Chinese Automaker Ready to Challenge Venerable Limo Makers for Market Share
A Chinese automobile manufacturer virtually unknown in the U.S. and Europe is getting ready to make its presence known with the worldwide rollout of its new limousine. Hongqi is nearly ready to roll out its high-end HQE limousine, and it is taking aim at Bentley, Maybach and other luxury limo manufacturers at the very top of the market segment. Hongqi is the luxury division of First Automobile Works based in Changchun, China. The HQE is being compared to the Maybach 62 or Rolls-Royce Phantom limousines in terms of interior spaciousness, comfort and luxury appointments.
The HQE’s coming-out party occurred in 2009 when Chinese President Hu Jintao was filmed reviewing troops from the inside of this new limo. The footage was widely distributed in China, and it gave Hongqi incredible exposure and publicity. That limo was a prototype of the new limo. With full-scale production reportedly very close, the limousine could be a much sought-after status symbol for China’s new wealthy elite.
One of many remarkable aspects of this new luxury limo is that its 6.0-liter V-12 motor will be China’s first “ultra-luxury” engine to be produced domestically. This is a significant development as up to this point, Chinese limo manufacturers have imported all the engines for their luxury limos from other countries. The HQE will rival Bentley, Maybach and other top-end limo manufacturers in the price category as well. Each HQE will have a starting price tag of 8 million yuan or around $1,431,661 in U.S. dollars. Hongqi is being coy about specific features of the new limo, but has revealed that the HQE will sport bulletproof windows and other protective equipment.
At nearly 1.5 million dollars, it could be a while before you see a Hongqi HQE offered in our fleet of luxury vehicles. A very long while. We love cars and limos, but we’re in no hurry to be the first San Francisco limo service to offer one of these rides. However, we do have many other new and lovingly restored antique limousines from which you can choose the next time you need to rent a limo. Please browse our site for information and pictures of our limo options. If you have questions, just give us a call at NLS Limo at 1-800-339-8936! We look forward to hearing from you!