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FAW announces a new brand: Ou Lai

Published July 7, 2011

In 2018 China Car Times was acquired by Autowise. This article originally appeared on ChinaCarTimes.com.

First Automobile Works are one of Chinas earliest car makers, they have partnerships with Mazda, Toyota, VW and Audi and also have several of their own brands: Hong Qi (Red Flag), Besturn, and Xia Li. Hong Qi is probably the most prestigous of the three brands as it was Chinas first car brand and initially was only used for VIPs within high government circles, later the brand was dilluted down somewhat with the addition of Audi and Toyota based cars. Xia Li was initially a car maker based in Tianjin but later became part of the FAW Group, Xia Li worked with Daihatsu and later Toyota to build cars in Tianjin and then Besturn came along. The Besturn brand may not have been FAWs best name to date, but the range of Mazda 6 based cars that it built seem to have become quite popular in China. Now FAW are about to create a new brand: Ou Lai (欧莱).

FAW insiders leaked the plans for FAWs three brand line up, Xia Li will take the low end, Ou Lai will be situated in the middle and Besturn will be aimed at the mid to high end and Hong Qi will be targeted at the high end.

The Besturn B30 that has so often been spotted out testing will form the basis of the new brand, the B30 was on show at the Shanghai Auto Show where it was known as the Go! Concept wowed the crowds with its design cues and also technology the platform is based on the 1982 VW Jetta. The engines wont be old VW stock, instead FAW have developed a new 1.4L and a 1.6L engine for the B30 which will be paired to a 5 speed manual and a 4 speed auto.

The introduction of Ou Lai seems to indicate that FAW have more brands than they know what to do with, the Xia Li product line up looks like a clown was at the helm of the design board and the Besturn range is looking very boring. FAWs real brand gem is the Hong Qi name plate, but that has also been watered down by 20 years worth of Audi 100 based cars, if FAW want to play brands, they should really focus on developing what they have.

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