Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Drive Of Life

Cast :
Damien Lau as Wah Man Hang
Gigi Wong as Hui Zhan Yan
Raymond Lam as Wah Zhen Pong
Jessica Hsuan as Wah Qing Yuk
Liu Ging Sang as Wah Man Hung
Feng Shao Feng / Feng Wei as Wah/Tin Zhen Man
Michael Miu as Wah Man Shek
Sheren Tang as Wong Siu Fan
Toby Leung as Wah Ching Ling
Chan Mei Kei as Wai Cheung Ping
Charmaine Sheh as Wing Sau Fung
Myolie Wu as Fong Bing Yee
Zhao Ke as Lee Seen Sin
Ron Ng as Sin Gai Keung
Ng Wai Kwok as Ngai Tin Hang
Joe Ma as Ngai Wing Piew
Michael Wong Man Tak as Wai Lun
Lau Kong as Wong Cheng Kwok
Power Chan as Wong Siu Leong
Angela Tong
Benz Hui
Ellesmere Choi
Jaffrey Wong
Leanne Li
Mary Hon as Lu Ho Yuet
Matthew Ko
Oscar Chan
Rocky Cheng

Synopsis :

In 2007, a Chinese independent brand car is finally running on the US's road. In the car, there are 3 directors from Wah family’s car factory – Wah Zhen Pong (Raymond), Tin Zhen Man (Feng Shao Feng ) and Wah Ching Ling (Toby Leung). After many years of hard work, they have finally establish an independent brand of cars, and successfully built up their overseas markets, thus bringing China’s car industry out a step further. This is the Wah’s family dream, and also a story of a family breaking up but reunited together again to work towards their dream.

In the early 20th century, Wah Hoi Yuen, who once worked for the government, returned to his hometown from overseas studies, and witnessed imported cars being driven around the city. Thus upon his return, he decided to develop China’s local car industry. After going through many struggles, he finally built a car-repair factory, and before the Word War 2, he expanded the car-repair factory to the manufacture of car engine as well, and slowly fulfilling his dream. However, war broke out, and the Wah’s corporation was forced to stop all expansions, until the war ended, and Republic of China was established, then the car engine factory reopened. At that time, it was already Wah Hoi Yuen’s son, Wah Yuk Cheong, being in charge. Yuk Cheong felt that the production of car engine was only a basic foundation; their ultimate aim was to build a car manufacturing empire. His hard work and effort put in influenced his 3 sons – Wah Man Hang (Damien Lau), Wah Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) , and Wah Man Shek (Michael Miu). However, stepping into the 1950s, the internal economic environment changed, the car-engine factory was switched into a state-operated corporation, and the development became slower. Until the 1960s, Wah Yuk Cheong passed away due to overworking, and his dream was unfulfilled.

In 1965, the eldest son, Wah Man Hang (Damien Lau), had graduated from university, and felt that heading towards Hong Kong would have better chances of development, but there was still his mother to be taken care of. Hence, Man Hang (Damien Lau) and Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) decided to draw lots and see who would stay behind. But, Man Hang (Damien Lau) cheated, and led to Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) having to stay behind in China while Man Hang (Damien Lau) and Man Shek (Michael Miu) would proceed to Hong Kong. Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) initially wanted to be an engineer at the car-engine factory, but due to the internal political crisis after 1966, he was forced to return to his hometown, and lost contact with the others. Stepping into the 1970s, Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) finally returned to the car-engine factory to work, and later assisted in the production of tractors, taking a step forward towards the area of engine exports. On the other hand, Man Hang (Damien Lau) and Man Shek (Michael Miu) , who were in Hong Kong, continued working hard, and later obtained the appreciation of a businessman, Wong Cheng Kwok (Lau Kong) , who married his daughter, Wong Siu Fan (Sheren Tang), to Man Shek (Michael Miu). He even took out capital and cooperated with the brothers to operate a steel processing factory. From then on, both brothers became wealthy businessmen.

In the early 1980s, China changed her policy and opened up their markets, leading to the local businesses being able to grow rapidly. For Man Hung’s (Liu Ging Sang) tractor factory, it began to change its line to producing small trucks, and reaped positive results. Although the policy brought about many business opportunities, it also meant stiff competition, leading to this small car factory to face immense pressure in the market. In addition, there was no external car factories interested in cooperation, causing the business to go downhill. Right until the 90s, the car factory began to face trouble, and the only remedies left was to change the corporation to a collective ownership system, inject external capital and implement a modern management system. At that moment, Man Hang (Damien Lau) returned to search for Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang), but due to past reasons, the two brothers did not reconcile, and Man Hang (Damien Lau) secretly sent someone to invest in the car factory, in order to help Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) overcome this crisis.

