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30 Years’ Development of King Long

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30 Years’ Development of King Long

Jun 28 , 2022

In the past 30 years, King Long demonstrated the power of China in bus manufacturing. With a new future and a new height, we will be full of passion to embark on next brilliant 30 years!

In 1988, KING LONG started from scratch.
In 2018, it built an advanced world-class production base.
In 1988, it bore in mind the ambition of the rise of China's independent brands.
In 2018, KING LONG vehicles can be seen everywhere in the world.

30 years is not a long time.
30 years has seen great changes.

30 years ago, KING LONG dared to be a trailblazer.

30 years later, Chinese bus industry takes on a new look.

This article will review KING LONG’s 30-year history of struggle.

From 1988 to 1997, KING LONG blazed a trail to manufacture vehicles

On December 3, 1988, Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. (KING LONG) was officially established.

In Xiamen where there is no basis for automobile industry, KING LONG created four major processes by exchange of funds and technologies with stock rights. Starting from CKD assembly of Germany-based MAN, KING LONG began production in the tube mill assigned by the municipal government, opening the way for development of Xiamen's bus industry.

In 1990, the first King Long bus successfully rolled off the production line and in 1991, the first 11-meter luxury bus was launched in China.

In 1990, the first King Long bus successfully rolled off the production line

KING LONG launched its self-designed luxury bus XMQ6120 in 1994 and unveiled the first low-floor luxury bus in 1995. By 1997, KING LONG had developed a range of buses in size from 6 meters to 12 meters for sightseeing, passenger transport and public transportation. Against the background that China sees high-speed development of economy and strong market demands, the diversified product line of KING LONG has ushered in the great era of China's market boom.

Since the 1990s when “Sino-foreign joint venture” sprang up, KING LONG, resolutely taking the development of China's national industry as its mission, has ended the history of CKD assembly production, taken the lead in exploring independent technologies based on China's national conditions, and held high the banner that develops the brand of China's own bus.

From 1988 to 2004, KING LONG adopted asset-light strategy, expanded capacity and implemented agile manufacturing

At the end of 1990s, the great development of highway passenger transportation spawned the "golden age" of China's bus industry. KING LONG, representing China's own national bus brand, saw a rapid rise and led China's bus to officially make inroads into international market.

At its tenth anniversary in 1998, KING LONG started to use the new herringbone trademark

KING LONG, however, limited by its assets and capacity, found a new path to rapidly adopt the mode of “asset-light strategy and expanded capacity” and “agile manufacturing”, so as to respond to the great market demand. After 1998, the comprehensive economic benefit index of the industry ranked the top three in China's automobile industry. In 2001, the tour bus XMQ6115 was available on the market and achieved sales amount of over RMB 3 billion yuan, ranking the first in the industry. At this stage, a range of bus products independently designed and developed by KING LONG based on China's national conditions came out one after another, enabling domestic leading technologies to be widely applied.

Developing the first lead-acid power battery bus in 2001, KING LONG was ahead of its domestic counterparts in applying overhead air conditioner, truss-through luggage compartment and retarder to highway passenger vehicles, leading the development direction of highway passenger vehicles at that time.

Although the domestic market is booming, KING LONG has boldly set its sights on overseas markets. In 2000, KING LONG launched the international business strategy and opened the door of development again. In 2001, KING LONG exported large buses to Iraq in batches, becoming the first bus manufacturer of the industry that entered the Middle East market. Meanwhile, the 20,000th KING LONG bus rolled off the production line and KING LONG became the “exclusive provider” of premium vehicles for China's “two sessions”. In 2003, 82 buses were exported to Malta in batches, making KING LONG take the lead in entering Western European markets. A long documentary report titled National Vehicle Manufacturer Soaraway KING LONG was published on the front page of the Economic Daily to give KING LONG to reputation of “National Vehicle Manufacturer”.

From 2005 to 2006, KING LONG consolidated the base to go global

Although the business mode of “asset-light strategy and expanded capacity” and “agile manufacturing” provides KING LONG with a “shortcut” for rapid development, the use of others' production lines and purchase of supporting equipment are enslaved to others, so it is necessary to find a way for long-term development of the industry.

In June 2004, construction of Xiamen automobile industry city kicked off. In June 2006, the world's largest production base for large and medium-sized bus was put into operation, where KING LONG's 100,000th bus rolled off the production line in September. Since then, KING LONG has entered the fast track of development and expedited its foray into overseas markets with the call of "KING LONG goes global".

Established near the sea, KING LONG has the dream of going global. KING LONG continued to deepen its international business strategy. In 2005, it passed the certification of VCA, took the lead in gaining access to the EU market and exported 450 large and medium-sized buses to the Middle East one time, completing China's largest industry export order. In November, KING LONG, representing China's bus brand, made its first appearance in BusWorld Kortrijk to compete with international mainstream brands on the same platform.

