Blog: Dave LeggettBorat-inspired: Changfeng in Detroit

Dave Leggett | 9 January 2007

Chinese vehicle manufacturers have been thin on the ground in Detroit this week. But I’m hearing that one Chinese firm did show up and caused a few waves. Changfeng Motor drew a big crowd to announce its intention to begin exports to the US within the next couple of years, together with a number of new models, mainly SUVs and pick-ups. But it was the company presentation that left some people breathless.

In a slightly comical presentation, the attendant media was treated to a ‘propaganda film’ entitled ‘Developing through innovations in pursuit of the great’. This gave details of the company’s history, culminating as the voiceover man barked “Dragons are taking off! Cheetahs are leaping forward!” over a stirring soundtrack of Elgar’s ‘Jerusalem’.

Changfeng’s chairman Li Jianxin said the company was the largest maker of SUVs – Mitsubishi Shogun-derived - in China. It showed a weird concept called the Rhombus, which looks like two Reliant Robins joined together. This oddball car is apparently a design study by a Chinese university which works closely with Changfeng. Are they having a laugh?



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