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Chinese auto show opens in Belgium
29/4/2006 9:31

Five Chinese auto brands, which have become household names in China for their popular low-cost sedan cars, showed off their ten newest models in a European debut in Antwerp yesterday.

The show of the five brands, namely Hafei, Changfeng, Dongnan, Xiali and Changhe, were sponsored by Cardoen group, a Belgian car dealer specialized in selling a wide ranges of brands in the West European market.

Cardoen plans to have the cars on a rotating tour in ten separate business halls in Belgium and the Netherlands, three days for every hall. The company estimates that over 500 visitors will come to see or have a test drive for themselves each day.

However, these cars cannot be driven out onto European expressways because they have not yet gone through the testing and qualification procedures required by the European Union.

"We are in the process of doing that," said Tony Nai, Cardoen's chief representative for the Chinese market.

Nai said the company would collect opinions and complaints from visitors of these cars, and then send them back to China.

"They will make necessary alterations and improvements of the cars in accordance with these opinions," he said.

Nai said Cardoen hopes that these cars could be sold in the European market "as late as 2008".

This was the third time for Chinese auto companies to make a presence of their products in the European market. The first time was in July 2005 when 200 Landwind SUVs were sold in Belgium. Two months later, three Chinese domestic brands made a joint show at a car expo in Frankfurt of Germany.