• Nov 10th 2007 at 1:01PM
  • 30
China's automakers aren't fooling around when it comes to aggressive growth. While you don't hear much enthusiasm from European or North American automakers about the market on the African continent, There's already at least two Chinese carmakers who've set up shop there as a way to expand beyond the borders of their home country. Holland Car is the first car assembly plant in Ethiopia, and it's kicking out a renamed Lifan 520. The 520 goes by the handle Abay in Ethiopia. Abay is the name of Ethiopia's largest river, and the hope is that the name will spur buyers to check the vehicle out. Equipment levels are luxury-level for its market, $16,000 price buys you safety gear like ABS, airbags and brake distribution, and quality is good enough that Lifan thinks it will change Ethiopian's opinions about a domestically produced car. Power is provided by a 1.3 liter four cylinder twisting a 5-speed transmission. The cars are assembled from knock-downs (CKD), and appear to have been solidly engineered. Lifan produces the 520 in several different locations – Russia, and Vietnam, for example. Hit the jump for a Lifan 520 commercial.

[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      With a relatively consistent 7% growth rate for the past ~15 years, a growing middle class, an unprecedented construction boom, and dramatic improvements to social and physical infrastructure, Ethiopia seems like the kind of country where future-minded businesses would like to be.

      see: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=392242

      Couple that with adjacent sales opportunities in Djibouti, Somaliland (not Somalia), and stabilized southern Sudan, and this seems like a natural move.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does the logo look like the Buick tri-shield?
      • 7 Years Ago
      That ad actually doesn't look half bad, and compared to that North Korean ad from a few days ago... this is like Hollywood!

      The car isnt too bad either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      f'ing dumb Chinese idiots, as if the cars are not sh!tty enough, and they are teaching people to break traffic laws? Give me a break! So what? The Europeans and Americans dont take their crap that will crumple like a beer can, so they sell that crap in Africa? Why dont just sell that in China and maybe cause a few problems domestically intead? I am sure the commies will cover it up anyways.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, that commercial is bad cuz someone is driving fast to see the birth of their first child. But when Audi teaches you how to drift-parallel park, or Lexus does donuts in their GS460, it's sick!

        More crap from the people who love status quo, just like those who dissed the Japanese and Koreans years ago...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Did a Chinese automaker kill your father or something?
        • 7 Years Ago
        You do realize that to the Africans, it's a good thing for them that a car company is actually willing to invest in a plant in their country, right?
        You trash the Chinese made cars, but it's not like Ethiopia has so many awesome affordable alternatives. For people in the developing world, just having a car plant exist in your country is already leaps and bounds ahead.

        Oh, and if you think the Chinese countryside is poor...well, Ethiopia outside of the city is about 10x worse. People in rural China might not have very much, but it's still a heck of a lot better than it was 20 years ago. It's just that it's gotten about 100x better in the cities, while the countryside obviously hasn't had the same level of improvement, but it's still a big improvement compared to the days when people didn't even have food to eat, and corrupt officials stole the rations to sell for money.
        What's your brilliant plan for revitalizing the Chinese countryside anyway? Or for that matter, the rural US is also a lot poorer than the major cities (compare rural Mississippi to San Francisco) but somehow I don't see you whining about how the US sucks because the countryside is a lot poorer than the cities.

        Stop being a dumbass.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Flyhen-Your comment suffices to show just how badly some people see the Chineese. The fact is that they will be/are the next superpower, economic powerhouse, and with the example of their new satellites ( of which you are probably unaware ) the next space race winners. The future is Mandarin my boy. They will squash you like a bug.
        • 7 Years Ago
        jerk face: no, they didnt kill my father, he's still alive and kicking.

        Ben: putting the made in china crap with the same category as made in japan is a complete insult to the japanese. I never liked the korean products anyways, say what you want about that, i dont care.

        cow boy bob: you have no idea where i came from did you? Your perspective is only true when you see those rich and well developed coastal cities in China, but to know what the real situation, you have to go inland, like me. once you see what exactly is happening in the inland, you will have doubts about how the hell they can become the next superpower. yes, you got a good point, but have you any idea that in order to make the world precieve them as a up and coming country, they are trading in roughly 1billion of their people's quality of life? what about those mattel toys? what about the true cost of what they did for olympics. No, they wont crush me like a bug, neither will they threat america. i was born in taiwan, grew up in chicago, and now working in europe, I think i've seen enough to make this comment. Did you know that in 2003, they covered up the SARS incident months before the international outbreak, before they had to be forced to share their info? Lastly, no, it's not how bad i preceive the chinese, it's the fact. I have family members living /working in China. I know what's going on, there are things you dont see on CNN, things you probably will never heard of.

