FAW Red Flag – Click above for high-res image gallery
Despite the lackluster sales from rival company BYD, Chinese automaker FAW has announced a new manufacturing plant that will specialize in building hybrid vehicles. Set to be completed in 2012, the automaker expects to build about 1,000 hybrid buses and 11,000 hybrid sedans per year at the new plant, which seems like a bit of a stretch for a company that had previously announced a steady plan to build hybrid in much smaller numbers (100 hybrid buses and 20 hybrid sedans in 2009, 200 hybrid buses
There seems to be little doubt that Chinese cars will hit the U.S. market some soon – the big question is when. At least one automaker is suggesting that Chinese cars will enter America by way of Mexico, with production starting in 2010 and sales in the United States by 2015 after first making the rounds in Latin America and Canada. That date may have been sooner had we not hit such a nasty global economic crisis.
In case you're not familiar with First Automobile Works (FAW), as its name suggests, FAW was the first company in China to mass produce vehicles. Their Jiefang CA-10 medium truck began production in 1956. They have a bit of a history in electric and hybrid cars as well, building the Prius in China for Toyota through a joint venture and building the Miles range of NEV's, an electric version of the Daihatsu Move.