BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,000 Red Flag H7 limousines have been delivered to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), as foreign brands are being phased out in procurement by China's military force, the PLA Daily reported on Monday.
The newly designed H7 model of Red Flag, or Hongqi, is among the latest homegrown sedans to be purchased by the military after Trumpchi produced by Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group) and Benteng by the First Automotive Works (FAW), the newspaper said.
Five auto groups have bid for the military procurement. These are FAW, GAC Group, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor, Huachen Auto Group and Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation Group, the report said citing the army's General Armament Department (GAD).
Twenty-seven experts from the army and the Ministry of Transport evaluated the tenders, the GAD was cited as saying.
China's armed forces are required to choose domestic brand cars as part of a nationwide drive to promote frugality and cut out waste, according to a document issued by the PLA earlier this year.
"To purchase domestic models is a hard-and-fast rule and we'll tighten quality supervision to ensure the output of the glory-winning homegrown sedans," said Cheng Guhui with the GAD.
Official vehicles used by the PLA have experienced various stages in history, from captured cars of enemies to imported sedans, to joint venture cars, to homegrown models.
During the period of China's Liberation War from 1945 to 1950, most of the military vehicles were seized from the enemies. Soon after the establishment of New China in 1949, the army began to import vehicles from Soviet Union and France.
The Beijing 212 jeep modelled by Beijing Auto Works was widely used by the PLA in the 1960s while the Red Flag CA770 and other sedans produced by SAIC Motor were purchased at the same time.
After the adoption of reform and opening up policy in 1978, the army started to buy cars from Chinese joint ventures, including FAW Audi and SVW Santana.