Sighted in China: First Gen Renault Twingo

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20121230 210036 Sighted in China: First Gen Renault TwingoAfter an evening of stuffing my face with spicy hotpot meat and drinking cold Qingdao beers I staggered came out of a fine establishment smelling like a Sichuan bathroom, and began my journey of slip sliding home on an icy coating of snow. The restaurant car park had an unusual green monobox vehicle that I recalled from childhood trips to mainland Europe: A first Generation Twingo.

The first generation Twingo was first produced in 1992 and ran until 2007 in France, Colombia produced it until 2003 and Uruguay had it until 2007. A second, Slovenian made, Twingo II aired in Europe in 2007 but that hasn’t made it to China as of yet.

So how did a Twingo end up in China? As far as we know the Twingo was never made in the Chinese market and it was never officially imported either. So who would to bring a Twingo to China? Parts aren’t widely available, and the sparse Renault service network in China would likely turn their nose up if you ever came in for a service.

When I was a child the Twingo was the car of choice for my dad when we went on family trips to mainland Europe, the Twingo was never sold in the UK and my dad liked to treat them like miniature hoonboxes for driving across French and Spanish cities for a few Francs per day.

Any idea how it got here in China? Let us know via the comment box.

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  • Momo
    January 1, 2013

    I saw one in Beijing a few times in the past few years, driven by a westerner and sporting those black/white registration plates. I guess it was owned by someone working at an embassy or some official foreign organization who got it imported from Europe. Maybe the same happened for that Twingo with their previous owner.

  • Armin
    January 4, 2013

    A company called Anhui Anchi Motor Industial Ltd that mostly built a Daewoo Tico-copy planned to build a Twingo-copy in 2002 bevor closing down in 2003.

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