Chinese products have had a negative connotation in India. They are usually associated with unbranded, cheap and low quality products which have next to no reliability. However, the perceptions started changing with the invasion of Chinese mobile phones which turned out to be value for money.

On the automobile front, General Motors had introduced the Chevrolet Enjoy MPV in India. The car was basically an SAIC. It was never very popular as a private vehicle but did sell some respectable numbers to the fleet operators. The perception of Chinese vehicles did change with the introduction of the MG Hector. However, the car was always introduced to the Indian public as a British brand, an I do doubt how many people actually know its Chinese. BYD electric buses are another vehicle with Chinese connection which are selling pretty well in India.

eaTaking advantage of this improving perception, Haima Automobiles, a subsidiary of the government owned FAW group is planning to showcase its cars during the up coming Auto Expo 2020. Haima started life manufacturing licensed Mazda models in China. The name is a mixture of Hainan, the city where the company is based and Mazda, the cars it built. However, now the company has started designing its own cars, SUVs and vans including electric vehicles. The two new models on offer are the 8S SUV and 7X MPV, both of which are based on the Haima Global Architecture (HMGA). Both the vehicles are powered by a 1.6 litre turbo GDI petrol engine producing 193 BHP of power and 293 N-m of torque.

The 8S is the smaller of the two being slotted between the Kia Seltos and MG Hector; while the 7X is larger than the Toyota Innova Crysta. Both the cars come with connected technology. Both the cars have typical Chinese styling, especially the toothy grin at the grille. The design of both the cars looks busy on the sides, what with several interlaced surfaces and character lines criss-crossing the doors. Headlamps are LED and the badge is a mix between those of Opel and Mazda. The company may reveal which models would be launched in India at the Auto Expo.

-with inputs from AutoCar India.