New OX light truck is designed for the arduous conditions of the developing world and will be sold on a non-profit basis
10 May 2013

The world’s first flat-packed vehicle, a low-cost, two-tonne light truck called OX, designed for the most arduous conditions of the developing world, has been unveiled by the British entrepreneur, Sir Torquil Norman. He plans to sell production versions on a non-profit basis throughout the developing world.

Sir Torquil, whose previous charitable projects include a £30 million regeneration of London’s Camden Roundhouse as a youth training centre, has already invested about £1million in the project and established the Global Vehicle Trust to raise the further £3m he needs to build more prototypes and develop OX for production.

“Our aim,” says Sir Torquil, “is to give people in the developing world an affordable means of doing for themselves what they rely on outsiders for — fetching water, distributing seed and fertiliser, carrying people and produce to market and providing access to medical help.”

Designed by a well-known British engineering consultancy, OX consists of a simple, steel twin-rail chassis, flat body panels and a compact all-independent suspension — all of which can fit, when disassembled, inside the chassis. Major components will be made and part-assembled by European suppliers for assembly in simple workshops where a vehicle will be used. Six OX kits, with engines, can fit into one standard shipping container.

The OX’s simple three-person front bench seat locates the driver in the centre, eliminating a need for separate left- and right-hand-drive versions. The load area has rudimentary seating for 10 more occupants or space for eight large fuel drums and can carry a two-tonne payload — yet it is no longer than a Skoda Yeti.

The engine is a transversely mounted 2.2-litre Ford diesel driving the front wheels through a manual five-speed gearbox. Short overhangs, high ground clearance and wide tracks are all designed to make OX suitable for the world’s worst roads. The modular design will allow both four-wheel-drive and extra-length versions to be developed.

Sir Torquil Norman hopes his initial publicity will raise interest and backing among African and Asian-centred charities, and plans to have production-ready versions on the road “some time next year”.

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Comments
29

14 May 2013

Brilliant. I want one ! And great it's a bit of Brit engineering.

japester

14 May 2013

Sorry, this OX is just crap. Throughout the developing world the ubiquitous Japanese 4WD pickup rules. Nearly all 3rd world countries, already have various assembly plants, from proper car companies, including commercial vehicles.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

14 May 2013

Depends on the final price. A Dacia SUV is utterly crap in all ways compared to a Toyota Landcruiser Amazon V8 diesel, but only costs 15% of the price of one, and hence sells very well.

Get the right price (<£4500), and they will sell well ( & I hope they do).

 

gpt

14 May 2013

kcrally wrote:

Sorry, this OX is just crap. Throughout the developing world the ubiquitous Japanese 4WD pickup rules. Nearly all 3rd world countries, already have various assembly plants, from proper car companies, including commercial vehicles.

If as you say the jap pickup rules then how come the Dacia duster is such a success?Yes there are assemble plants in a lot of third world countries but they have to make a profit and so the cost benefits of a machine that is put together locally with next to no overheads to account for, from a company that does not make a profit must be considerable.This thing has to be aimed at the Nano end of the market and there will be a lot of them on the streets of India loaded up the roof. This could just be the Indian Transit

A34

14 May 2013

... imply an urban focus? Maybe this is more for India and China?

Nonetheless good luck to the inventor. Seems that now and again someone invents a car/truck for those who can only afford 2nd-hand. Remember the Africar

14 May 2013

I don't think they are small wheels, they look the same design as our works Transit. The vehicle must be fairly tall.

14 May 2013

A34 wrote:

... imply an urban focus? Maybe this is more for India and China?

Nonetheless good luck to the inventor. Seems that now and again someone invents a car/truck for those who can only afford 2nd-hand. Remember the Africar

 

If I am not mistaken, the "Africar" proprietor was jailed for fraud and only prototypes were ever built.

 

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africar

 

14 May 2013

Like a McLaren F1!

I think they'll sell pretty well as a tuk-tuk replacement. Crash safety I imagine is non-existent however. Not that people in the places I've visited in East Africa/SE Asia seem to care about that.

14 May 2013

I hope they have done their market reserach as it reads like a pipe dream a GCSE student would propose.

Still if all fails MG can rebadge it as their all new "More" British Flat Pack SUV.

14 May 2013

Revolutionary, relevant, and real.  A breath of fresh air - great to see there is still life and ingenuity left in the Pommy industry.  Well done, guys.

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