Cadillac sponsored four standard SRX SUVs to CCTV, the national Chinese TV company. The resultant documentary on cultures around the world is to be seen by a billion people in mid-2009.

The Chinese are coming! Not a new phrase by any stretch of the imagination, but this time it hits quite close to the literal meaning. A Chinese television crew from CCTV which took delivery of four Cadillac SRX units at the beginning of 2007 has shot over 200 hours of film for its documentary The Road to Civilizations which will go on air mid-2009 in China. It is expected that over a billion people will see it, which isn’t exactly the hardest thing to achieve seeing as though it will be flighted on Chinese national TV and all.

This documentary tracks the lives of people in 54 countries, showing how they live, their cultural heritage, places they live in, visit and so on. Over 150,000km/ 93,200 miles will have been covered by the Cadillacs at the end of the estimated 500 days of travel by the crew. They report no nasty surprises from the four luxury SUVs, only smooth sailing plus the occasional spectator by the road side.

“These cars haven’t been modified in any way,” says Li Feng, crew member. “They have exactly the same specs as if you’d just picked them up from the dealer. But they have had no trouble whatsoever with the bad roads and difficult conditions we have seen. They’re running great. And they get noticed, too. With the interesting stickers all over them and their Chinese number plates, they really grab people’s attention. People are always ready to help us, and quick to offer us meals and a place to sleep.”

Lovely to see China is opening up even more and taking an active interest in learning other cultures just as much as other people have been so keen on its civilization for the past few hundred years.

China films the world in Cadillac SRX