This is not a Kia Picanto. It is a Yogomo 330. This was highlighted by a friend of mine who travels to China often. We are all mostly aware that China's automobile manufacturers clone every other manufacturer's vehicles all of the time. Some are ridiculous copies, some have the front of one make and the rear of another. And then there are those like these - near copies, like the recent Landwind Range Rover Evoque clone.
This one differs in one aspect. It is fully electric. It has a range of 160kilometers and get this, a maximum speed of 60kmh. Wow. Yes, 60kmh. Try driving that in Kuala Lumpur especially on the NKVE. But at least this looks like a proper car. Even the quad bike-like Renault Twizy can cross 80kmh. So this is purely an electric city car.
Now the reason I have decded to write about this is that the Chinese automotive industry has only come on song in the last fifteen years or so. Everything is basically new and it is like cowboy country where everything goes. Which is why they copy like crazy. But copying like crazy may slash development costs by a fair bit. Of course they could have been less blatant and come up with a different front end rather than use the same basic styling. So they are lazy, but the thing about this is that this car costs RM18,000+ only to buy.
We have been producing and assembling proper cars longer than the people in China have. We still cannot sell a car at RM18,000 in 2015. I suppose let's blame taxes and then blame the national car industry, specifically Proton for keeping prices high. Or could Proton (or even Produa) produce a super slow electric car that looks decently good (crappy interior plastics aide) and something that can be used for mass transport under RM20,000 (an extra RM2,000 for our taxes maybe)? Or let's just see how Proton's future is with Suzuki. I heard that four models will be rebadged as Protons and that Suzuki may leave everything Suzuki to Proton in Malaysia later on. Worrying? No idea. Maybe for Suzuki fans in Malaysia. Too early to say.
And as for Yogomo 330 over here......It even has a sunroof for Godssake. Around RM18,000+. Damn.
Photos: PKK, thank you.