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China's iconic sedan brand Hongqi reports spike in 2018 sale

CHANGCHUN - Hongqi, a brand under China's leading automaker FAW Group, sold 33,028 cars in 2018, marking a 602-percent rise year-on-year, FAW Group said Wednesday.
The surging sales were recorded after a new Hongqi H5 model, which targets private buyers at prices between 149,000 yuan and 195,000 yuan ($21,900-28,700), was released last year.
FAW Group said it has since last year sped up the expansion of its product portfolio, introducing new Hongqi models including the first pure electric SUV Hongqi E-HS3 and luxury SUV Hongqi HS7, both scheduled to hit the market in 2019.
It has also since last year opened 104 Hongqi dealerships across China in a drive to expand their sales networks.
Hongqi, meaning "red flag," is China's iconic sedan brand. The brand was established in 1958 and has been used as the vehicle for parades at national celebrations.
The company has been actively exploring the private car market in recent years to reverse lackluster sales due mainly to a lack of new models and shops.
The company has set sales targets of 100,000 cars in 2020, 300,000 in 2025 and 500,000 in 2035, according to Xu Liuping, FAW Group board chairman.
Established in 1953 in the northeastern city of Changchun, FAW was the first automaker in China. Its other brands include Jiefang and Besturn. It also has joint ventures with carmakers such as Volkswagen and Toyota.