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Chinese car names at the
Shanghai Motor Show

Let's to some amateur decoding

19/04/2013 18:35 |  Comments: 


The inventor, stylist, extra-power lithium battery and the face of the mother site, Having been the founder of the title, he’s been at the magazine from the very first second. He was formerly the editor in chief, now the executive editor, opinion-former and all-time in-built entertainment center of the editorial. Always able to see things in a different light, never ceasing to find the inappropriate moment to start playing rock ballads on his electric guitar when everyone’s buried under tons of work, would be nowhere without him. Oh yes, he’s also the best-known face on TV when it comes to cars, loved and hated by the public at an equal measure. Lives with a girlfriend, has a wonderful collection of guitars, spiders and special cockroaches.


  • Toyota 4Runner 3.4 V6 (1997)
  • Mercury Cougar 5.0 V8 (1968)
  • Yamaha XJR 1300 (2008)
  • Yamaha Vino 50 (1998)
  • Yamaha Virago 'Rat Cruiser' (under development)


As typical of a long-serving automotive journalist he worked at nearly all of the major printed automotive magazines in Hungary before ending up on the internet. More of the new cartester type, he’s also an automotive engineer by profession. Although he’s the editor in chief
of the mother magazine,, he loves doubling as a photographer – we sometimes
think he made a mistake when choosing titles. Has a wife and a small daughter.

Our colleague, Tibi Papp is just roaming the exhibition pavillions at the Shanghai Motor Show full of cars manufactured for the Chinese internal market. Meanwhile Robert Winkler, another colleague of ours who has been studying Chinese for a year now tries to make sense of the Chinese characters.

The difficulty of decoding a Chinese signboard or trademark arises from the fact that sometimes it is just as problematic to even spell them out correctly as it is to identify the letters of some idiotic neon signboard written with the letters of the normal Latin alphabet. I could only interpret the last character on the second picture. This sign means “car” or any kind of vehicle in general. However everybody should know by now that the logogram of Shanghai is made up of two characters: “shang” means “up” and “hai” means “ocean”.

PS: I have just discovered that a part of the third character on the second picture has been broken off, but it still does not make sense for me, since the character (qi) could mean “steam” or “vapour”, but together with the character of “vehicle” it can stand simply for “automobile”.

A somewhat more detailed explanation arrived after this writing hit the web, and it came from one of our readers who showed the article to a Chinese friend. Please read his version below - things just get more and more interesting on the net as one digs deeper in the myths...

First one: Actually I haven't seen the first brand before. Literally the meaning is 'gathering people'. But as a brand name, just call it 'Hui Zhong' even though it might only be a pirate version of Volkswagen.
Second one: ''The Great Wall'' Car. I think the editor didn't recognize the word which stands for the brand name 'The Great Wall'. (长城)
Third one: Its pronounciation is 'Yi Qi Ao Di'. The editor is partially right since the 'Ao di' is just the Chinese translation of the brand 'Audi'. The first two characters are the abbreviation of the company brand of 'The First Motor Vehicle Manufacturer Cooperation of China'. But if you translate the literal meaning '一汽', it should be 'One Gas' which has no meaning at all. The combination of the two brands means this car is manufactured by 'The First Motor Vehicle' under authorization of Audi.
Fourth one: 'Shanghai General Motor' ('Tong Yong' is the pronunciation of 'General Motor's Chinese name). And as the previous one, it means manufactured by 'Shanghai Motor Vehicle Cooperation' under the authorization of GM.

Fifth one: 'Shanghai Volkswagen', the same as 3rd and 4th.


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