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The new challenge of the Queen's seat designer: let the faw-hongqi nirvana

Date: 2018-11-10 13:46:57 Visits: 726

In 1961, when President Liu Shaoqi took the red flag CA72J to review the car to meet the President of Cuba, the Republics first luxury brand car began to be gradually known to the world. Todays peoples feelings about faw-hongqi are very complicated. Undoubtedly faw-hongqi is the most culturally precipitating brand of the Republics eldest son, FAW. Perhaps faw-hongqi is the only Chinese luxury car brand that is truly universally recognized. However, for a long time, faw-hongqi has not received the same level of recognition as its brand in the market except for the national leaders review and courtesy cars.

So where is the problem? In terms of technology, the platform power technology that FAW has absorbed through the joint venture is enough for faw-hongqi to develop more new models. But compared to the custom-made version of faw-hongqi, which is worth millions, the faw-hongqi for the consumer market seems to lack a clear iconic design language – one that recognizes this as a luxury brand that makes people proud. Should the future faw-hongqi be modern or elegant in design language? Is sci-fi radical or introverted? How to reflect the Chinese elements from it? There is no doubt that the creation of a design language is definitely not a simple job.

Perhaps considering the plight of the authorities, FAW has handed over this responsibility to British designer Giles Taylor.

Dare to ask Mr. Taylor about who?

- Former Rolls-Royce and former Jaguar design director enough to see?

Perhaps you will also question why Chinese national brands are designed by the British. But we also have to humbly admit: in the field of automotive design, we are really just students compared with the British. If a veteran European designer comes to China and is willing to learn more about this long-established cultural tradition of a big country, he must be able to bring a perfect new design to the Chinese car brand.

Not for money but for challenges

As early as June this year, overseas media have reported that Giles Taylor will leave the Rolls Royce. The dominance of the core figure who dominated the design trend of the Rolls-Royce brand has become a problem for overseas media to speculate.

Since it is a well-known designer who has dominated Rolls-Royce and Jaguar, then the next destination is definitely a luxury brand. Be a designer of the BMW brand? But at the beginning Taylor said that he would not only leave the Rolls Royce, but also leave the entire BMW Group. So the foreign media guessed the most is Bentley. After all, Bentley is also a British luxury brand, and like Rolls-Royce was acquired by the German BMW Group, Bentley is also a British luxury brand acquired by the German auto giant Volkswagen.

Otherwise, it must be a European luxury brand. For example, Alfa Romeo, Maserati or something. Anyway, neither the overseas media nor the Chinese media have guessed that he will go to China. In fact, he has always been relatively unfamiliar to the Chinese, because we rarely pay attention to the designers of these overseas ultra-luxury brands, after all, we are too far away.

So when it was confirmed that Taylor joined the FAW Groups faw-hongqi brand not long ago, the industry was a capitalized exclamation mark.

So many people speculated that it must be that FAW gave enough money to dig Taylor. It is true that in the proud European luxury brand car, the influence of the faw-hongqi brand in the Chinese civil market is naturally not comparable to that of Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Bentley. We cant deny the possibility that FAW will give Taylor a higher treatment, but the author through the face-to-face interview with Taylor can be sure that money is not the main reason for tempting Taylor. The real temptation comes from the desire of Westerners in the history of the Great Navigation to explore the unknown of the New World.

Once the British Empire introduced porcelain from China, the British were obsessed with this elegant instrument from the East, and also used China to call porcelain. Visiting any British aristocratic manor, you can see the Chinese porcelain in the showcase. Using exquisite porcelain to bring Chinese tea, with their unique taste plus milk and sugar, and form the habit of British afternoon tea, even the English afternoon tea used to hold the West Point is also Chinese porcelain. Therefore, the two countries separated from each other across the Eurasia, and cultural exchanges began hundreds of years ago.

Taylor had been to China before joining FAW. Hong Kong is his first stop to know China. It used to be a British colony and a communication window between Chinese and English. One of Hong Kongs most famous attractions is the Victoria Harbour, a prosperous city port named after the Queen of England. What makes Taylor unforgettable is that a traditional Chinese-style hard-boat sailed across the harbour in front of a city harbor that had been filled with modern Western skyscrapers 30 years ago. This is the impact and integration of Western and Eastern culture.

