H7 sedans in a bid to gain a slice of the country's lucrative high-end passenger car market dominated by foreign brands.

The H7 model, which came out following FAW's efforts to revive the Hongqi, or Red Flag, brand, is the country's first self-developed high-end passenger car model.

FAW introduced five H7 models, which are available at prices ranging from 299,800 yuan (48,511 U.S. dollars) to 479,800 yuan (77,637 U.S. dollars).

"FAW developed and accumulated many self-developed technologies and this has made us determined to make the high-end Hongqi cars," said Li Jun, head of the technological center at FAW Group.

The first H7 car rolled off production line on July 15 last year.

Xu Jianyi, chairman of FAW Group, said the H7 cars will first enter the business-car sector and then be available to the mass market to compete with foreign brands like Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

FAW launched the "Hongqi Revival" project in 2008 and by last year, it had invested 5.2 billion yuan in the R&D of the new models. The company has pledged to invest further 10.5 billion yuan by 2015 to boost R&D and unveil more models.

Born in 1958 as China's prime protocol car, Hongqi has been used by national leaders at major celebrations, as well as to transport important foreign guests including U.S. president Richard Nixon during his ice-breaking visit to China in 1972.

But the glory of the brand was tarnished as FAW was ordered by the government to cease production in 1981 because of high fuel consumption and costs.

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