Li Nian logo.
Honda has releasd the first taste of its new budget brand with the unveiling of an unnamed hatchback concept at the 2008 Beijing Motor Show.
The new brand is designed along the lines of Toyota’s Scion sub-brand and will be testing the waters in emerging markets such as China and India before launching in more established markets.
Honda is yet to pick an official name of the new brand but it’s currently carrying the title "Li Nian".
The sub-brand will be characterized as a separate division of Honda, similar to Acura, but at the cheaper end of the automotive spectrum, reports AutoWeek.
Li Nian’s first production car will be based on the sporty hatchback concept, according to officials, and will be produced in China with Honda’s local partner Guangzhou Motors around 2010.
It will be based on the same platform used for the current Honda Fit (Jazz) and will feature an efficient 1.8L petrol engine. Guangzhou currently builds Odyssey, Accord and Fit models for the local Chinese market, although a number of Fit cars are exported to Europe, and quality of the vehicles are said to be comparable with those coming out of Honda’s Japanese plants.
(source: All World Cars)
Li Nian roughly translates to English as "idea" and is based on Guangzhou Honda's desire to create a new brand by Chinese and for China. Li Nian hopes to pursue lofty ideals with a challenging spirit, or an affordable car with dynamics and stylishness.
The Li Nian Concept was designed entirely by Guangzhou Honda Automobile Research & Development, and even though Honda HQ in Japan is supporting the effort, Guangzhou Honda will take all initiatives and eventually sell the new brand through their existing dealer network.
As a final note, Li Nian is the pronunciation of the Chinese brand name; therefore, it will not appear on any product and is included here for reference only.
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