Taylor, who joined FAW and accepted the new brand design language of faw-hongqi, came to China and will undoubtedly use the time spent in China to further experience the cultural characteristics of this ancient eastern country. How to integrate Chinese traditional cultural characteristics into the car design language, but it can not be cliché, rigid, yet modern and avant-garde, which is obviously not a simple job. At this moment, Taylor may still be building this design language in his mind, and we believe he will give us enough surprises.

Why choose the faw-hongqi: because it is the representative of the Chinese car

In order to lose the "soil", in order to create a car that conforms to international aesthetics, Chinese independent brand manufacturers are willing to introduce well-known foreign auto designers. There are certainly many choices for Taylors development in China.

In China, we already have many independent brands with good development momentum. BYD, which has outstanding performance in the field of new energy, is particularly eye-catching in the market, and even has won Geely from famous foreign luxury brands. The market performance of these self-owned brands far exceeds that of faw-hongqi, and they are sure to be able to afford foreign big-name designers. Why does Taylor want to choose faw-hongqi?

Let us think about it, think about you as a designer. If you are going to a country that is far away and mysterious to you, and choose a local brand for design work, you will choose a brand that sells well in the local market, or a relatively rare but culturally rich brand. ? I believe that you already have your own choice.

As the most comprehensive car brand of the eldest son of the Republic, although the development is not smooth sailing, there are many stereotypes that are criticized. But to say which car brand can best represent the car culture of New China, it is undoubtedly faw-hongqi. At least the big-name designers like Taylor think so.

If you still have doubts about the foundation of the faw-hongqi brand, then lets review the development of faw-hongqi, maybe you will change your mind.

2faw-hongqi is the most valuable Chinese car brand

Those who have not fallen asleep in the history class should know that the first work of FAWs predecessor, Changchun First Automobile Factory, was the Jiefang truck. In 1956, the trial system was successful. On February 13, 1958, Chairman Mao visited FAW and inquired: When can I take the car we built ourselves?

So three months later, China’s first self-produced car Dongfeng brand sedan was born; six months later, China’s first premium sedan was born, this is the faw-hongqi.

Those years, faw-hongqi = Chinese car

In the days that followed, the faw-hongqi sedan was almost appointed as a national leader to review and receive the courtesy car. The first known is the faw-hongqi CA72 series.

In 1960, Faw-hongqiCA72 participated in the Leipzig International Fair in East Germany, which showed the world’s high-end car industry for the first time. President Liu Shaoqi also took the CA72J Faw-hongqi review car to meet Cuban President Osvaldo Dalticus to visit China. Premier Zhou Enlai also took the CA72J review car to welcome Zambian President Kaunda to visit China. 

Faw-hongqi then introduced the improved CA770 model, which is also used to receive foreign guests. When French President Pompidou visited China in 1973, it was the CA770Faw-hongqi sedan that received French foreign guests. Since then, the "Western camp" has also recognized this Chinese premium sedan brand.

The review version of CA770, CA770J, is also very famous. Because in 1981 after China’s reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of Chinas reform and opening up, took the Faw-hongqi CA770J type review vehicle and participated in the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army armed forces who reviewed the North China military exercises.

However, it was also in 1981, when the State Council issued a fuel-saving and power-saving directive. In the era of just getting rid of the planned economy, China’s material supply is still very limited. Saving energy is undoubtedly meaningful, especially the red flag used as an official car at that time. Because of the widespread use of the V12 engine, the fuel consumption is too high, and it has become one of the limiting targets of the fuel-saving and power-saving instructions.

Since then, the Faw-hongqi sedan has been discontinued, and it has been a stop for more than a decade.

After the comeback, the faw-hongqi brand officially faces the civilian car market.

