Chairman Mao’s favoured carmaker enters Europe with EVs in Norway

Chairman Mao Zedong’s favoured car brand, Hongqi, or Red Flag, is exporting China-made electric sport-utility vehicles to Norway, as Chinese car companies expand globally.

In a statement late on Thursday, Hongqi said it had received 500 orders for its cars in Norway, where it said there were environmentally friendly policies and good infrastructure for electric vehicles.

In China, the world’s biggest car market, Hongqi’s sales have grown in recent years thanks to the launch of more models and an expanded sales network.

Regarded as a cultural symbol of China’s ruling Communist Party, Hongqi in 2018 hired former Rolls-Royce designer Giles Taylor, whose works include Rolls-Royce’s Phantom VIII limousine and the brand’s first sport-utility vehicle model the Cullinan, to head its design team in Munich.

China’s electric carmakers, including Nio Inc (NIO.N), Xpeng Inc (9868.HK) and BYD (002594.SZ), are looking to capture European market share as the continent transitions to greener energy.