List: Top 10 Amazing Moments in Chinese Automaker Websites

By Seyth Miersma

September 22, 2009

Great

Great Wall Motors’ Wallpapers: Downloadable “wallpapers” from any automaker can be a bit on the strange side, but GWM really has a couple of special examples. We don’t know what the Hover model is per se, but we do get the impression that it isn’t scared of bats. Check out the rest here. Another interesting, though less visually funny note about GWM, is the pop-up “Declaration” it has attached to the main page of its site. It seems that Great Wall is a little peeved about a group of unscrupulous individuals (“illegal persons”) using its name without permission in The Republic of Benin in West Africa. A fairly high-minded complaint about intellectual property rights from a company that sells models that look suspiciously like Fiat’s Panda, and Scion’s xB. Glass houses and all that.

The

The BYD F0 Microsite: Soldiers, dead and naked angels, a sappy love song called (we’re guessing), “Love Has It All,” BYD’s minisite for it’s F0 city car is truly a wonder for the digital age. We have no idea what’s going on here, we’ll confess, but the F0 site allows for users to select between any number Dali-esque sub menus featuring the car. The imagery is as rich as it is impenetrable, and a nearly limitless selection of tiny pop-up menus can keep a bored office worker entertained for hours. The F0 certainly is, “Just Cool.” Try to find each of these items on our F0 impromptu scavenger hunt: A Beatles song, a bunch of tulips, a comic book car crash, and a six-pack of giant bullets. Good luck.

The

The BYD F0 Microsite: Soldiers, dead and naked angels, a sappy love song called (we’re guessing), “Love Has It All,” BYD’s minisite for it’s F0 city car is truly a wonder for the digital age. We have no idea what’s going on here, we’ll confess, but the F0 site allows for users to select between any number Dali-esque sub menus featuring the car. The imagery is as rich as it is impenetrable, and a nearly limitless selection of tiny pop-up menus can keep a bored office worker entertained for hours. The F0 certainly is, “Just Cool.” Try to find each of these items on our F0 impromptu scavenger hunt: A Beatles song, a bunch of tulips, a comic book car crash, and a six-pack of giant bullets. Good luck.

Chang

Chang Feng Motors Quiz: This multiple-choice quiz, found in the Auto Spare Parts section of Chang Feng’s Product site, is a riddle fit for the Sphinx. (Hint: when in doubt always answer, “The automobile Liebao I0 make your life energy.”)

Geely

Geely “Excellent Accessories” Catalog: Geely’s website features an interesting virtual catalog that users can page through, ostensibly to decide on just the perfect way to outfit their FC, MK2, or other Geely whip. Inside the catalog you’ll be happy to find a treasure chest of mis-translations and culturally oriented mysteries that we can’t claim to understand, but can’t help but love. Among our favorites are the options to pick a Commonly Place Mat or a High Quality Place Mat, the Healthy Neck Pillow, the dangerously useful Steering Wheel Table, and more. Click through the link above to check out the full catalog, and send along your best guess at what a Transparent Self-Rescuer might be, please.

Chery

Chery “Can Not Dull” Game: A Flash-based game that will confuse and entertain for at least 90 seconds, Chery’s "Can Not Dull" asked you to pilot a random selection of objects (football helmet, orange half, top hat, etc) out of the path of a murderous, and rather quick Chery MPV of some sort. High scores for originality and wonkiness of title (what the hell does Can Not Dull mean?), low scores for actual gameplay.

The

The Hafei Saibao Product Page: Hafei presents its sensible Saibao sedan to the world in a way that would not be out of place in an American add for feminine sanitary products. Taglines include, “Fresh, natural, your first choice,” “Green health with you all life,” and of course, “Chose Hafei saibao, your dream will come ture [sic].” Classic.

JAC

JAC Motors Promo Videos: Inspiring, seriously scored, badly translated videos about light and medium duty trucks driving through ridiculous conditions of all types. A love of trucks clearly connects Chinese and American culture.

Lifan

Lifan Culture: Some highlights from Lifan’s extended statement of company culture, pure gold: * Pure gold fears no fire. * It is careful to be of high quality,it is half-hearted that quality is poor. * If one does not work hard,he is not Lifan people; If unhappy and well rewarded, who wants to be Lifan people? * Lifan’s deadly enemy is itself if Lifan disappoints itself. * No Famous Brand,our motorcycles are just like a pile of scrap iron. * HONDA and YAMAHA run around,what should LIFAN people do? * There are 3 ways to gain profits; to monopolize we have no seat; to speculate is out of beat; to stick on R&D, we shall have our meat. * Career in lifan, Insurance for one.

SouEast

SouEast Montage: This one’s got a little bit for everyone. A Pac-Man rip-off with awesome sound effects. A sweet collection of video’s, including this one of the world’s single most badass off-roading minivan the Delica. And, well, more pictures of that awesome Delica. Enter with the risk of never leaving again.

Great The The Chang Geely Chery The JAC Lifan SouEast

As well as being rich repositories of unintentional humor, bad translation, and bizarre imagery, sometimes the websites maintained by Chinese automakers offer a freshness of perspective that just can’t be duplicated by our own domestic companies. Perhaps because they’re not jaded by decades of intense exposure to expensive advertisements and slick marketing campaigns, the Chinese companies seem freer to explore and experiment.

It’s true, that often times the results of those efforts are either hilarious or just plain inscrutable to western eyes, but that only serves to make us at Winding Road even more voracious consumers (and we like to think, connoisseurs) of Chinese sites. 

Here then our ten of our favorite “moments” in the web lives of current Chinese automakers, for your approval. (A quick plea: Not all of the examples may be to your taste, but we implore you not to skip over the BYD F0 entry—a real crowd pleaser.)