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Autos

The Chinese cars changing the streets of Cuba

The Chinese cars changing the streets of Cuba
CNBC's Matt Clinch

The streets of Havana - which even residents say look like "a museum" - have long been renowned for their vintage 1950s American cars. But they have now become home to a small but growing number of brand new automobiles.

Among the American and Russian relics, visitors will spot a clutch of Chinese-made Geely CKs and South Korean Kias, after new laws removed the limits on car purchases for the first time in 50 years.

Cuban resourcefulness
CNBC's Matt Clinch

Like the buildings in Old Havana, some of the autos lining its streets have seen better days. It has been fifty years since the U.S. embargo, and it's a tribute to the resourcefulness of Cubans that some of these relics still run.

Safe ride?
CNBC's Matt Clinch

A number of the classic cars are used as everyday taxis, with locals squeezing into the vehicles next to complete strangers - sometimes with little regard for their own safety.

China invasion
CNBC's Matt Clinch

The Geely CK is the most popular new car on the streets of Havana. Used by government officials, the police force and also by tourists keen to see Cuba's countryside.

A lot of Ladas
CNBC's Matt Clinch

Russian Ladas actually outnumber the American stalwarts. There are estimated to be 100,000 of the Russian vehicles in Cuba, according to Reuters, compared to about 60,000 of the old U.S. cars.

Kia for rent
CNBC's Matt Clinch

The Kia Picanto is another popular motor on the streets of Havana. The South Korean compact is also popular with tourists and can be rented from a number of firms in the Cuban capital.

Tourist attractions
CNBC's Matt Clinch

A classic U.S. car in pristine condition is a popular draw for tourists in Havana. A short trip around the city costs around 10 Cuban convertible pesos, worth around $10.

Classic car central
CNBC's Matt Clinch

Parque Central in the center of the capital doubles up as a large car park for the classic vehicles. Lines of autos delight tourists who come clutching their cameras.

Cadillacs, Chevys and more
CNBC's Matt Clinch

Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Buicks, Plymouths, Edsels, Chevys and Dodges are just some of the brands still going strong in Havana.

The future?
CNBC's Matt Clinch

Their polluting engines and bad safety records makes the future of these cars uncertain.

As relations with the U.S. improve, these relics might find a new market of willing buyers: collectors in the U.S. who are keen to pay top dollar to take them back home.