Changan PHL girds for 5-vehicle launch on Nov. 26

China auto brand to enter multiple segments, including EV

By Kap Maceda Aguila

A NEW distributor group and, it seems, a new mindset await the Changan brand in the Philippines.

Among China’s top four automotive marques, Changan will now be distributed by Changan Motor Philippines, Inc. (CMPI). For its initial salvo, Changan Philippines will make available five new vehicles (in different segments) beginning Nov. 26.

During the company’s online press conference last week, CMPI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, replying to a “Velocity” question, said the main differentiator of Changan from other Chinese automotive brands is its “very rich history as a company spanning 158 years — 37 of those in cars.”

The executive, who also heads Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) pointed out that last year, Changan sold a total of 1.3 million units globally, and added that quality is virtually assured because of the company’s “strong backbone in R&D (research and development).” Changan plows five percent of its annual revenue back into its R&D. “This means we want quality,” underscored Ms. Perez-Agudo, and shared that Changan now has “19 million satisfied customers” worldwide.

In a release, CMPI said that the brand has a strong presence in the Middle East, South America, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, and musters a yearly production volume of four million units. The characters “Chang” and “An” together mean “lasting safety.”

The five vehicles to be made available are:

Changan Alsvin subcompact sedan. Powered by either a 1.4-liter (for the MT) or a 1.5-liter (AT) engine, this car stretches 4.39m, and is 1.275m wide. It has a seven-inch touchscreen, powered sunroof, cruise control, blind spot aid, rear cameras, tire pressure monitoring system, dual air bags, and leather seats. It is distinguished by a so-called butterfly wing radiator grille up front.

Changan CS35 Plus subcompact SUV. Positioned as an “interactive and social SUV,” the CS35 Plus is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter mill serving up 158ps and 230Nm. It runs on 18-inch alloy wheels, and features a 10-inch touchscreen that plays both music and videos. The SUV has high-mount stop lamps and a panoramic sunroof.

Changan CS75 Plus compact SUV. Measuring 1.867m wide and with a 2.71m wheelbase, the SUV easily accommodates five passengers, and features an air-conditioning system with N95 filter. It has 60/40 split folding seats, a sporty D-shaped steering wheel, a seven-inch digital cluster, 12-inch touchscreen, and push start-stop button. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine generating 178ps and 265Nm. It has three drive modes (Eco, Normal, and Sport), a tire pressure monitoring system, and six air bags.

Changan C95 seven-seater mid-size SUV. Described by Ms. Perez-Agudo as a Changan “best-seller,” the “intelligent SUV” boasts LED headlamps and taillights, 18-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, 10-inch digital cluster, 360-degree high-definition panoramic camera, and 12.3-inch touchscreen. It is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter GDI engine. Its air-conditioning system features an N95 filter.

Changan Eado EV460 full-electric vehicle. Taking home the Model of the Year plum for pure electric vehicles at the 2018 China Green Car Annual Awards, some 90,000 units of this EV have been sold. It gets six air bags, electric stability control, leather seats, and more. The Eado EV460 will be available on indent order.

CMPI is upping the ante and getting behind its professed confidence for the brand by offering a five-year, 150,000-kilometer (km) warranty and free preventive maintenance services for the first year, or up to 20,000 kilometers. The company also asserts that “each model completed four million kilometers in test mileage plus 4,500 tests in 15 areas including strength, safety, and environment.”

Changan presently has 15 “pioneer” dealerships nationwide, with 24 soon-to-rise facilities currently operating as sales outlets. Pioneer dealerships offer complete sales and after-sales services, and genuine parts. CMPI plans to grow the network to 39 dealerships in the next few years.

Changan is also rolling out its “Vital 5” program to further push its vehicles. The five aspects of the program are: the aforementioned five-year, 150,000-km warranty; an online service appointment booking facility, and 100% assurance of maintenance parts; a Changan Fast Lane where two service technicians will do preventive maintenance work for a guaranteed 60 minutes; free towing; a 24/7 customer care hotline to technicians and the company’s parts center.

The company hasn’t released its pricing yet, but the smart bet would be on the tags being lower than average as Changan Philippines vies for its place under the sun.

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