A Chinese car manufacturer, Jiangnan Auto (a subsidiary of Zotye Automobile), has released a new car in China.
The car looks exactly like the Suzuki Mehran but costs several times less. It has been named Jaingnan TT and bears resemblance to our Mehran. Jiangnan TT is being called the cheapest car in China and that’s a big achievement considering the tough Chinese market.
Suzuki Mehran has been the most sold car in Pakistan for more than a decade. However, the car which has remained the same for more than three decades, costs several times more than the newly revealed Jiangnan TT.
Constant price hikes means that you can end up paying over PKR 700,000 after registration for a Mehran and that’s part for the reason the public wants new car manufacturers to enter the Pakistani market.
As you can see in the image above, Jiangnan TT, looks a like a Mehran clone but with the right price tag. It starts at about $2,415 or just over Rs. 2.4 lacs. For the price, you get a very basic car which is still more than what Mehran offers. The car can seat 4 people and there’s ample space at the back.
The car is powered by a 0.8 litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 36 horsepower output. The engine is comparable to the Mehran and the TT can reach a top of speed 120 km/h. TT comes with a front wheel drive and its gearbox sports four-speed manual shifting.
The car is a Mehran clone, costs less and offers more features
In terms of dimensions, the car measures 3.3 meters in length and 1.4 meters in width. Yes those are exactly the same as Mehran. Jiangnan sells car parts at reduced prices as well, much less than the Suzuki car parts.
Car mileage is stated to be around 20 kms per liter. Jiangnan will sell the cars in relatively smaller cities and countryside. More details confirm that the car is indeed based on the second generation Suzuki Alto (1984-1988), which Suzuki developed in a joint venture with Changan Automobile. TT includes some minor improvements over the second-gen Alto. The second generation Suzuki Alto is more or less what we call Mehran today.
Suzuki and Changan have licensed the production rights of this car to various Chinese manufacturers. Many other manufacturers have built eccentric cars based on Alto’s designs.
While Mehran costs around three times as much as the TT, the latter offers a servicable AC, optional power windows as well as ABS. Since every company on Earth exists to make money, it’s safe to assume Jiangnen will make a profit on the TT.
Do note that Jiangnan and other Chinese car manufacturers aren’t like the Chinese products we’ve come to know in Pakistan. Most of the Chinese brands make high quality products but at good prices (case in point; Xiaomi, Huawei and others) but it seems like only the lower quality ones end up in Pakistan.
Nevertheless, it makes one wonder, why is Suzuki selling a 30 year old Alto (dubbed Mehran) at more than three times what it should really cost and still holding its market share? We leave it to our readers to answer this question in the comments section.
Thanks to Talal Masood for the Tip