China Brings Back Its Luxury Car Brand

Officials in Beijing are telling government departments to stop buying Audis, and instead drive the Red Flag, which is China's version of the luxury sedan. It used to shuttle Communist luminaries like Chairman Mao. It was, however, phased out two years ago as a gas guzzler.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: raise the Red Flag.

We mentioned China's trade deficit earlier. This may be a small stab at turning it around. Beijing is telling government departments they should stop buying Audis, and should instead drive the Red Flag, China's version of the luxury sedan. It was used to shuttle around Communist luminaries like Chairman Mao, but was phased out a couple of years ago as a gas guzzler.

Now, patriotism appears to have trumped gas prices, so the Red Flag sedans are back, meaning that instead of importing more cars, China will import more oil.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. With Renee Montagne, I'm Steve Inskeep.

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