Visionary Vehicles: First Pictures Chery Cars and Factory, Wuhu, China
Ed.Note In order to better explain the relevance of pictures of a "Made in China" Chery Car, we are taking the liberty to republish a story that appeared on The Auto Channel right after the 2005 Detroit Auto Show ended
Tuesday January 13, 2005
Bricklin's First Detroit 2005 Interview(Conducted by the Co-publisher of The Auto Channel, I am Happy To Say)
Last Sunday morning in Detroit's Cobo Hall, The Auto Channel Co-publisher Bob Gordon went one on one (or many-see pic above) with this legendary car guy and came out impressed as hell about the Man and his vision and why he thinks that the only way to "screw this one up" is to stop paying attention.
I asked him if he could become the new millennium’s Preston Tucker, he said that "the times have changed and the power of the consumer is stronger then the US auto industry, so if we offer what the consumer wants we will be successful in spite of the entrenched powers that be." My opinion is that his new entity Visionary Vehicles is Malcolm’s opportunity for a very positive legacy, one that will overcome the YUGO and other visionary yet unsuccessful past ventures. When asked about the YUGO Malcolm said that "with all of the negative press the YUGO was never recalled, right idea, wrong time, wrong country.
“The Chinese” he told me "really want this to work and have smiled at the investment necessary to build and support an ultra-modern auto factory from scratch. The plant is brand new and state of the art and will be building state of the art vehicles."
Visionary Vehicles is in the process of creating a dealer network of about 250 who will sell the 250,000 cars Malcolm said would be brought in the first year. I was told that Visionary Vehicles is a paradigm and that their dealers should understand that a store away from the car malls would be preferable.
In response to a question concerning service Bricklin suggested that owners when not in their neighborhood would be able to use independent service providers around the country for warranty work and regular maintenance.
Scheduled to appear on the docks of the U.S. is an Entry Level model, a Sedan, a Coupe, SUV and a Crossover, this complete line of 5 models coming will each sell for at least 30% less than its category competition. These vehicles will be designed by renowned designers, including the Bertone and Pininfarnina, and because production will take place in a modern flexible factory the variety and choices for the consumer will be plentiful...colors, engines, options, etc.
As my 44 year old son Mark told me right after he brought home his first child a couple of months ago, “hey Pop today’s forty (40) is yesterdays thirty (30)” I can almost hear Bricklin saying “yesterday’s Japan is today’s China” Oh yeah he did say that! A full report from our interview will be forthcoming...Stay Tuned To The Auto Channel.