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China’s FAW Haima to make India debut at Auto Expo 2020

26th Nov 2019 4:50 pm

A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned First Automobile Works (FAW), Haima Automobile sold rebadged Mazda cars in the past, but is now developing its own line-up of SUVs, MPVs and electrified vehicles.

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While a number of prominent carmakers have chosen to give the upcoming Auto Expo 2020 a miss, a handful of new players will make up the numbers. Like we’d told you before, China’s Great Wall Motors will make its first India appearance at the Expo, and now, we can confirm that another Chinese carmaker will join Great Wall Motors at the show – FAW Haima Automobile.

Haima Automobile – founded in 1988 – is based out of Haikou City in the Hainan Province in China. The Haima name is a portmanteau word, blending the names of the Hainan province and Japanese carmaker Mazda. Haima Automobile originally sold rebadged Mazda models in China, and the company was eventually taken over by Chinese state-owned First Automobile Works, now known as the FAW Group.

Up until a few years ago, most models sold by Haima Automobile were based on aging Mazda platforms, but the Chinese carmaker is now developing its own range of SUVs, MPVs and electrified vehicles, based on the Haima Global Architecture (HMGA) platform. Earlier this year, the company unveiled the Haima 8S midsize SUV, which, in terms of dimensions, slots in between the Kia Seltos and MG Hector. Powering the 8S is a 1.6-litre T-GDI engine producing 193hp and 293Nm of torque, and it’s mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, giving the 8S a claimed 0-100kph time of under 8sec.

A few days ago, Haima Automobile also revealed a new MPV – the 7X – at the 2019 Guangzhou Auto Show in China. The Haima 7X has a Maserati-esque grille, seating for seven, and the same engine-gearbox combination as the 8S SUV. In terms of dimensions, the 7X is larger than the Toyota Innova Crysta, and is expected to come with a large touchscreen and connected car technology. Haima is also working on rolling out plug-in hybrids and strong hybrids by 2020.

At this time, there is no confirmation on which models Haima Automobile plans to display at Auto Expo 2020, but the Chinese carmaker is understood to be using the show as an opportunity to gauge interest and gain valuable feedback from the Indian audience.

Do you think the new wave of Chinese carmakers such as Great Wall Motors and Haima Automobile – encouraged by the success of MG Motor India – could make an impact on the Indian car market? Let us know in the comments.

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