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Vietnamese automaker, Chinese partner reveal first mini electric vehicle

HANOI, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese car manufacturer TMT Motors unveiled on Wednesday the first flagship micro electric car, the Wuling HongGuang MINI EV, marking its debut in the local industry of electric vehicles with what has been known as the world's best-selling microcar for three years in a row, TMT Motors said in an online statement.

"Externally, the first Wuling HongGuang MINI EV, featuring color-coordinated peach pink and white roof, has been meticulously finished with details," said TMT Motors.

The mini electric car has been assembled at the existing facilities of TMT Motors in the northern province of Hung Yen, about 40 km southeast of the capital of Hanoi, which currently has an annual capacity of 30,000 vehicles and is set to double the capacity to 60,000 units per year, the Vietnamese automaker added.

The electric car is the brainchild of SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture between Chinese automakers SAIC Motor and Guangxi Automobile Group, and U.S. firm General Motors.

TMT Motors and the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture in February signed a strategic cooperation agreement, in which TMT Motors has the exclusive authority to manufacture, assemble and distribute Wuling mini models in Vietnam. The Chinese partner is committed to supplying components and auto parts to ensure quality and delivery.

"The Hongguang MINI EV is set to play a role in opening the mini electric vehicle segment in Vietnam," TMT Motors chairman Bui Van Huu said at the signing ceremony.

The micro electric car is introduced in Vietnam with two doors and four seats. Despite its diminutive size, the mini electric car still offers major practicalities that meet the travel needs of Vietnamese consumers, especially for those who drive a moderate distance daily and want to save money, TMT Motors said in its statement.

The car manufacturer also highlighted that the Wuling HongGuang has a wall-mounted charging box as a medium for charging electricity at home, thus charging this battery is easier than full-size electric cars.

The Vietnamese automaker has yet to announce the retail price of the microcar but cost-conscious Vietnamese customers expect prices to start at around 100 million Vietnamese dong (about 4,200 U.S. dollars).

TMT Motors is set to take orders for the Wuling HongGuang MINI EV in the second quarter of the year.