After delaying mass production of the Angkor Car because of technical difficulties with starting the engine and opening the doors, Heng Development Co. Ltd. on Monday unveiled a new model and said it had severed ties with the Hong Kong-based firm responsible for the original car’s defects.
“We had signed an agreement with Chau Leong Enterprise Group to provide the electrical appliances for the Angkor Car, and he told me he had a factory in Hong Kong that produces cars. But when I went to Hong Kong to visit his company…I was disappointed, he had no factory,” said Seang Changheng, chairwoman of Heng Development, at a showroom on Monivong Boulevard where the new car was unveiled.
The Angkor Car, which operates on an electric engine and is almost as wide as it is long, was first introduced in 2011 after Heng Development inked a deal with Chau Leong to build a factory in Takhmao City in Kandal province to produce the car. But production hit a wall when designers were unable to integrate a fingerprint scanner function used to start the engine and open the doors.
Ms. Changheng said that Heng Development had solely produced the new car shown on Monday.
Nhean Phaloek, the Angkor Car’s founding designer, said Heng Development is looking to invest with a Japanese company, though he declined to reveal which company his firm was targeting.
“We are looking to invest with a Japanese company,” he said.
The new model looks drastically different from the original, with a hard top and the type of scissor doors seen on some high-end sports cars. It also costs twice as much as the original version at $10,000
“We still use a fingerprint scan to open the doors and start the engine…and you spend only three hours charging and then you can drive 300 km. It is cheaper than gasoline,” Mr. Phaloek said, adding that Heng Development plans to release a three-seat model by June and also has plans for a four-seat, six-seat and 12-seat model in the future.
Mr. Phaloek said it was still unclear how many cars the company will attempt to put on the market.