Honqi: China’s first car brand enters the Philippine market

Honqi is a Chinese car brand that was formally introduced to the Philippine market a couple of weeks ago. The brand has a long and prestigious history, dating back to 1958, when it was first launched as the official vehicle of China’s state leaders. The first mass produced model was called CA72, but the CA77 was the most popular since it was what drove Chairman Mao around. Honqi is a sacred badge for Chinese automakers as it was “consecrated” to be the vehicle of China’s top leaders.

Honqi is produced by First Automobile Works (FAW), founded in 1953, which is one of the biggest carmakers in China. FAW has formed numerous automotive joint ventures with Japanese and European badges. It is also one of the pioneers and movers of China’s pivot to electric vehicles (EVs) that is intended to be completed by 2035, and the removal of all internal combustion engines (ICEs) from China by 2050.

Honqi: China’s first car brand enters the Philippine market
Honqi: China’s first car brand enters the Philippine market

Honqi Philippines: A new player in the luxury segment

Honqi Philippines was brought into the country by Delgado family, a transport and logistics company that has been doing business in the Philippines for almost a hundred years. Ironically, the Delgados own Delbros, the courier/logistics company that used to deliver passports with approved US visas to successful visa applicants.

Rashid Delgado, president of EVOxTerra, distributor of Honqi in the Philippines, said they are bringing in both ICE and EV versions of their cars into the Philippines. Both types, he said, are aimed at catering to the tastes of most auto buyers in the country.

The showroom of Honqi Philippines is located in the high class area of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and covers some 1,000 square meters of space. The launch was pretty impressive with a marching band and uniformed people introducing the cars as it paraded along the streets of BGC. It was reminiscent of a Chinese military parade, but that is not a surprise.

Honqi’s vision for the future of mobility

Rashid Delgado told us during an interview that the whole idea of owning cars and the lifestyle that goes with it will be revamped, totally changed by the spread of EVs. For starters, Rashid believes that the traditional gas station model of getting fuel or topping up vehicles may well disappear or shrink because of the electric vehicle. And he thinks this is why traditional oil companies are fighting the electrification of cars really hard.

He said, if we think about it, cars are used only about 3 to 4 hours a day or a distance of no more than 70 kilometers daily. The rest of the time, they are parked somewhere, either at home or at work. With EVs, he said, we can charge them at home or at work, or at any public charging station that will be more accessible and convenient than gas stations. He also said that EVs will have lower maintenance costs and longer lifespans than ICEs.

Rashid also shared his vision for a more sustainable and smart mobility system that will integrate EVs with other modes of transportation, such as public transit, ride-hailing, bike-sharing, and even flying taxis. He said that Honqi is not just a car brand, but a mobility solution provider that will offer different options for different needs and preferences. He said that Honqi will leverage its expertise in artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and internet of things to create a seamless and personalized mobility experience for its customers.

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