On the other hand, in the early 90s, Man Hang (Damien Lau) and Man Shek (Michael Miu) were involved in a fight over the ownership of a steel processing factory with Wong Cheng Kwok’s (Lau Kong) only son, Wong Siu Loeng (Power Chan), as Wong Cheng Kwok (Lau Kong) was about to die. But Man Hang (Damien Lau) felt that Siu Loeng (Power Chan) was incapable, and did not wish for the factory to be destroyed in Siu Loeng’s (Power Chan) hands, thus he got involved in a power struggle with the Wong family. But Man Shek (Michael Miu) looked upon Wong Cheng Kwok (Lau Kong) as his father, plus he promised him that he would help to look after the properties of the Wong family, thus he had no choice but to oppose his brother. In the end, Man Hang (Damien Lau) succeeded in chasing the Wong family out, and took full control of the steel processing factory, but fell out with Man Shek (Michael Miu) instead. As Man Shek (Michael Miu) felt that he owed the Wong family, and due to the return of Hong Kong, he decided to emigrate with his family to Canada, and broke off all ties with Man Hang (Damien Lau).

As 1997 closed in, although Man Hang (Damien Lau) had full control of the steel processing organization, the business was declining gradually. On the other hand, his son, Wah Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam), was doing well with the property business. Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) and the shareholders coerced Man Hang (Damien Lau) to direct a huge amount of capital onto the investment of property development, and he had no choice but to agree. However, after the return of Hong Kong, the economic crisis hit, and the property business under Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) collapsed, causing the steel processing organization to be affected as well, and finally all operations were terminated. Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) became the wrath of all. Fortunately, the Wah family still had the car factory in China, thus Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) made up his mind to return to China and manage the factory, hoping that he could make a comeback. Man Hang (Damien Lau) and Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) fell out with each other, as Man Hang (Damien Lau) would rather be staying in Hong Kong to build up his business again.

Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) was determined to earn profits for the car factory, but due to the difference in management style between China and Hong Kong, he had difficulties in managing it. But as everyone had the same aim, thus after coordination and hard work, Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam), Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) and his son, Tin Zhen Man (Feng Shao Feng), were united to stop the losses. Later on, Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) found out that his third uncle’s daughter, Ching Ling (Toby Leung), was actually an outstanding car designer, and persuaded her to return to help out, so that there would be bigger development. At the same time, Man Shek (Michael Miu) returned from Canada and patched up with Man Hang (Damien Lau). Man Hang (Damien Lau) witnessed how Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) was putting in so much effort in managing the car factory, thus he decided to rope in Man Shek (Michael Miu) to start a business dealing with car parts, hoping that this would help in the future path of the car factory. Stepping into 2000, due to the 2 generations working hard together, a car of an independent brand was finally being invented successfully. Due to having the same dream, a family which used to be separated reunited to fulfill the dream together……

The business in the car factory was slowly going back on track, however the 2 heads in the factory, Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) being in charge of the business management and Zhen Man (Feng Shao Feng) being in charge of sales and marketing, often clashed with their different ideas. In 2001, China entered into WTO, and the competition within the car industry finally came. Imported car brands were entering into China market, causing fierce competition. The external car factory which sold engines to the Wah’s car factory decided to stop their supply, causing problems in their production. This led them to realize that the engines are the soul of the cars, and it was extremely important to do the production of engines themselves. Actually, Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) had already silently invented a car engine for the factory, and due to this crisis, the research program on this invention was forced to speed up. Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) decided to produce the engines themselves to complement the second-generation of cars, but due to his impatience for success, it led to the factory facing bankruptcy. Zhen Man (Feng Shao Feng) left the factory due to the difference in ideas, and Man Hang (Damien Lau) passed away due to his illness, leading to Zhen Pong’s life (Raymond Lam) hitting the rock bottom……

In 2004, the car factory was in a bad state. Man Hung (Liu Ging Sang) used his elder status and encouraged Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) to stand up again, and assist him to fulfill his grandfather’s wish. Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) learnt from the painful experience, and went to Hong Kong to research on the listing of the car factory into the market, hoping that the production of second-generation cars would save the factory. Zhen Pong’s (Raymond Lam) undying spirit touched those people who once left him, and they returned to the factory and help out. After the factory got listed, their competitor made use of negative news and attacked the car factory, causing its share price to fall, and their second-generation cars being unable to surface into the market. Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) and the others were even sued by investors, and more trouble came along…… On the other hand, Zhen Man (Feng Shao Feng), who left the factory, had successfully set up his own car marketing company, and seeing how Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) fought hard to continue fulfilling his dream, he was touched and decided to put away past grudges, investing capital and manpower into the factory. Cooperating with Zhen Pong (Raymond Lam) again, both tried to solve all the problems……

The brothers unite to overcome all obstacles. From 20th century to 2007, the Wah family members have gone through many crisis, and finally reunite again, successfully establishing their own brand of cars, and fulfilled the older generation’s dream. Because they believe unity brings about success. With their cars, will they then be able to leave and drive towards a bright future……