Since the 1990s, the Chinese economy has begun to take off. Faw-hongqi, which was discontinued after more than 10 years, resumed production in 1993. At this time, reform and opening up have been more than ten years, and the planned economy has gradually transformed into a market economy. The first faw-hongqi sedan after the restoration of production was bought by Wang Wenqian, a farmer entrepreneur in Xinchang County, Zhejiang Province. It also marks that the red flag is no longer a government-specific car, but has to go to the market.

However, the suspension of production for more than a decade has also caused faw-hongqi to lose considerable R&D capabilities, and in the face of the rapid development of the auto market after the reform and opening up, the original model of faw-hongqi has certainly not adapted. So faw-hongqi chose a shortcut: relying on the backing of FAW Group, faw-hongqi first developed with the mature brand chassis technology. The first choice is the Audi 100. According to the shape and power technology of the Audi 100, faw-hongqi introduced the CA7220.

Audi 100 is a very classic model, and it is also highly recognized in China. Audis official car image is almost from the Audi 100. Therefore, faw-hongqi CA7220 has also gained certain recognition in the market.

At present, there are only two models in the faw-hongqi model: faw-hongqi H5 and faw-hongqi H7. Unlike the numerical order, H7 has been around for a long time since H5, specifically in 2013. Similar to the CA7220, it is also the chassis of a mature joint venture brand. Specifically, it is the fifth generation crown of Toyota and FAW. The earlier HQ3 is the fourth generation crown. However, in terms of power, the 1.8T and 2.0T and 3.0L V6 engines independently developed by FAW are used.

The newly launched faw-hongqi H5 this year is based on the Mazda Artz chassis. However, the same as the H7, the engine uses a turbocharged power developed by FAW. Appearance also has a certain degree of recognition belonging to faw-hongqi. However, frankly, whether it is faw-hongqi H5 or faw-hongqi H7, their market performance is not worthy of their brand value.

Market representation cannot deny its brand value

Faw-hongqi H7 The price of 25.88-32.58 million in the German-style "ABB" luxury car, which has already entered the range of 200,000-300,000 yuan, has no advantage. The monthly sales are less than one thousand, not to mention, let alone Compared with the tens of thousands of Audi A6L models.

The starting price of Faw-hongqi H5 14.98 million is much more than the grounding price, and it should be worthy of the value of the Faw-hongqi brand. However, the monthly sales of Faw-hongqi H5 is only 2,000 units, which is far from being a good result. Obviously, in terms of market recognition, Faw-hongqi is not doing well enough.

On sales, GAC, Geely, Great Wall, etc., Faw-hongqi is not an opponent; some people say that Faw-hongqi is not advancing in research and development because of the status of the eldest son of the FAW Republic, only considering the use of the government and not fully researching the market. Hey, this article does not comment on the right or wrong of these negative evaluations, but objectively said that these people have some bad stereotypes about the Red Flag brand. But all this cant deny the value of the brand.

When Jeremy Clarkson, the famous British car show host, came to China to record the new program of The Grand Tour this year, he did not choose the performance of the BYD Tang DM, or the market performance of the WEY, but A multi-million Faw-hongqi L5. why? This is because in the eyes of the world, Faw-hongqi is the most representative Chinese car.

During the US-Soviet Cold War, where information was blocked, the only Chinese model that foreigners could see on the blurred black-and-white TV was the faw-hongqi who was busy receiving foreign guests. When foreigners look at Chinas powerful latest weapons and equipment in the military parade, they can see the faw-hongqi review car carrying the national leadership. Therefore, on the brand value, we can boldly say that there are no other car brands in China that can be compared with faw-hongqi.

This is why Giles Taylor chose faw-hongqi. At the same time, faw-hongqi needs such a senior designer: faw-hongqi still needs better market performance. Nowadays, power, technology, and workmanship have all gone up, and the price has come down. So if sales are not ideal, the reason is probably the lack of a good enough family-style design language. Can Mr. Taylor bring a new brand design language?

3Create a new design language for the faw-hongqi
5 million customized version of faw-hongqi will not become Rolls Royce

Giles Taylor came to faw-hongqi, so will the future faw-hongqi be longer like Rolls-Royce or Jaguar?