        Not here to pick a fight, peace!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow. I never saw THIS comming! Sombody make sure there are no wepons, please.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Kudos to tekdemon. Very solid arguments.

        As for the poster named "flyhen," it might be a complete waste of time and energy trying to reason with people like her (I'm assuming it's a "her" from the screen name).

        Whenever someone uses language like "f'ing dumb Chinese idiots," "you are a retard," and "you are an ignorant phuck," I tend to just move on to the next post.
        • 7 Years Ago
        say wot u want to about china. but their was a time when japan, korea and taiwan were percieved to have products just as 'rubbish' as those of the chinese. and their WILL come a time wen chinese will improve the quality of their products to compete directly with the japanese. the reason it is taking longer for china is because they have a larger population. the larger the economy/country, the longer it takes to develop(please dont confuse economic development with GDP growth)
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol, I'm the ignorant one when you're rambling about hoping that the Chinese countryside crumbles. And you're still too stupid to get that the Ethiopians either get this domestic car, or no domestic car. So by saying that they don't deserve this, you're saying that they don't deserve any auto manufacturer at all.
        I could care less if you don't read this thread, so long as people reading the comments get to hear a counter to your keyboard diarrhea.

        And hey, I don't even like the Chinese "communist" government, but at least I use my brain cells to figure out what's actually bad about it, instead of typing the kind of drivel you type.

        The funniest thing is that you say that you mention how you were born in Taiwan, raised in Chicago, and living in Europe as evidence that you have a clue about China. If anything, being born in Taiwan just means you're automatically biased against the mainland.

        Oh, and I've lived in just as many continents as you have, and many more cities, and I still think you're a close-minded idiot who couldn't construct a valid argument against the Chinese government if his life depended on it. If you're going to trash the Chinese government at least trash the disasterous privatization of healthcare, or the heavy-handed censorship of the internet.

        The fact that you interpret the construction of an Ethiopian assembly plant as a negative thing because you have something against the Chinese government is proof that you're a friggin' idiot. It's good for the people of Ethiopia and good for LiFan. You clearly have no clue about what the actually negative parts of living in China are, nor do you care for the positive aspects of living in China. And you don't have a clue about what's good for the Ethiopians either.

        Oh and the car passed Russia's crash test just fine, which makes it in all likelihood safer than most cars on the road in Ethiopia.
        http://www.chinacartimes.com/2007/11/07/lifan-520-passes-russian-car-crash-test/
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, what a piece of junk. It seems as if it were more than the skyline that was reflected in the add...the trunk seems to be a mirror image of the hood! I know Ethiopia's a poor country and all, but they still deserve a car with at least some style.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow! You can actually drive over leaves with it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah its looking good for half part.But we have to know all the buying tips to buy anew car.Just looking on outer body is not enough.You have to know tips and terms.Look this site then u will come to know http://blog.buyingadvice.com/auto_buying_tips_advice/index.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      anyone noticed the inserted image between 3 to 2 seconds to the end ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      anyone else notice the skyline in the background of that promo pic is mirrored?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Anyone know what (mirrored...) skyline they used? Its not Addis Ababa's, and I don't recognise the buildings.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure it's part of a Chinese city. If I had to guess I'd say Chongqing just because LiFan is based there, although Chongqing is somewhat more crowded seeming from most of the pics I could find.

        Either way the picture is heavily edited so maybe they just cropped out a few nice looking buildings to build the skyline. China has so many people that even a 3rd tier city is pretty packed with skyscrapers, lol.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A piece of junk priced at the cost of a new Civic...
      • 7 Years Ago
      TO FLYHEN

      first of all, you are an ignorant uneducated fool, first of all I don't really like chinese products either BUT you have to give them respect for trying, how do you think the japanese and koreans came to be?? just so you know japanese products were sh!t at one point, just like the koreans. And as for you saying you dont like korean products?? im sure you are using many korean products and you don't even know of it, samsung, yes korean. LG, yes korean. maybe the japanese were the best in engineering electronics at one point, but I believe it's now been proven that the koreans have taken their throne now, LG and samsung dominates. If you don't believe me, I read up alot on news, and technology magazines, it's funny how your "japanese is best" ideology comes about when the major japanese manufacturers CEOs want to absolutely meet and do business with the koreans?? haha, anyways go back to whereever it is you came from and cry some more.
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