In 1994, the Chinese automobile company Hafei Motors was founded, which is part of the Harbin Corporation. The key factor in the opening of the new brand was the conclusion of an agreement with the South Korean concern Daewoo, which, in addition to technology, invested a substantial amount to open assembly shops of the highest class, and at first only Daewoo specialists were working at the Hafei factories.
The first model was presented in the same year and was a super-compact hatchback Tiko assembled under license from the Korean Daewoo, which in 1996 formed the basis for the first independently developed model, the Hafei Brio. The design of the first car of the Chinese brand was carried out by the Italian design studio "PiniFarina", which successfully cooperates with such giants as "Ferrari" and "Maserati".
Thanks to the success of the compact Brio, Hafei unveiled its second model at the Beijing Motor Show in 1999, the Zhongyi minivan, which has become one of the most popular budget vehicles in the South American automotive market.
In 2006, the second generation Hafei Brio was released, which, in addition to the new design, received an improved 1.1-liter power unit with a capacity of 65 horsepower, becoming in 2008 the best-selling car in the automotive market in China, Vietnam and Thailand.
In 2009, a strategic cooperation contract was signed with General Motors, which provided Hafei with the opportunity to use all the developments of its South Korean division. In addition, in 2010 the company became the largest engine manufacturer in Asia, thanks to the start of assembling engines for the Japanese brands Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. In the same year, the release of 5 new models was announced at once, which were developed by engineers of a Chinese company on equipment of a new type.