Nothing in China is easy to understand for a western.
Or at least for one western: me.
However one brand name is easy to understand: FAW, the acronym of First Auto Works.
The first, official, car factory established by the Chinese government in Changchun, Jilin, back in 1953.
Its first accomplishment was indeed the 1958 Hong Qi, Chinese for Red Flag.
Ever since, through ups and down, the Hong Qi has been the truly Chinese automobile. In its first years and decade, when Chinese mobility relied on bicycles, the few Hong Qi that the FAW car company could produce, were the hunting reserve of the high-rank leaders of the ruling party and few state dignitaries.
They have been “for governments only” so far but now, and here is the big news for 2014, the company can sell them to any buyer.
Every time we hear about the disappearance of a great name in the car industry it hurts. Of course there is the loss of employment, but for us – so called automobile enthusiasts – it is also a loss of an old friend.
When I read about Bertone going to bankruptcy it hurt, and when I began to go trough all the beautiful cars they had designed and built and of which I have driven almost all, it was like loosing a good friend.
I cannot imagine what will happen to the name Bertone. One just has to hope that Nuccio will find a way to keep the brand-name alive, and not sell it to some Indian or Korean company.
WARD'S TOP TEN INTERIORS WINNERS
The editors of the authoritative North American Ward’s magazine have voted the Interior of the new generation Jeep Cherokee as the winner for their 2014 much coveted award.
Ward’s is celebrated world-wide for their Top Ten Engines of the Year and Top Ten Best Interiors nominations and award.
The Jeep Cherokee Limited has topped the favour of the jury and, according to editor Tom Murphy, that is because «it is a well-equipped CUV with an interior that is upscale, boldly styled, comfortable and, yes, rugged and its fetching interior is pleasant on-road demeanour and available trail-ready drivetrain.