Chinese brand Chana is preparing to enter the Brazilian market. It is showing three entry-level vehicles at the Sao Paulo motor show - a pick-up, minivan and a van.

Chana vehicles are produced by Changan Automobile Company, based in the south western city of Chongqing. It also has joint ventures in China with Ford, Mazda and Suzuki.

The Chana Star utility van and pick-up ranges use Suzuki technology (Every van), while the minivan was designed by the Chinese company with assistance from an Italian design studio. The minivan is named Leimeng in China and was launched in 2004, along with a car version named CM8.

Changan is also partly responsible for the notorious Landwind SUV, which is developed and produced at a joint venture with Jiangling. That model spectacularly failed crash testing in Germany, causing many Chinese makes to scale back export plans until they had safer vehicles.

In July 2006, Changan said it would launch at least five new independently designed vehicles in the next five years.

The Chana brand was launched in South Africa earlier this year, where the pick-up is currently the only model on sale.

In Brazil Chana models will be distributed by Districar, which also handles Ssangyong vehicles.

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