On the contrary, this is the least likely thing to happen. It is also the first possibility that Mr. Taylor denied. The appearance of other brands in the cottage is something that is not self-confident automakers. Most of Chinas independent brand manufacturers have already stepped out of this stage, not to mention the faw-hongqi that is over half a year. Famous designers like Taylor will not even slap their signatures.

Even to a certain extent, the established design language of the European brand has limited the designers space to play, so that they want to go to the emerging car market to find opportunities to play their true talents.

A good example is the Porsche 911 series. It is undeniable that the design of 911 is very mature and recognized by the world. After so many years, from the era of air-cooled engines to the era of water-cooled engines, the 911 model has changed its iteration, but its unique shape never changes, but it never goes out of style. Everyone loves Porsche, but if you are a Porsche designer, you probably wont think so.

The designers of 911 can only rack their brains to create their own little personality in the small lines and lighting of the body, but it is never possible to create a new design language for 911. This design language was decided by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche as early as 1964.

So it is not difficult to imagine why the former Audi designer Peter Hillel will join Kia and bring him the famous "Tiger-style" front face, which has established the design language of the entire Kia family. BYD moved to Wolfgang Eiger, who also played for Audi, and brought the Dragon Face design language to BYD, which completely changed the BYD model.

What Giles Taylor will bring to faw-hongqi will naturally lead to peoples delusions.

A new design language will be remembered by the world

Compared to many European designers who were tied to the "family style" left by the predecessors, Giles Taylor was lucky.

The design language of the new Jaguar was reshaped during Taylors joining Jaguar. Jaguar has been adhering to the "four-eyes" design for decades, and finally the end of Taylors generation of designers. He and another famous Jaguar Land Rover group, formerly Fords famous designer Ian Callum, brought a new generation of Jaguar XJ in 2008. The shape of the traditional British old-fashioned sedan and the four-headed design were completely abandoned, followed by the coupe-style lines and the headlight design as the cats glare.

This was a subversive design for Jaguar at the time and continued to this day.

Perhaps because Karen’s light in Jaguar has overshadowed Taylor too much, or because he appreciates the traditional British design style, Taylor then left Jaguar to join BMW’s British luxury brand Rolls Royce as design director. While in Rolls-Royce, the Rolls-Royce design language can be said to have no major changes, and the domineering square front grille is still its signature feature. Even Curry South, the first SUV model of Rolls-Royce, which Taylor had finally fought, still inherits the traditional Rolls-Royce style.

The only one that reflects Taylors personal design style is the limited edition of the Sweptail. Huiyings iconic inverted triangle tail line is unforgettable. It is undoubtedly the most individual Rolls-Royce in recent years. Those who can own this car are undoubtedly lucky.

From the perspective of the unique Huiying, I think Taylor is very eager to have a platform that can really play his own design talent. This platform, even if it is more famous than Rolls-Royce, cant give him. He cant make a big difference in the production car, and the limited edition model is too high and low. So it is not difficult to imagine why Taylor is willing to give up the Rolls-Royce platform and choose faw-hongqi - because this stage is more extensive. Taylor personally said that the first model he most wants to fencing is the future Faw-hongqi L5.

For the new design language, faw-hongqi has already set a goal: the new faw-hongqi will highlight the concept of “new high”, “new exquisiteness” and “new feelings”, bringing Chinese excellent culture and world advanced culture, modern fashion design and frontier. Deep integration of science and technology and fine emotional experience to create superior products and services.

More streamlined understanding is to combine Chinese traditional culture with foreign leading automotive design culture. In this context, it is the best choice for a senior foreign designer with an ambition and unique insight into Chinese culture, rather than simply and vulgarly thinking that “foreign designer” is in line with the trend.

With Mr. Taylor’s travel time in China, his great Eastern powers are gradually taking shape. It is believed that under the leadership of Taylor, the Sino-European joint design team centered on Munich, Germany, will give us a satisfactory answer in the future.

In the future, when we see faw-hongqi, we will see the iconic faw-hongqi language at a glance, just like the BMW of the kidneys and the Audi of the big mouth design. At that time, the brand faw-hongqi can be regarded as the true completion of the phoenix nirvana.

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