A total of 1,000 high-end passenger cars from domestic brand Hongqi have been sold to the People’s Liberation Army and sent to its general armament department for military use, according to the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the official newspaper of the armed forces.
The cars are the first batch of Hongqi vehicles to join the military vehicle team after Beijing set out new official car procurement policy this January in favour of domestic brands.
The military would no longer buy new cars from foreign brands like Audi or Volkswagen, including their joint ventures in China. The ruling was approved by President Xi Jinping and issued by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) headquarters, “promoting frugality and cutting down on waste in military and armed police forces”.
Purchase of new official cars for military use should be arranged within a centralised system and vehicles should be selected from domestic brands, the ruling said. Spending on domestic and overseas business trips should also be strictly controlled, it added.
Besides FAW, which produce Hongqi, the military has also invited Guangzhou Automobile Group, Shanghai’s SAIC Motor, Brilliance Auto and Beijing’s BAIC to bid for the tender.
Hongqi is the third domestic automobile brand that joins the military’s official car team, after Trumpche from Guangzhou Automobile Group and Besturn from First Automobile Works.
Hongqi H7 Sedan l is promoted by FAW as the country’s “first self-developed high-end passenger car model”. It launched last year and sold about 3,000 cars in first nine months, most ordered by official departments, Xinhua reported then.
As a car with a price range of 299,800 yuan to 479,800 yuan (HK$376,700-HK$602,900) the year’s sales of Hongqi were only equal to BMW’s sales in a period of three days, or Audi’s over two days, according to the China Business News newspaper.