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My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct 9: China: what do their leaders drive?

China. What do their leaders drive? Now, that's a very good question, but since they are probably always being driven, a moot point. But hey, that won't stop us from looking at what constitutes their 'long black limousines". Every leader of every country has to make an impression on their citizens. Small countries, with no auto manufacturing, tend towards one of the big three German luxury brands, with most going with a Mercedes. But some countries, like the People's Republic of China, are big enough to whip up a few specials for their dear leaders. Specials like this Red Flag L5 limo by Hongqi........

Some of the styling cues go way back to the '50's, like that front end, while others mimic the current Rolls Phantom. Regardless, this car stands out. Notice something unusual, better seen in this pic below?

If you said the row of microphones in front of the big guy, then you win a free trip to the next big parade. Not sure why they are there, but they seem to have been a feature for many years.......

As you can see, this older Red Flag limo also has them, but only three, so obviously the new leaders have a little more to say or a few more people to say it to. This must be the case, as the oldest Red Flag's don't feature any.......

And notice that this is a cabrio limo. We don't seem to chop the top of our big presidential limos in North America, but this pic was taken in a different time and in a very different country.

The leaders' car of choice has recently been shown with this Rolls type grille, but with no indication of how many microphones it will come with.

By the way, Hongqi is not exactly a huge car manufacturer, having built only 2772 cars in 2014. This makes them the 72nd largest car maker in the republic. Obviously, just cars for the top guns, so I guess there must 2772 of them.

The design of these cars have not always been right up to date........

......with some of the older ones being a touch derivative. Seems strange to use that as a critique, since so many cars today, regardless of who makes them are a "touch" derivative, as well. That red corner flag must be standard equipment.

But if the Chinese officials don't rate a Red Flag limo, then what other car might work? How about an Audi knock off? Available in a variety of models, this car is actually the old Audi 5000, built under licence, but with a slightly different front end and in one case it has been lengthened.


Not a bad alternative to the big guy's L5.

And if home grown is not your thing, then what about a new Audi A6? You can see from this pic, that the Audi is the car of choice among the lesser officials, who appreciate German cars and German quality and if their Audi is a diesel, then they must also appreciate the low emissions. Oops, I guess since it's an Audi that's, not exactly the case, but with all the pollution in China, would anyone notice?

Recently Geely has stepped into the upper echelon politico market and shown their new Emgrand GE limo. Impressive looking, but with a very unusual feature.

The concepts (there have been two), have both had only one seat in the back (a throne the The Donald?). Unusual even for a Chinese car and there have been plenty of unusual cars from that country. The first concept in 2010 mimicked a Rolls Royce. Held up for ridicule, this was redesigned to look more like a Mercedes, but an all together more attractive look.

But being a mere citizen of this huge country, one of these up market rides is beyond your wildest dreams and besides, you have no political aspirations. But there is a way that, you too can possess the unattainable.

Yes, folks, a nice 1/24th scale model kit of the Red Flag limo, complete with the microphones and the corner flags. No word on whether a great leader is included and if so, which one.

China. So now you have the answer to that nagging question, of what do their leaders drive. Glad I could be of service.

Until next time.....

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