The Big Car Database

Changan

Changan Automobile (Group) Co Ltd is a Chinese automobile manufacturer headquartered in Chongqing, China, and a state-owned enterprise. 

Its production is primarily composed of no-frills passenger cars and microvans, small trucks and vans for commercial use.

Considered to be one of the "Big Four" Chinese automakers, manufacture of 1.9 million units in 2012 saw the company rank fourth among China's largest automakers by production volume. The company is also known as Chana. A subsidiary, Chongqing Changan Automobile Company (SZSE: 000625), is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (but, as of 2007, is also state controlled). Foreign automakers that have joined joint ventures with Chang'an include Ford, Suzuki, and PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Type

State-owned
Industry Automotive
Founded 1862
Headquarters Chongqing, People's Republic of China
Products Motor vehicles
Subsidiaries Changan UK R&D Centre Ltd.
Hafei Motor
Website Changan.com.cn

History

Chang'an claims its early origins can be traced back to 1862 when Li Hongzhang set up the Shanghai Foreign Gun Bureau. How this company and today's Chang'an are linked is not clear, but the firm may be alluding to the fact that, like this famous historical figure, it seeks Western techniques to achieve its goals.

In the late 1950s a predecessor company, Chang'an Factory, assembled a jeep sold under the brand name Yangtze River. By the end of the 1980s, the company was producing pint-sized trucks and vans for commercial purposes.

In 2009, Chang'an acquired two smaller domestic automakers, Hafei and Changhe. In 2013, Changhe was transferred to Jiangxi provincial government for restructuring, and later became a majority-owned subsidiary of another Chinese automaker BAIC.

As of 2010, China Weaponry Equipment is the parent company of this state-owned automaker, and that year Chang'an became the fourth most-productive car manufacturer in the Chinese automobile industry by selling 2.38 million units.

The company also released a new logo for its consumer offerings in 2010 while commercial production retains the former red-arch brand.

Although it only allowed the company to achieve fourth place among domestic automakers in terms of production, Chang'an made over 2 million whole vehicles in 2011.

In 2012, it was reported that 72% of production was dedicated to passenger vehicles, but this count likely conflates private offerings and microvans, tiny commercial trucks and vans that are popular in China.

In November 2012, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile was divided into two new joint venture companies: Changan Ford and Changan Mazda.

Joint ventures

Like most major Chinese automakers, Chang'an partners with Western and Japanese companies to produce and sell the products of these foreign firms in China. Chang'an currently participates in the following joint ventures: Changan Suzuki (1993–present), Changan Ford (2001–present), Chang'an Ford Mazda Engine (2005–present), Changan PSA or CAPSA (2010–present), and Changan Mazda (2012–present).

Chang'an also has at least one joint venture with an indigenous partner. Jiangxi Jiangling Co Ltd (2004–present) is a JV with Chinese Jiangling Motors, which designs, develops, manufactures, and sells SUVs sold under the Landwind marque.

Changan Suzuki

Technical and commercial cooperation with Suzuki Motors, beginning in 1983, saw Chang'an assembling inexpensive commercial trucks (originally the Suzuki Carry ST90) under license into the 2000s. The two companies formed Chongqing Chang'an Suzuki Automobile Co in 1993, which built licensed versions of theSuzuki Alto, Suzuki Cultus, and more recently the Swift.

In parallel with its Suzuki joint venture, Chang'an also continued to build small trucks and vans for commercial use based on the 1999 Suzuki Carry license, but independently developed vehicles are quickly replacing them. These small cars carry the Chang'an brand name although Suzuki technology is used in their design and manufacture.

In 2010, Chang'an was supposed to merge its Suzuki joint venture with that of Changhe, another automaker that participates in a project with the Japanese company. This plan, supported by Suzuki, did not see fruition, and this Japanese company may currently be unhappy with its Chinese partners. Despite being an early entrant in the Chinese auto market, it has lackluster sales in the country. Suzuki's efforts to change the situation by merging its two joint ventures—since Chinese business law does not allow any foreign company more than two—have so far been stymied by its Chinese partners, who instead hope Suzuki will improve their situation. The Chinese State may also not want new foreign-Chinese joint auto-making ventures at this time. An effort to sell the entire Suzuki model range at unified dealerships fell through in 2008. (This may have been tried again in 2010.)

