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LeCar Is a Bad Name for a Possibly Good Tesla Rival from a Chinese Billionaire

Did you think LaFerrari sounded stupid? How's LeCar turning out for you, then? Actually, for those lacking even the most basic knowledge of the French language, it might pass as nothing out of the ordinary.
LeCar concept 5 photos
LeCar conceptLeCar conceptLeCar conceptLeCar concept
As for the Mandarin speakers, they could even break a smile a little as 'le' means 'happy' in their language. Those with a good memory might also remember a little Renault model named Le Car - the name under which the famous Renault 5 went in the USA.

It's not the first time Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting used this naming scheme for one of his company's products, Leshi Internet Information & Technology. The most important of them is called LeTV and is dubbed as the Chinese version of Netflix.

Back to LeCar, this project is as serious as they get, Jia Yueting investing $1.2 billion into the company last year, money he got by selling some of his shares in the company. Not only that, but he's also managed to gather quite a team around him with the likes of Tony Nie, a founding member of Lotus China in charge. The whole team numbers over 600 employees, some of which used to work for important companies such as BMW, GM or even Tesla.

So, the money is there, the know-how is there and by the looks of it, the will to take this project all the way is also present. With Tesla patents now publicly available, a company with a strong background in electronics development might just pull it off. Still, fighting Tesla takes more than simply building a good electric car.Is there any chance for LeCar, then?
First of all, the Tesla Model S is a practical sedan, while the LeCar looks more like a shooting brake but with limited practicality. On the other hand, these images are just sketches so the final vehicle might end up looking completely different.

But the most important aspect is the other things Tesla is offering: a nation-wide network of superchargers that you can use for free part of a very special ownership experience.

What's more, even though Leshi Internet Information & Technology's products (TV's and smartphones) are the most popular in China, it's because they're affordable. LeCar will unavoidably be an expensive car, and the nouveau-riche Chinese will most likely be reluctant when it comes to buying a local luxury product. Or maybe they will use a clever marketing campaign and will win them over with the brilliancy of their car, who knows?

But as capitalist theoreticians have always been telling us, competition is the best thing for a healthy economy, so adding another Tesla competitor on the map should be a positive aspect for us, the end users. If everything goes to plan, LeCar will be shown at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show with a commercial launch planned for 2018.


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