Lifan x60 SUV
Lifan x60 SUV Lifan x60 SUV
The nearest novelty for Russia - the Lifan x60 SUV model is already off the assembly line. This is a crossover design and construction that clearly resembles the Toyota RAV4. While the Chinese have mastered only the front-wheel drive version of the car, all-wheel drive will appear before the end of this year. Structurally, the drive scheme is traditional for crossovers of this class: the moment is transmitted to the rear axle by the interaxle clutch automatically, based on the difference in the speed of rotation of the front and rear wheels. No additional off-road capabilities are provided.
Lifan x60 - candidate for assembly in Russia, at the Derways plant. It is assumed that its production starts in April 2012 after passing through all stages of Russian certification and preparation of equipment. These days, Utan CEO Mu Gunn has been “uttering” these issues.
Since 2012, Lifan will begin the “shake-up” of the entire lineup, which now consists of four basic passenger models. Lifan 320 and Lifan 620 (in Russia they are sold as Smily and Solano respectively) will receive an updated design and a more modern interior, it will be facelift without structural changes, unless Solano will be equipped with a 1.8 VVT engine. But the 520 model (Breeze) will be replaced by a completely new development, which has now the in-plant designation Lifan 520 New.
Lifan 520 New
Lifan 520 New Lifan 520 New
The new “five hundred and twenty” will receive engines 1.3 and 1.5 and a wheelbase of 2550 mm (now 2540 mm) with a total length of 4300 mm. As an option, a variator is provided. Lifan 520 New will appear in May 2012. A slightly more distant prospect of Lifan is the introduction of three new series into the production program - the 4th, 7th and 8th. It is easy to guess that with an increase in the index, the dimension of cars also increases. Thus, having six passenger series, Lifan is going to close all the main market niches.
The “fourth” series will be presented by the Lifan 420 model, the design of which, judging by the sketch shown, is quite modern.
Lifan 420 Lifan 420
However, even a layman will find obvious stylistic similarities with some Citroen models. So obvious that even the emblem on the hood of the Lifan 420 resembles the Citroen chevrons. Lifan 420 is positioned as an economical urban youth hatchback, more expensive than the 320 model. The 420 debut is expected in 2014 with engines of 1.3 and 1.5 liters and a wheelbase of 2460 mm.
At a completely different level of prestige is the project model 720, this is a middle-class sedan with a length of 4700 mm and a wheelbase of 2700 mm. It will be equipped only with a 1.8 VVT engine and a continuously variable transmission. The debut of the Lifan 720 is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012.
Lifan 720 Lifan 720
The last of the promising passenger cars is the Lifan 820 model (Rover used the same designation at the time, but now it will not be able to present claims to this plagiarism for objective reasons).
Lifan 820 Lifan 820
This is a business class model, its length is 4825 mm, and the wheelbase is 2775 mm. It is supposed to equip the Lifan 820 with 2.0 / 2.4 liter engines and a 6-speed "mechanics" or a 6-speed "DCT" robot with two clutches, similar to the Volkswagen DSG. This model will appear in October 2013. The Chinese call the Lifan 820 "a powerful weapon to conquer the Russian market." They are generally convinced that the time for cheap models is passing and the demand for Russians is moving to larger and more expensive cars.
In the SUV category, Lifan planned to launch another model, larger than the x60. While it is called the Lifan Large SUV, the exact index will be determined closer to the start of production, oriented for 2014. Large SUV is a large crossover with a length of 4785 mm and a base of 2790 mm (larger than that of the GW Hover), the engines will be installed on it the same as on the 820 model, but the transmission will be a classic torque converter from Jatco (though Chinese production). The drive scheme will also remain purely crossover - a permanent front-wheel drive with automatic rear axle connection.
Lifan Large SUV
Lifan Large SUV Lifan Large SUV
All of the above models, one way or another, have the prospect of being on the conveyor of the Derways plant. It is difficult to say what the marketing experts of Lifan are guided by, asserting that large and expensive models of Sino-Russian production will certainly be in demand in Russia. Apparently, these statements are made “just in case” in order to simply emphasize Lifan’s interest in the Russian market, in which he is a clear leader today from Chinese brands. Lifan has created a whole program to improve its image in Russia. It includes events such as creating your own single-brand showroom in Moscow and a spare parts warehouse. The advertising campaign will also increase. All this, according to Lifanovites, should improve the brand’s image, bringing it closer in quality and recognizability to countries such as Chile and Brazil (Lifan has the strongest image positions there).
In 2010, Lifan assembled 7, 700 cars at Derweis, and according to the results of three quarters of this year - 12, 893 cars. In the next two years, the Chinese plan to enter annual sales in Russia of 30, 000 cars, which will contribute to new models and overall market growth. But with the long-term plans, not everything is clear, or rather, nothing is clear. The fact is that such a large-scale Chinese expansion cannot remain without the attention of Russian regulatory authorities, which traditionally stand on the side of native Russian car factories. At the moment, the controlling stake in Derweis also belongs to the state agency - Sberbank, and if the Ministry of Industry and Trade has uncomfortable questions for the Chinese, the main shareholder may also adjust their plans. Even despite Russia's expected accession to the WTO by the end of the year, there are still plenty of mechanisms for the “correction” of the state. Therefore, the Lifanovites were asked a direct question: do they have plans for their own investments in Russian production in the form of buying shares of Derways or building their own assembly plant? This would protect Lifan from surprises and better than any advertising campaigns would confirm interest in the Russian market. Unfortunately, it was precisely the answer to this question that Lifan Industry CEO Mu Gunn delicately left, promising to clarify the situation after negotiations with Derways were completed. That is literally the other day.