Of all places ...
Reader Tony happened to be at this week's Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS), and came across Chinese exhibitors, too.
The manufacturer - and I hope you're ready for this - is Bei Jing Li Shi Guang Ming Automobile Design Co. Ltd. The car brand doesn't really roll off the tongue too easily, does it? Interestingly, the steering wheel hub (horn button) bears a picture of a gentleman who looks rather like Chairman Mao, but I believe it's the founder of the company. This one is called: A Piece of Cloud!
So, I started my research. The company was founded in 2002, which, according to its website,
is the first independent nature of local automobile design company in China. The CEO and design director Mr.Li Guang Ming realized the backward status in chinese car designing. So he rated all staff enduring hardships these years. In the ninth China Beijing International Hi-tech expo this year, we exhibited our latest electric vehicle called "Tang Hua".
And endured, they truly have. I've heard about the Tang Hua series before, just 2m long, with an electric motor letting you enjoy a maximum speed of 20km/h or 45km/h for the two-seater model, they indeed are a different type of (fun) car.
Or in the company´s own words:
This model use the all-permanent-magnetism and all-suspending technology, which can increase 20% continuously driving mileage for electric motor car. The maturation and development of the technology will establish consistent foundation for the supreme objective of the development of electric motor car---flywheel energy storage technology. It means the electric vehicle era has truly occurred.
If Mr. Li says so... I am more troubled by the fact, that garbled PR lingo like this is the best a Chinese car manufacturer, willing to enter the European and the US market, can come up with. If their cars are as well-composed as their English promo material, I doubt they will export more than the showcase models.
What really got me hooked was the description for another model, that Tony sent me. To me, it's a rare occasion to find Western irony in Chinese. Or do they really mean it? (Being smart businessmen, I fear, they do.) You decide.
P.S. A totally different story, but also worth noticing, is the company's logo, which proves rather convincingly that the asthetics of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution aren't that far away, really.