In the world of product management, people are obsessed with market research, ROIs, KPIs, data-driven decision-making, and quantifiable results. The flip side to this is creating the product, digital or otherwise. Making a product from scratch requires creativity, which is not quantifiable by any measure. In today’s highly analytical corporate world it is amazing anything can get made at all. Data is everything. So I would like to know how Great Wall Motors came up with the name Funky Cat for their Ora brand of electric city cars? Was there a data-driven market research decision behind the name? Who knows who cares? The Funky Cat will arrive in UK showrooms by around Autumn. Ora Funky Cat take my money now!
Prices will start at £30,000 GBP with entry-level models offering a 48kWh battery pack and a claimed range of 193 miles. Probably at best a real-world range of 150 miles. The model lineup will grow to 58kWh and 63kWh for future variants with the range increasing to 209 miles and 261 miles respectively.
All Funky Cat’s (it is such a great name) will have a maximum 80kW fast charging capability, 6.6kW and 11kW AC charging is offered as standard. The electric motor generates 170bhp / 250 NM (184lb ft) of torque and will drive the front wheels. Performance is not too shabby, 8.5 seconds to 62mph and a 99mph top speed.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, a fully digital interior with face recognition (uh-oh!), and a suite of driver convenience and safety equipment. Four colours (red, grey, green, black) will be available at launch with the option of speccing a contrasting roof. Great Wall has set a target of selling 50,000 Funky Cats in the UK, 6,000 pre-orders have already been accounted for.
Great Wall previously sold the Steed SUV, which we tested, before pulling out of the UK market six years ago. The Steed was built like a tank inside and out and unfortunately drove like one. The Ora Funky Cat looks like a comprehensive and significant step forward for Great Wall. In many ways, the Ora Funky Cat is China, it is hegemony wrapped up as an electric car brand, it is one of the many signals that the world is entering the Chinese century.
Let us hope the Chinese century is better than the American century which is currently entering a period of decline and eventual loss of hegemony.