Mareum Design to make foray into Chinese pickup market with electric trucks

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : March 31, 2023, 17:32 Updated : April 1, 2023, 00:27

[Courtesy of Mareum Design]

SEOUL -- Mareum Design, a car design company in South Korea, aims to secure its foothold in the Chinese small-sized pickup truck market through its two electric truck models -- a one-ton class model and a 0.5-ton class model. The vehicles set to be commercialized in China in the first half of 2024 would be manufactured by a Chinese company through a consignment production method.
IR3 E-Pickup weighing about 0.5 tons and the one-ton truck called IR5 E-Light were showcased at Seoul Mobility Show 2023, the largest car event in South Korea, during a press day event on March 30. The vehicles incorporate a button-type starter and dial-type shift lever. Various advanced functions were installed such as a rear detection sensor and a rapid charging system.
Before the official showcase event, Mareum Design CEO Jang Joun-ho told Aju Korea Daily that the market demand for pickup vehicles is huge in China where there are plenty of rural houses with garages. "Residents living in houses with garages can freely customize and repair their trucks," Jang said, adding that South Korea does not have that many such houses as most people live in apartments. According to data released by the China Passenger Car Association, 43,000 pickup trucks were sold in February 2022 in China, up 25.2 percent from a year ago.
"Through an order management contract, a Chinese vehicle manufacturer called Shenhe will establish a production line in China," the CEO said. The Chinese company in central China specializes in various transporters including dump garbage trucks and container transport trailers.
According to Jang, the two products were showcased at South Korea's major mobility event as domestic products are popular among Chinese consumers. "To commercialize vehicles in South Korea, we need to consider various safety factors such as autonomous emergency braking functions and a sound-generator system that will create driving sounds for silent electric vehicles," Jang said. However, he said it is relatively easy to launch businesses in China as most EVs can be commercialized as long as they are properly operable.
The CEO has not disclosed the price for both vehicles in China. "Each truck would cost about 32 million won ($24,549) in South Korea. It would be slightly cheaper in China but we haven't decided on the price yet."
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