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Description

FAW Group Corporation is a Chinese state-owned automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Changchun, Jilin, China. Its principal products are automobiles, buses, light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, and auto parts. FAW became China's first automobile manufacturer when it unveiled the nation's first domestically produced passenger car, the Hong Qi, in 1958.

FAW is one of the "Big Four" Chinese automakers alongside Changan Automobile, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, and SAIC Motor. In 2014, the company ranked third in terms of output, producing 2.7 million vehicles.

The company has three publicly traded subsidiaries: FAW Car Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 000800), Tianjin FAW Xiali Automobile Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 000927), and Changchun FAWAY Automobile Components Co., Ltd.

History

In 1953 (the first year of the first five-year plan), First Automobile Works broke ground on its first factory, although it didn't produce its first product, the 4-ton Jie Fang CA-10 truck (based on the Russian ZIS-150), until 1956.

Soviet Russia lent assistance during these early years providing technical support, tooling, and production machinery. Before its first factory opened, 39 Chinese FAW employees traveled to the Stalin Truck Factory for instruction in truck production. Operations were conducted in the Soviet mold, and Russia is even credited with choosing Changchun as the location for the first FAW vehicle-manufacturing facility. The city boasted an industrial base left over from Japanese occupation and, situated in northeastern China, is near Russia.

First Automobile Works initially made only commercial trucks, but started producing passenger cars in 1958. These vehicles, the Hong Qi luxury sedans, were the first domestically produced Chinese automobiles. Primarily for the party elite, the design changed little over their thirty-year production run. Following this, FAW's Audi products are the traditionally favored choice for ranking Chinese state officials. These Audis are, alongside Beijing Benz Mercedes Benzes some of the only Western luxury cars to have gained popularity in the Chinese market.

In 1992, the name First Automobile Works was changed to China FAW Group Corporation.

Though FAW was the fourth Chinese automaker to take on Western partners, its early joint venture with Volkswagen in 1990 saw it become the second Chinese auto company to develop a strong cooperative relationship with a foreign counterpart. SAIC was the first, in 1984 and also with VW. Other, failed foreign-Chinese joint ventures preceding FAW-VW are what is now Beijing Benz (with US partner AMC) and the failed Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile Company.

Volkswagen was the first foreign partner for FAW, but others soon followed. The company acquired 50% ownership of Tianjin Automotive Xiali in September, 2002, and renamed the brand FAW Tianjin. As a result, FAW ended up with Toyota as a foreign joint venture partner. FAW established a joint venture with General Motors in 2009 and has joint ventures with a handful of other foreign companies as well.

The company produced more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2008, and in 2009 it was the largest machinery corporation and the second largest auto manufacturer in China. In 2010, the 2.56 million units sold made it the third most-productive vehicle maker in China that year, and one of its offerings, the FAW Xiali, was the 7th most-purchased car in China in 2010. It produced 2.6 million vehicles in 2011, the third-largest output of any China-based company. While it retained its third place rank, the number of whole vehicles produced in 2012 slowed to 2.3 million. Passenger cars made up a relatively scant 64% of total production that year.

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