The Chinese car assembler, Lifan Motors, made public its seventh model in Ethiopia, SUV X-60, at the newly built Conference Center of the African Union on May 19, 2012.
The company has already sold 60 cars in just a month according to Capital sources in the car assembling company .
Lifan Motors assembled the new version of its sport utility vehicle, SUV X-60, which it describes as effective on both gravel and asphalt roads. The 1,800 cc horse power vehicle is designed in cooperation with the British Motor manufacturer, RICARDO, and bears a resemblance to Toyota’s RAV4.
The new vehicle runs 12Km, on average, per liter of fuel on gravel and asphalt road. The performance is reduced to 10Km in urban areas jammed with traffic. It costs 530,000 birr while delivery takes three and a half months. It is equipped with an entertainment facility and dual air bags.
The new model is being built using a Variable Valve Timing (VVT) engine that controls the opening and closing time of intake valve, according to different working conditions of the engine to improve its power performance while decreasing fuel consumption, according to experts in the industry.
The company has given the new model to Mesele Mengistu, the sport commentator well known for his radio program called Egir Kuasin Beradio Temelketu, which literally translates to ‘watch football through radio’. He has been serving Lifan as a Brand Ambassador for more than a year and was previously provided with a Lifan 520 model.
Lifan assembles cars of less than 1800 CC. From its previous six models only Lifan 620 is 1,600 CC. Others including the 520, the mini cooper 320, and the minivan are 1,300 CC.
The company has three showrooms with the largest one which accommodates all the models in one central place is in Addis Ababa, on the way from Urael Church to Kazanchis. The second is located in Hawassa, the capital city of Southern Nation Nationality and Peoples region, 285Kmto south of Addis Ababa. This showroom costs the company seven million birr. The third is in Bahar Dar, Amhara Regional state, 560Km North West of Addis Ababa.
Since its formation in 2009, the automobile assembly company has assembled and delivered more than 3,000 vehicles to its clients. Lifan motors used to supply parts to Holland Car, the first automobile assembler company in Ethiopia, before opening its own assembly plant in Ethiopia.