BELGIUM: China's Landwind gains European type approval
Chinese manufacturer Landwind has this week received European type approval for the two vehicles it plans to launch in the UK next year.
NCAP crash test ratings for the 4x4 (SUV) Expedition and the Fashion MPV (minivan) are expected to follow early next month.
Landwind was the first Chinese manufacturer into Europe two years ago but got its fingers burnt, spectacularly failing a German crash test.
Paul Williams, managing director of European distributor LWMC, said: "We have learned from that and investments have been made to ensure the vehicles meet Euro 4 emissions and crash test requirements. We expect to get a three-star NCAP rating which is perfectly acceptable for the cars we are selling."
The two vehicles will be launched initially with 2.4-litre Mitsubishi petrol engines only, although LPG and bioethanol will also be available. A 2.5-litre diesel will follow once Italian engine builder VM has established its plant in China.
Williams believes that Landwind will be able to establish its vehicles as value brands. "There are opportunities for no nonsense, value for money vehicles with a simplicity of offer and choice.
"We will have a pan-European pricing and margin policy - although there will be regional variations on the VAT rate, there will be limited specification options and just three colour choices."
Those will be silver, black and metallic blue.
Williams said: "Short term, we are happy with two products targeted at particular niches - we do not expect to start playing in the volume sectors straight away. In the future, we will be looking at a vehicle in the A/B or B/C sector."
Distributor LWMC is based in Antwerp, Belgium, and Landwind in China is part of Jianling Motor Holdings which has joint ventures in China with Ford and Mazda and also produces its own commercial vehicles.