Changan Ford

In 2001, Chang'an Ford was formed and initially built Ford-branded passenger vehicles from complete knock down kits.

Making Chinese-market versions of Ford consumer offerings, its 2010 dealer network was thought to include many showrooms in second- and third-tier Chinese cities such as Chongqing. So-called second- and third-tier cities are large and medium-sized cities not among the top four in terms of population and contribution to GDP.

Changan PSA

Chang'an and the French car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën agreed in 2010 to set up a 50/50 passenger car and light commercial vehicle-making joint venture. Named CAPSA, it is the PSA Group's second joint venture company in China, after Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile, and its first with Chang'an.Centering on a newly built production base in Shenzhen, it is estimated that initial production capacity for the project will be 200,000 units/year.

Manufacturing commenced in 2014, with China specific Citroën DS models; the DS 5LS first and then the DS 6WR.

Products

Changan designs, develops, manufactures, and sells passenger cars sold under the Changan brand and commercial vehicles sold under the Chana brand.

Current models

The Changan range currently includes the following models:

  • Alsvin
  • Benni
  • CX20
  • CX30
  • Eado
  • Eado EV (electric vehicle)
  • Raeton
  • Z-Shine
  • CS35
  • CS75

The Chana range currently includes the following models:

  • CM8
  • Eulove
  • Honor
  • Ruixing
  • Star
  • Taurustar
  • Zunxing

Electric vehicles

After six years of R&D, Chang'an debuted a hybrid automobile in 2007. China subsidizes oil, an incentive for the use and manufacture of electric cars, and Chinese automakers see opportunities in less mature electric vehicles because Western companies have yet to develop much of a lead in the technology.

Production and research facilities

Domestic

Chang'an has four major production bases (in the City of Chongqing, Hebei province, Jiangsu province, and Jiangxi province), eleven automobile production bases, and two engine production bases in mainland China for a more-current total of 21 vehicle-making bases including newer sites in Anhui province, Guangdong province, Heilongjiang province, Shandong province, and Shanxi province.

Anhui

A planned 300,000 units/year capacity mini-vehicle production base in Hefei, Anhui province, should see completion in 2011. Production capacity figures may consider engines and vehicles as discrete.

Beijing

An existing R&D center in Beijing will soon be joined by a passenger car production base in Fangshan District, Beijing, which will become operational in 2012.

Chongqing

Chang'an has numerous sites in the city of Chongqing. A Chang'an-Ford plant and another, planned Chang'an-Ford plant (which may produce engines) are joined by a Chongqing-based R&D centerand an industrial park in Yubei, Chongqing.

Hebei

An industrial park in Hebei province may continue to be Chang'an controlled.

Heilongjiang

A Harbin, Heilongjiang province, R&D center, is now a Chang'an asset. It may have been owned by Hafei prior.

Jiangsu

A Chang'an-Ford plant and an industrial park in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, may comprise Chang'an operations in this province.

Jiangxi

A planned Chang'an commercial vehicle production base in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, will produce JMC and Ford-branded vehicles and join an R&D center as a second facility in this province. The latter facility may be a former Changhe asset.

Shanghai

Chang'an has an R&D center in this coastal city.

International

The company maintains four factories in international markets and several overseas R&D centers. Chang'an had an assembly plant in Poteau, Oklahoma, piecing together products sold under the Tiger Truck brand from 2007 to 2010.

R&D centers

Possessing valuable IP, some R&D facilities are more valuable if located in secure, overseas locations. Chang'an has R&D centers in Turin, Italy, and Yokohama, Japan. It set up two more in 2011. These are located in Nottingham, England, and Detroit, MI, US. The Detroit center opened in early 2011, and the Nottingham facility is still in operation as of 2013.