HAVANA, March 16th Russia’s largest carmaker plans to deliver 300 Lada cars to Cuba, said the company’s president Nicolas Maure, speaking at an AvtoVAZ Read more
Against the odds, a group of Cuban enthusiasts have joined forces to keep their 1950s two-stroke DKWs and Auto Unions on the road
HAVANA,Nov. 11th (David Lillywhite) We know Read more
HAVANA, July 15 Picture restored vintage Chevys and Fords brought back to life by the hardworking hands of dedicated Cuban mechanics, the arduous quest of inventing new spare parts and the tropical backdrop of Havana. Then, add in the dreamy looks of Cuban-American telenovela and movie star William Levy, who will tell you the story behind these American classics stranded in Havana before the revolution.
Sounds like a pretty cool concept, doesn’t it?
The Discovery en Español television channel thought so and has brought this timely concept to life through “Cuban Chrome,” a docu-series about classic automobiles, filmed exclusively in Cuba and narrated by Levy.
“There’s no better feeling than finding a car that’s in total disrepair and transforming it into one of the most beautiful cars in all of Havana,” said Fernando Barral, a master mechanic who owns a 1934 Model A hot rod, The Washington Post reported.
The docu-series, which kicked off on July 13, gives an inside look into the fascinating culture of vintage automobiles on the once-forbidden Caribbean island.
The show also zeroes in on the lives of the men and women who restore these “1950s American roadsters,” which is no easy task. As you can imagine with no spare parts available, improvisation, experience and skills come into play.
The “passionate mechanics, restoration experts and vintage car owners” congregate and share their creative genius and experiences at the A Lo Cubano Car Club, EFE reported.
Helmed by executive producer Craig Piligian, who’s known for “Survivor” and “American Chopper,” the series chronicles the “day-to-day” lives of the members of the A Lo Cubano Car Club, where they face highs and lows yet experience joy from their Cuban culture.
The project didn’t get the typical thumbs up from Hollywood, The Washington Post pointed out, but instead “had to be greenlighted by the U.S. government, specifically by Treasury Department officials responsible for policing the trade embargo against Cuba.”
While the idea for the project nixed in 2013, the producers later revisited it and were granted the license to shoot under the exception of “professional research for an educational documentary.”
“Cuban Chrome” will air at 10 p.m. Mondays on Discovery en Español as well as the , which will broadcast it in English.
HAVANA, July 3 When Cubans open the flood gates to American tourists, the modern, electric vehicle fleets they see on the roads alongside the tradition cars from the 1950s would have been built in China and not Japan, not the U.S.
On Friday, Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) said it will supply Cuba’s tourism industry with something like 719 EV sedans. The order was signed in Havana on July 3 between Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Wang Chuanfu, BYD CEO, and Xu Qin, Mayor of Shenzhen where BYD is located.
Cuba is buying a fleet of fuel efficient cars to support its growing tourist industry. The order for its first 719 vehicles will be Cuba’s first fleet of tourist rental vehicles and BYD’s largest vehicle order in the Cuban market.
BYD said in a statement that all vehicles in the fleet will be BYD models, namely the sedans Suri, L3 and G6, the SUV S6, and the MPV M6.
BYD’s press office could not be reached for further comment.
BYD first appeared in the Cuban market last November with its F3 sedan and S6 SUV during the Havana International Expo. The S6 model won the Exhibition’s Design Award.
The Cuban government purchased 40 BYD passenger cars last year for tourism, but the Diaz said Cuba might eventually expand its order for government official vehicles. The retail market has not been developed.
BYD said it will build an after-sales service center in Cuba at some point in the near-future.
BYD’s claim to fame began when Warren Buffet announced he acquired a 10% stake in the company through his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway in September 2008. Since then, the stock listed on the Hong Kong exchange is up 355.05%. It’s up 33.3% year-to-date, beating Toyota and Tesla.
BYD got its start in the 1990s as a mobile phone battery maker. It has since evolved into producing hybrid and electric vehicles, with most of its bus line products being acquired by northern European governments.
The group plans to take on Tesla in the electronic car and EV battery market, backed by the smarts and the financial muscle of Buffet to make it happen.
Beyond Cuba, China’s recent green initiatives, including higher taxation on polluting industries, bodes especially well for BYDs future. Shanghai police recently placed orders for BYD sedans.
At a simple stroke of the Chinese government’s pen, BYD could be firing on all four cylinders if state and municipal governments opted to replace taxis or diesel fuel burning busses with BYD vehicles.
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