Some new symbol of China's preeminence in the global automotive sphere seems to emerge every day.
In 1958, the country's FAW Group built the first Hongqi for Mao Zedong. With its distinctive red-fin hood ornament and 1950s styling, the car was long viewed as China's Rolls-Royce knockoff. Now, FAW is tapping Rolls-Royce's former design chief to design models for Hongqi, also called Red Flag, the English translation.
Giles Taylor, who helped create the seventh-generation Phantom and the Cullinan SUV for Rolls, will lead Red Flag's design team out of Munich.
He left his post as Rolls' director of design this year.
FAW Group aims to boost sales of Red Flag brand vehicles to about 300,000 a year.
At the Beijing auto show in April, Red Flag presented a sleek, two-door electric car concept called E-Jing GT. The symbolically important brand used by elite Chinese government officials is rolling out more models, including the H5 midsize sedan.