North Korea 2013: Hawtai Lusheng E70 best-seller?

Hawtai Lusheng E70 North Korea December 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnHawtai Lusheng E70

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A couple of days ago, Chinese websites Autohome and Carnewschina reported that Hawtai Motor have just exported 300 Hawtai Lusheng E70 taxis to North Korea. Carnewschina says “the taxis will be deployed in the the North Korean capital Pyongyang. The vehicles were handed over to a North Korean state-owned company during a festive ceremony near the Chinese-North Korean border and will be shipped to Pyongyang by train.”

Hawtai Lusheng E70 North Korea December 2013b. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnHawtai Lusheng E70

Given how limited the North Korean new car market is, this could well push the Hawtai Lusheng to #1 best-seller in 2013 in the country. Unofficially of course. But wait there’s more: Carnewschina reports “the taxi deal is part of a much larger agreement for a total of 1000 cars, including SUV’s and sedans.” This means 2014 could be the year of Hawtai in North Korea. As a brand Hawtai has been relatively active on the export front lately, with Chinese automotive media listing the following destination countries:  Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Russia, Iran, Egypt and Angola. The Hawtai Lu Sheng E70 was launched in China March, with prices between 67.900 and 89.700 yuan (USD11.200-14.800).

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