Not Your Average Chinese Car Brand
Haima, which literally translates to Seahorse, was founded in 1992 as the Hainan Mazda Motor. As it indicates, the company back then was a joint venture between the Hainan provincial government and Mazda to develop Mazda variants in its homeland. The joint venture between the two firms lasted almost two decades later in 1996 when Mazda's share of the Hainan Mazda was acquired by the FAW Group. Subsequently, the company became a subsidiary of FAW.
During this time, Haima was able to retain the right to produce and sell older Mazda vehicles, besides using the latter's technology to underpin self-designed products. However, the Chinese company was prohibited from using the Mazda marque. This didn't necessarily indicate that Haima completely severed its ties from its erstwhile partner as technology transfers may still have continued.
In August 2008, Haima started to construct a third assembly plant in Hainan, with a planned capacity to engineer 100,000 units per year. It was noted that its other two plants may have been erected in Haikou, Hainan, and in the Zhengzhou city. Both were believed to feature production capacities of 150,000 whole vehicles per year.
Almost a year after, Reuters revealed that Haima's partnership with Mazda was ended and was established to receive technological help. Haima was also noted to be selling a car that appeared to be one of Mazda's entries, without consent. In November 2010, a plant for the assembly of knowck-down kits of the Haima 3 was opened in Cherkessk, Rusia by the Derways Automobile Company.
In December 2016, Haima announced its plans to build a manufacturing plant in Bulgaria, starting in 2018. It served as the second Chinese firm to erect a factory in Europe, following those of Litex Motors which is the official distributor of Great Wall Motor.
Haima's familiar logo represents a mythical bird flying away from a rising sun.
Haima in the Philippines
Haima debuted in the Philippines in 2009 under the tutelage of the esteemed Laus Group. This placed the company as such a vantage point, marketing-wise, as its pushed a fresh entry in its mantra, "Drive it to Believe." During its initial launch locally, the company proved that fun cars do really get along with the budget-conscious Filipino and constantly been taken into consideration for buyers who were on the hunt for a new car with an attractive price tag.
Haima's appealingly-priced entrants provide the discerning Filipno buyers a wider selection of choices which also allows its users to thoroughly enjoy their essential features, the latest advancements, and the company's distinct driving dynamics all backed with top-of-the-line safety features.
Since its debut in the country, Haima has already gone on to build its brand reps through dealerships and service centers in Pampanga, Pangasinan, Baguio, Bataan, and Bulacan.
Haima's current roster of vehicles include the compact passenger cars such as the Haima 1, the Haima2, and the Haima 3. It also offers the Haima 7 Compact Crossover, right alongside a trio of MPVs such as the Haima Dropside, the FStar PC, and the FStar S.
One of Haima cars which looks and spec'd more than decently for below PHP 500,000 is the Haima 1. Among its noted features include dual airbags, ABS brakes, and its sufficient amount of power kit.
From the get-go, the Haima 1's design should get you comparing it with the old Daewoo Matiz. However, this car features a longer wheelbase and an overall wider body. In terms of size, the vehicle sits between the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Toyota Wigo.
What sets the Haima 1 apart can be gleaned from its inclusion of its 1.2-liter engine. Haima claims that it can rev up 91hp and 112Nm of torque. As it is, the car is ideal to navigate along the busy streets of the metro.
Dubbed as the budget Mazda 2, the Haima 2 offers a whole lot of convenient features. The entry isn't only a step above from the mini hatchback Haima 1 but also a more premium subcompact hatchback entry with a more stylih design.
The Haima 2 range starts with the 1.3 GL variant which comes equipped with a 1.3L inline 4 engine which produces 92hp and 121Nm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the entry's GL Standard variant comes with a 1.3L engine and 5-speed manual transmission as well.
Also down the line are two higher variants – the GLS MT C-Sport and the ASG AT C-Sport. Both are powered by a 1.5L engine which revs up 105hp and 104Nm of torque, connected to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed ASG transmission respectively.
Announced back in 2015, the Haima M3 serves as the Chinese automaker's entry in the subcompact segment. This specific entry boasts of decent legroom, some premier amenities like a sunroof, follow-me headlights, and a reversing camera.
Currently, there are two variants of the Haima M3 – the base 1.5L MT Comfort and the 1.5L CVT Flagship. Both are fueled by the same 1.5L 4-cylinder engine which produces 112hp and 147Nm of torque.
In the lucrative compact crossover segment, the Haima S5 sits rather comfortably. This placement is all due to it distinct and modern appearance that easily aid it to stand out. It also features an interior that keeps up without trying and a generous space for five. Its modern features include a touchscreen infotainment and a cruise control.
The Haima S5 is available in four variants with two different engine options.
The Haima V70 is Haima's first homegrown minivan or MPV entry. It also serves as the company's first foray in the more premium segment as it tries to finally veer away from its Mitsubishi-derived identity.
The Haima V70 currently offers two variants to choose from – the 1.5 Deluxe and the 1.5 Comfort. Both are powered by the same 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine which can readily provide 156hp and 220Nm of torque. Its transmission, on the other hand, only come with one flavor which takes in the form of a 6-speed automatic.
Finally, the Haima V70 comes with a competitive pricing that makes it an easy option among those who'd like to purchase a good buy in the now-crowded MPV market.