According to China Daily Wuling Motors, a joint venture of GM, Shanghai Automotive and Wuling Motors sold 36,000 mini EVs in January 2021 toppling Tesla's Model 3 as the worlds best-selling electric car and to add insult even if you combine Tesla Model 3 and Y combined they still did not sell as many EVs as Wuling Motors.
Wuling Motor's Mini EV, has no connection with BMW Mini and it comes in two configurations, two or four seater, range of 106 miles and top speed of 62 mph and depending on options sells starting at $4,500 and $6,300.
Four months before it went on sale, auto reporters were invited to share their views in March 2020. They over all said it would not sell in big cities where international brands were preferred and chances would be slim in small towns or rural areas where people were constantly choosing gasoline auto's. These views have proved wrong and with it the facts that EVs at an attractive price point would sell in large numbers to the general population.
The Mini EV has safety front and center with 57% of the auto made of High Strength Steel. It also has anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and reversing radar. The back seats are equipped with two ISOFIX child safety seat restraint interfaces to cater to young families.
The auto has 13 kW of Power (17.5 hp) and 85 Nm of torque (115.3 ft-lbs) to go along with a smart battery management system that uses pre-heating and battery insulation to deal with cold or heat as well as IP68 water proofing and dustproofing of the battery system. The mini EV is 2,917 mm long (115 inches), 1,493 mm wide (59 inches) and 1,621 mm high (64 inches) on a 1,940 mm (76 inches) wheelbase. Ultimate inner city or urban commuting auto.
Wuling Motors now has requests from 150 counties / regions in China asking when will the Mini EVs go on sale. As production ramps, so will new outlet offering the Mini EV.
Statistics are currently showing that the majority of buyers are in small cities / towns with 72% of these buyers born in the 90's and 60% of them are female.
Where Tesla is considered a toy for the Rich, Wuling has gone after the Companion to the young independent Woman / Man. Selling points have been easier to park and maneuver especially for new drivers. The range while short in comparison to Tesla is more than enough for commuting to work, easy to charge at home over night as well as cute, customizable and affordable.
Wuling motors has been showing GM how to build profitable small auto's and market them for success. Wuling says you sell them like designer clothes, not like traditional auto's. Wuling has achieved this by partnering with Pantone, the global authority on Color and Design. In addition, Wuling / GM / Shanghai automotive are working on partner deals of co-branding with Disney and Nike for the regional markets.
The focus has been rather than copy everyone one else on making auto's that look like Tesla and sell much higher, Wuling has focused on the last mile of mobility and looking good while arriving. Wuling is also launching e-bikes and scooters as it has branded itself as a Lifestyle Brand not an auto company.