Renault Twizy Assembly Moving To South Korea

OCT 24 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 15

Going where the sales are.

The Renault Twizy may have found its audience. A rare sight on North American shores — the low-speed version of the 2-seater had been available for lease in Canada — the funky quadricycle has had dismal sales since shortly after it began production. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, the French automaker has only managed to move an average of about 3,800 examples of the all-electric oddity per year. The single bright spot has been South Korea, where it was introduced in 2016, and so now assembly of the vehicle is being shipped to that East Asian peninsula.

The French automaker blames the poor sales figures on the lack of charging infrastructure, but guess what region has lots of charging points and, relatively, high Twizy sales? Yup, South Korea. So, instead of canceling the program outright, the company will shift production to the Renault Samsung factory in Busan. Though historically 60 percent of Twizy production had been exported, more recently upwards of 90 percent had been funneled to Korea to meet demand.

While we’re not sure how many people the assembly line will employ there, according to Ward’s Auto, the headcount at the current Twizy plant in Valladolid, Spain had dwindled down to a mere 33 persons. No doubt the shift of production should help bring up margins on its Asian sales, which should help the company’s bottom line. It will also free up space at the Spanish facility for other work.

With Twizy gone from Valladolid, production of battery packs for the plug-in hybrid versions of the Renault Captur and Megane will happen there instead. The arrangement will also add a few more jobs for the plant, with estimates of 70 workers needed to handle that task.

There remain no plans to bring the Twizy to the U.S., which makes sense. There top spec of the car is limited to a 50 mile-per-hour top speed and it isn’t exactly weather-proof. Still, we’re kind of sad it isn’t available to rent at certain destination locations —  a marketing plan startup Arcimoto is pursuing, and one which Renault had actually experimented with in San Francisco for a short period. We kind of like the idea of rambling around the Florida Keys, for example, in one of the contraptions. Especially if it was kitted out like the Sport F1 Concept from a few years back.

Source: Ward’s Auto

Categories: Renault

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15 Comments on "Renault Twizy Assembly Moving To South Korea"

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offib

They need to update the Twizy, how can’t they? Even the Kango Z.E. received a 33kWh battery with wither more amp hours, or more cells per module. As an 80 volt system it’s not hard to see a worthy capacity improvement with just more paralleled modules – or more Ah cells in ususal series voltage. Imagine a Twizy that has a seal-able doored cabin – as an option. Imagine a real 100km – 130km range with 10kWh nominal capacity and god forbid 6.6kW charging? It would be viewed far more practical with such a little improvement. Perhaps even worth more its weight and size.

That’s all it needs. However since the 2010 test mules existed, the Twizy hasn’t improved for us in the EU. If it’s not impressing anyone to buy them for 10 grand now, it’s most surely making interested buyers anxious whether a new and improved refresh will be coming. Practically every other EV has done so.

But what will this assembly move mean? Are Twizy’s still going to be sold in the EU or is it just migrating as the Samsung SM3 Z.E. did?

dan

Would you actually drive a 100 km in a Twizy? It’s target audience are city dwellers running errands and in more rural areas, tourists doing sight seeing. Neither of those demographics are going to slog it out for 100-130km in any given day in a Twizy.

offib

Hey, dan

Those demographics are defined and confined in the sunny regions of europe. It’s still a machine and people will expect practicality from it – or they’ll roll their eyes at it.

Not everywhere is the city. Where I am the “ideal runabout” for a city car is in the middle of the country side and the nearest hamlets/towns are always more than 15km from eachother. The current Twizy with a fresh new battery can just about do those runs to the shops for the messages, just. It only has a 13 amp plug and 6kWh. Its usability fails to justify its msrp price or even its battery rental. And we’re not even getting close to talk about it’ll cope with misreable winter driving

If it can do it out there, it can do it in any city.

It’s a vehicle hailing from 2010 and it needs a realistic update; and yes to travel 100km minimum and charging that uses modern infrastructure would make it liveable.

Or are we ready to see the Twizy die?

dan

For the use you describe, an economic 4 or 5 seater EV is likely to only cost a little bit more than the Twizy and is likely to not use up that much more energy. The Twizy is basically a ‘car’ for people who don’t like motorbikes. It will always have to fight off bicycles and motorbikes for shorter commutes and small, frugal cars for longer commutes or anybody who is likely to have a passenger. It’s not the range that is killing the Twizy. That format just doesn’t have a market in most places.

It’s no different from the Segway that came out in the US a couple of decades ago. It’s not as practical as a bicycle and for the most part, walking beats the dork factor of riding around on it. So, the only people who use it are tourists in guided tours of US cities.

wavelet

I suspect range isn’t the issue (assuming the real range people talk about of 80km is true for moderate speeds). Price is probably much more of an issue…

offib

wavelet
Price and value.

John Doe

I love to drive the Twizy. The ONLY reasons I have not bought one is price and there should be a bit better doors and some kind of heater system.

If the price was low enough, I could manage with how it is now.

Basically it just needs an upgrade and a lower price.

For the same price I could Just about buy a small normal car, with AC, that is waterproof, can seat 4-5 people, have room for more luggage, offer more comfort, has longer range and can even tow a small trailer. .

I rent the Twizy when I’m in the south of Europe. Perfect for cities with narrow streets. Fun to drive, small turning radius . . Feels tight and has a firm suspension.

offib

There’s a few hardly touched second hand Twizys in Ireland for dirt cheap. No one wants to touch them, definitely not for 10 grand new, and definitely not with a battery lease.

Nick

I would have moved the production line to the bottom of the sea.
It’s nonsense like the Twizy that gives electric vehicles a bad name and destroys their credibility.

Nono13

Such a stupid comment.

Erwin

Making room to move LEAF production out of UK.

wavelet

I’m surprised Renault are still making it. The car’s never been a big success, even though I’d expected it would be useful for niches like national parks and single-person (sub)urban rental — 80km/h is fine for that (not in the US, where it wouldn’t pass the regs).

john Doe

They should do everything to automate production, and cut the price by 25%. It really is great fun to drive, and it has it’s use for sure. If you can test one, you should.
of course, it’s not the best choise if you live in a country with proper winters.. but for many this would be an OK choise.
Given a price that reflect what you buy, that is..

Fred

I had one for 4 year and drove it daily even when snowing. The only real required improvement is the suspension that breaks your back. Otherwise it is a fantastic toy.

Nono13

An update of the suspension and the battery (~10 kWh) would be really great.