Chinese plug-in hybrid car to debut in new Transformers movie image

The Trumpchi E-jet is set to make its international movie debut in the fourth “Transformers” film next year in a product placement aimed at raising the profile of Chinese models abroad.

The plug-in electric hybrid developed by state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, will feature in “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, the fourth in the popular movie franchise due for release in mid-2014, said two people close to GAC, based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

“Product placements with “Transformers” would boost the profile of GAC’s car brands both at home and abroad,” said one of those sources close to the carmaker, which has local joint ventures with Fiat SpA, Honda Motor Co Ltd, Toyota Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

The new movie is being filmed in both the United States and China, with Chinese singer/actor Han Geng making his English-language debut, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told the Beijing News earlier this month the movie would feature locally-made cars.

“The world’s coolest, most exciting cars will appear in the film, including Chinese vehicles, so whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, it will be a feast for the eyes,” he said.

It wasn’t clear if the Trumpchi E-jet would be cast as an heroic ‘autobot’ or evil ‘decepticon’ – humanoid robots that turn into familiar machines and mechanical objects – or have a more limited non-transforming, drive-on role. One of those close to GAC said the firm wouldn’t want the E-jet to be cast in an evil role. Ultimately, casting will be down to the movie’s director Michael Bay.

The E-jet, which GAC showed off at the Detroit auto show in January, is a concept car, which the company currently has no plans to commercialize.

Via Reuters