Hongqi has beefed up its presence in the UAE car market amid a blaze of colour and noise.
In a gala event on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi this week, the Chinese manufacturer showed off the five models available in the region amid flashing lights, strident music and billowing dry ice.
The range includes sedans (the H5, Ousado and H9), an SUV (the HS5) and an electric vehicle (the E-HS9).
Hongqi is not a new brand to the UAE (The National has already reviewed the H9), but the event was organised to showcase the new partnership between the manufacturer and Saudi Arabia’s Altawkilat for distribution rights in the UAE.
Hongqi styles itself as a luxury automotive brand, and, at first glance, the vehicles seem to be making a fair fist of taking on more established models and brands in that sphere.
Looks-wise, the sedans are all comparable to high-end models from brands such as Mercedes or Audi, and the SUVs have a distinctly modern air — particularly the fiercely front-grilled E-HS9 (Dubai Police already has one of these in its automotive arsenal).
The cars have all been created around the design concept of “new nobility and exquisiteness”.
Hongqi made its first appearance in China in 1958, which makes it the country’s oldest car marque.
Originally, the vehicles the manufacturer created were built for domestic VIPs, but in recent years, the firm has been seeking a wider audience.
In the UAE, the brand is up and running, and already has a showroom in Abu Dhabi.
Price-wise, the H5 starts at Dh81,900, the Ousado and HS5 are both Dh109,000, the H9 Dh228,900, with the E-HS9 topping out at Dh320,900.