China’s FAW Group and EV startup Byton have revealed plans to revive Hongqi, a brand best known as building the car used by Chairman Mao Zedong some 60 years ago.
Chinese for ‘Red Flag’, Hongqi models were first built by FAW Group in 1958 and the state-owned company commenced efforts to revive the brand when Xu Liuping took over as chairman, according to Bloomberg.
Xu wants Red Flag’s sales to increase 100 times to roughly 300,000 units annually by 2025. The plan would also see the automaker create a spiritual successor to the CA770, the limousine used by Chairman Mao Zedong.
Byton burst onto the Western stage at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show with the unveiling of an all-electric SUV. Outfitted with a 201 HP electric motor driving the front wheels and a 268 HP one driving the rear axle, the Byton will be offered with either a 71 or a 95 kWh battery pack.
Combining its expertise in electrification with the resources of FAW, Byton co-founder Daniel Kirchert says he is confident that Red Flag can be revived to its former glory.
“Red Flag is a good brand in the world with profound heritage. We have advantage in the field of electrification and FAW have abundant resources as well,” he said.
While working with FAW, Byton will continue to move forward with its production plans for the SUV. This will see sales of the model start in 2019 for the Chinese market, and 2020 for Europe and the United States.