General Motors recently announced the launch of the Hong Guang minivan in China. The practical new Hong Guang Mini EV is offered in three main variants and becomes the first all-electric vehicle.
While so many sectors of the economy have suffered huge losses during the coronavirus pandemic, some are doing well. One of them is car sales.
This is somewhat counterintuitive – because when everything is closed, where can we go in our cars? – but digging a little deeper, there are several logical reasons why a lot of people want to spend money on a new car.
Because everyone is locked up at home, people are saving more than ever before, so there is money and many want to spend it. For those still in need of a loan, interest rates are at an all-time low.
Car travel and country travel have largely supplanted air travel and international travel. And finally, buying a shiny new car just feels good.
Internal combustion engine vehicles continue to dominate the market, accounting for 97 percent of global vehicle sales through 2019. However, in China, electric cars are given to their owners and are cheaper, in particular, the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV electric car.
Launched on sale at the end of July, Hong Guang received over 15,000 orders within 20 days of release and another 35,000 the next month. A total of 50,000 orders in just two months.
So why are Chinese drivers so eager to spend their hard-earned cash on this tiny car?
Firstly, it’s not that much money, relatively speaking. The Hong Guang model in the minimum configuration costs 28,800 yuan (about $ 4,200 at the current exchange rate) or 327 thousand in rubles. That’s less than one tenth of the cost of the Tesla Model 3 (291,800 yuan).
Sure, you get a very different car for the money, but Chinese consumers seem to be fine with that, especially since the mini EV meets many of their practical needs for getting around big cities.
It doesn’t quite have the perfect futuristic look you’d expect from a new electric car, its designers opted instead for a square shape to try to maximize and minimize the available space at the same time.