Through overseas markets, KING LONG not only exports high-quality “made in China” and enhances the reputation and influence of Chinese bus brand, but also absorbs advanced bus manufacturing technology and idea in the world during the process of experience and toughening and accumulation in developed markets, so as to unceasingly inject strong genes into the Chinese bus industry.

From 2007 to 2011, KING LONG focused on details and professionalism

Promoting the brand to make improvements is one of the urgent demands and development directions of KING LONG at this stage, and the self-designed high-end products reflect the "soft power" of the brand value. In April 2007, a high-end bus Longwin was unveiled, representing the advent of the era of Chinese homegrown high-end bus.

Longwin XMQ6129Y made its first appearance in Busworld China and won the “Bus Award of BAAV 2007”. After that, the vehicle was the star model serving such events as China's “two sessions” and Beijing Olympic Games and was popular at home and abroad, becoming a classical legend of Chinese bus industry.

In 2008, KING LONG Minivan manufacturing base fearing modern advanced production lines was put into operation. King Long A Kingo made a foray into Chinese minivan market, further diversifying the product line. So far, KING LONG has become the manufacturer with the most complete product line in China and even in the world.

Being larger, stronger, more detailed and professional, KING LONG has its “business scope covers five continents”, with products sold at home and abroad, becoming a “crack force” among the world's mainstream buses.

From 2012 to 2015, technical KING LONG created infinite possibilities

The development of bus manufacturing industry must rely on innovation and KING LONG set such a philosophy at the beginning of its establishment. At this stage, KING LONG focused on the improvement of the value of public transportation service, promoted the innovation of intelligent safety and energy-saving technology, and successively made technological achievements in intelligent manufacturing, car networking, energy saving and safety technology. "Technical KING LONG" has become the pronoun of KING LONG.

The fifth “KINGWINGS Cup” Vocational Skills Competition of motor vehicle drivers kicked off in 2013

In 2012, KING LONG's national test center and state-certified CNAS lab were put into operation. In May 2013, KING LONG launched Longyi car networking technical platform and Longwei provided with “Longyi” system became the designated vehicle and evaluation system for the fifth national vocational skills competition of motor vehicle drivers in the transportation industry.

In 2014, KING LONG launched its self-developed plug-in hybrid electric bus. In 2015, KING LONG unveiled an “ECO-Chip” new energy management system.

From the initial independent technology R&D to intelligent network, and then to the new-energy bus technology leading, KING LONG takes technology as the core competitiveness and builds Chinese quality benchmark with ingenuity, so as to realize Chinese bus industry's dream of making China become a powerful nation of science and technology.

2016—Innovation for better move

Amid industrial intelligent revolution of vehicles, KING LONG again leads the industry and becomes a forerunner, leader and enabler of intelligent transformation. It transforms mission into action and continues to accelerate technical innovation, putting forward the idea of “innovation for better move”.

In 2016, KING LONG formulates a development plan for intelligent connected vehicles. In 2017, KING LONG was included into the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's “list of pilot and demonstration projects for integrative development of the manufacturing industry and Internet in 2017”, becoming the only bus manufacturer in the list. In 2017, with ten years of accumulation and glory, the new generation of Longwin products, representing China's high-end manufacturing, was grandly released in Beijing.

In November 2017, KING LONG Apolong, China's first L4 autonomous bus jointly developed by KING LONG and Baidu, was officially unveiled. In July 2018, the 100th L4 mass-produced autonomous bus KING LONG Apolong, the first of its kind in the world, rolled off the production line and was put into commercial operation, heralding autonomous driving in public transportation.

Today, with thirty years of R&D ability and manufacturing strength, KING LONG expedites the R&D and application of core technologies of “electrification, intellectualization, networking and sharing” with advanced intelligent network connection technology, and implements innovation mission, further promotes digital and intelligent transformation and upgrading of the enterprise, as well as drives transformation and upgrading of automobile industry, and powers Chinese automobile industry to reach a new level.


30 years ago, KING LONG set sail for the dream of “making cars under its own brand”. 30 years later, KING LONG accelerates its speed for the dream of making China become an auto power. Generations of KING LONG people, with the “spirit of craftsman”, stick to the original intention, keep the mission in mind, uphold the spirit of ingenuity and innovation, and are committed to providing a better travel experience for the public. While building the “national vehicle”, KING LONG also demonstrates the power of China in bus manufacturing.

After thirty years of development, KING LONG is in its prime. Thirty years has seen the rise of KING LONG. With a new future and a new level, we will be full of passion to embark on next brilliant thirty years!

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