If nothing else, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing its best to ensure that not too much of that notorious Beijing smog wafts its way over here. The regulator once again smacked a China-based maker of recreational vehicles and engines with a penalty for violating the country's Clean Air Act. This time, it was American Lifan Industry.
In the introductory videos for the Bertone Mantide, designer Jason Castriota says "There's a reason we introduced the car here," in Shanghai -- and the performance of the Shanghai Motor Show appears to justify that kind of thinking for nearly every automaker there. The show was physically larger than the last one (two years ago), with 600,000 people arrived to view the gleaming wares of 918 cars (602 of them from China) and 582 component makers from all over the world.
Last month China's Sichuan province was devastated by a massive earthquake that killed as many as 70,000 people. If you've wanted to donate to help the survivors but were waiting for just the right opportunity, this could be it.
One of the main concerns that Autoblog readers have about Chinese cars is their safety. We've seen some fairly horrific crash tests of Chinese-made cars recently, but some improvements, as well. You just gotta know American insurance companies are not looking forward to these things being on U.S. roads.
Clubman: potentially described as cute. Lifan 3 Series: Not cute. Not even ugly to the point of being endearing. Enough of the MINI's cues make it through in the Lifan that you can just picture them laying a huge sheet of onion skin over the Clubman and coming up with this. It's close in a lot of ways, but misshapen in others. A weird front overbite is the result of small wheels and a longer overhang than the MINI, and the C/D pillars appear thick – just a big blind spot where the Clubman
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 Eth