Lifan Industry (Group) Company
Type Public company (SSE: 601777)
Founded 1992[1]
Headquarters Chongqing, China
3 Lifan trucks in Yunnan

Three Lifan trucks found in Yunnan, China

Lifan Group,[2] or Lifan Industry (Group) Company[3] (SSE: 601777) (
) is a privately-owned Chinese motorcycle and automobile manufacturer.[4]

Based in Chongqing, a provincial-level, direct-controlled municipality of China, compact sedans are among its offerings[4] and the company, in 2009, was ranked 88th largest in China.[5]

Lifan may be best known for the small passenger cars it sells in developing, overseas markets, but it also makes small dirt bike engines; entry-level motorcycles; mini-vehicles,[5] small trucks and vans that see commercial use; and commercial trucks. Other interests include manufacture of sport shoes, wine-making, and petitioning the Chinese State to allow the creation of more private banks.[6]

2009 in-China automobile sales were a scant 43K,[4] but access to more-profitable export markets may account for this small figure. 2010 production capacity was estimated to be near 300K[5] and in 2006 it was 150K.[1] Production capacity figures may consider engines and vehicles as discrete.


Lifan Truck in Dali 1

a Lifan truck, 2009

Lifan was founded by Yin Mingshan,[6] a convicted dissident,[6] in 1992[1] as a motorcycle repair shop (Chongqing Hongda Auto Fittings Research Centre)[7] with a staff of nine.[4]

Becoming the fifth-largest Chinese motorcycle maker in only seventeen years,[4] the company was renamed Lifan Industry Group in 1997.[7]

2006 saw commencement of automobile production[4] after the 2003 acquisition of Chongqing Special Purpose Use Vehicle Manufacturing Co Ltd.[5] Yunan Dali Junma Automotive Company, a commercial-truck maker, was another acquisition target.[5] As of 2006, Lifan employed approximately 9,000 people and had an annual turnover of 7.3 billion yuan ($900 million USD), and had factories in Vietnam, Thailand and Bulgaria.

In 2007, the Lifan Group had realised sales of 12.16 billion yuan, with an engine production and sales volume of 3.06 million to Taiwan. With those exports worth US$409.6 million, the company had reached the country's top position among privately owned firms.

Lifan has distribution centers around the world, including one in Dallas, Texas, USA. Plans include opening a research center in Great Britain and to double its workforce to 20,000.

Initial Public OfferingEdit

Lifan made an IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in late 2010.[4]

Going globalEdit

Lifan 520 Chile

Lifan 520 at a dealership in Chile in 2009

Access to profitable export markets, something the Chinese State allowed the company in 1998,[5] means that this maker of automobiles and motorcycles does what many Chinese automakers desire: it sells in developed overseas markets like the EU and Japan.[5]

While finding more markets for its motorcycle-related products, Lifan has exported passenger cars to 51 countries.[5] The company has sold in many countries (over 100) and in every continent (except Antarctica).[8]


Allowed access in 2003, Lifan motorcycle products are, as of 2006, sold in 18 European countries.[1]

An Italian importer or assembler, Martin Motors, rebadges and sells two small Lifan passenger car models.[9]


Beginning in 2001, Lifan sells motorcycles in Japan.[1]

North AmericaEdit

Lifan motorcycles and dirt bikes are available in Canada.[8]

South AmericaEdit

Some small passenger car models are sold in Uruguay,[10] Brazil,[11] and Chile.

Knock-down salesEdit

Some of the cars Lifan exports are probably in the form of knock-down kits. Such knock-down exports are an easy way to gain access to developing markets without added after-sales service costs.


Lifan has sponsored a Chinese football team, Chongqing Lifan, beginning in 2005.


Lifan holds about 350 patents[5] or over 3[7]-4K,[1] whichever is more accurate. At least 118 of those refer to automobiles.[7]

Production bases and facilitiesEdit

Lifan already has one passenger-car production base[5] and the planned building of another will expand capacity by 150K[3] when it opens in late 2011. Production capacity figures may consider engines and vehicles as discrete.

Overseas motorcycle production bases include sites in Thailand,[1] Turkey[1] and Vietnam.[12]

As of 2007 car-making factories in Egypt, Russia and Vietnam produce Lifan-branded autos[1] for domestic consumption.[citation needed]


Lifan LF150-14 silver

Lifan LF150-14 motorcycle

3 Lifan trucks in Yunnan

Lifan trucks



  • Lifan LF6592
  • Lifan LF6592-1
  • Lifan LF6750
  • Lifan LF6750A
  • Lifan LF6780
  • Lifan LF6781
  • Lifan LF6781B
  • Lifan LF6854


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 About Lifan Group Lifan Official Site (Web Archive)
  2. "About Lifan Group". Official website of Lifan Group. Retrieved on 2011-01-25.
  3. 3.0 3.1 China's Lifan Industry to debut in Shanghai this week, Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:37am IST
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Lifan IPO latest in quest for capital, 2010-11-29
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Corporate profile Lifan official site
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The communist entrepreneur: Yin Mingshan shows how to make profits and political friends in China, Mar 27th 2003
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Great Events of Lifan Group from 1999 to 2005 Lifan official site
  8. 8.0 8.1 Global Lifan > Global Network (image) Lifan Official Site (Web Archive)
  9. Chi Siamo Martin Motors Official Site
  10. Productos
  11. Lifan Motors Brazil web site
  12. Factory in Vietnam Lifan Official Site (Web Archive)

External linksEdit

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