每日英語跟讀 Ep.893: Wheels falling off China’s ‘deep fake’ car manufacturer
Chinese automobile manufacturer Zotye Auto is a household name in China. The company is famous for manufacturing copies of car models by luxury international brands including Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini. After a long delay, on June 22, Zotye Auto finally released its 2019 year end financial results. The report revealed that last year, the automaker suffered losses of 11.2 billion yuan (approximately NT$46.6 billion), or an average of 30 million yuan per day. The company’s market value also shrank from 30 billion yuan to a mere 3.6 billion yuan. Even worse, because the company is unable to guarantee the authenticity, accuracy and completeness of its financial report, Zotye Auto has been issued with a “risk of delisting warning” by Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Seemingly without a care for the outside world, Zotye Auto has been audaciously building slavish copies of imported luxury car models. The company became a household name in China after producing facsimile versions of the Audi Q3 (Zotye SR7), Porsche Macan (Zotye SR9) and Lamborghini Urus (Zotye Concept S). Due to Zotye Auto’s uncanny ability to produce lookalike cars, there is a joke currently doing the rounds in China: “If you want to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, pay a visit to Zotye Auto.”
眾泰汽車因為不顧外界觀瞻，大膽模仿進口名車，而在中國家喻戶曉，該公司推出的眾泰SR7模仿奧迪Q3，眾泰SR9模仿保時捷Macan ，眾泰Concept S模仿蘭寶堅尼Urus。由於模仿能力出眾，中國坊間甚至流傳著一句調侃話：「這輩子能不能開蘭寶堅尼，就看眾泰了！」
However, having relied on imitating the work of others, the company lacks home-grown innovation, while the quality of its vehicles has not kept pace with the sophistication of its copycat designs. Annual sales have been steadily falling too: in 2016, the company sold 330,000 vehicles. This fell to 310,000 in 2017 and only 230,000 in 2018. Zotye Auto initially set a sales target of 480,000 vehicles per year, yet in 2018 it failed to reach even half that figure. Last year, sales declined at an even steeper rate with the company only managing to shift 116,600 vehicles.
To make matters even worse, Zotye Auto chief executive Lou Guohai has stated that he cannot guarantee the authenticity, accuracy and completeness of his company’s year end financial report, citing various reasons including uncertainty over the company’s ability to continue operating, multiple lawsuits and outstanding obligations.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/07/01/2003739125