Quite often, we don’t have a good opinion of chinese design. Chinese manufacturers are young, and so are their designers. It shows. A good solution then, is to hire a respected designer for some contractual work. Most likely he will be italian. Pininfarina and Giugiaro have many asian customers these days, but chinese manufaturers can also open a R&D center in Italy, with a focus on design, and this is precisely what Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) has done.
JAC is a newcomer to the auto industry, it started making cars barely 3 years ago. But it has been China’s leading bus company for 14 years. Its first cars were uninteresting old Hyundai (built under license), but it came out last year with the very nice A0 below.
The A0 is a very nice looking little car, and it should have a smaller brother sometimes, if this electric hybrid JAC Vision IV concept gets its visa for production. We believe it should. This looks new and successful, it’s a fresh and bright design. There’s customers waiting for it in every big city of Europe. Best of all, it’s an hybrid, so guess it’s clean, but we don’t have any details about its drivetrain yet. We’ll find out at the Beijing motorshow this week-end. Still, let’s write it plainly, we’re impressed: a good design with hybrid technology makes a winning combination in our eyes.