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It’s not that some big car from Toyota or the big manufacturers, the world’s best-selling electric car is giving people a new look at the user’s preference for electric cars.
The HongGuang Mini EV is a small electric scooter that doesn’t stand out. It is far from being as sleek, powerful, or up to a few hundred kilometers as the products from the electric car kings. What it offers is a cheap “startling” compared to what people imagine about electric cars – $ 4,400, just equivalent to a Honda SH motorcycle. Super cheap price, just enough value is considered the secret of success of Mini EV.
Just a few weeks after its official launch in late July 2020, this low-profile electric car overtook Tesla in China. Sales of HongGuang Mini EV in September 2020 reached 14,495 units, according to EV-Volumes data. At the same time, Tesla sold only 11,329 vehicles, mostly Model 3. The gap continued to widen in the following months, especially entering 2021. In January 2021, the HongGuang Mini EV sold 36,760. while Tesla sold 14,554 Model 3 vehicles (16,521 total). In 2021, it is likely that this mini car will be the best-selling electric car in the world.
Chris Jones – senior automotive analyst at Canalys describes the Chinese electric car market in 2020 as the story of two models – Tesla Model 3 dominates the market in the first half of the year and HongGuang Mini EV in the second half year.
“Launching a new car in 2020, when a pandemic breaks out, makes people less likely to move, while working from home is more dangerous,” said Jones. “However, with low cost, HongGuang Mini EV becomes a convenient and less expensive means of transportation. A safe and clean space compared to public transport or other forms of calling technology”.
Impress Gen Z
Developed by the SAIC – General Motor – Wuling Automobile joint venture, the car was sold for 28,800 yuan (about $ 4,400). Some of the new models cost slightly more but it is still the perfect choice for the Gen Z generation, who don’t have too much economic conditions but are interested in eco-friendly products.
Despite its small size and low price, the manufacturer still tries to promote the Mini EV as a fashion product, rather than merely as a practical mobility tool. Thanks to that, it really attracts young user groups. According to the company, more than 70% of their car buyers were born after 1990, at least 60% of them are women. On Chinese social networks like Weibo or the Xiaohongshu lifestyle app, topics related to the car’s interior and exterior make it a trend, reaching tens of millions of views.
For many years, small, low-speed electric cars in China were mainly used by family members, often in the countryside, where they were aiming for low prices. In some cases, these vehicles are suitable for specific communities rather than a “street” product, completely different from Mini EV. Through a series of marketing activities, however, Wuling is looking to change this image. In March, they held a private event for Mini EV owners in Shanghai – where hundreds of cars had their beauty displayed.
In April, Wuling launched a new model under the Mini EV brand name “macaron”, inspired by France. This macaron series is priced from 36,800 yuan ($ 5,675). The company is also about to release a convertible version. To date, more than 200,000 vehicles have been sold – a truly impressive figure given that Tesla has sold just over half a million cars globally.
The new wave of electric cars
The product of the SAIC-GM-Wuling alliance is aimed at a group of users who may not be able to afford a Tesla. But that bodes well for the electric car industry. “Mini has clearly greatly expanded consumer awareness of electric vehicles in China and will have a strong impact in other countries, as they launch similar urban electric models,” said Canalys’s Jones. conclude.
Reference source: QZ
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