Chinese car wins Shonky Award for cosmetic roof-racks

A Chinese-made car has been named one of the shonkiest products available in Australia, due to its roofracks that come with a warning: ‘Do not use’.

The car, from Chinese manufacturer Chery, is the J1 hatchback, which retails here for $11,990.

CHOICE magazine has dubbed the J1 Chery ‘Shonky for Chery with a Shonky on top’, honouring it in the 2011 Shonky Awards.

The Shonkies are CHOICE’s awards for the shoddiest services and the shonkiest products available in Australia throughout the past year.

CHOICE said: “It’s because of a little sticker inconspicuously placed on the inside of the roof rails, which warns: ‘Roof rails are for cosmetic purpose only. Do not use.’

“Whatever the ‘cosmetic purpose’ for bearing this car equivalent of a toupee, we’re concerned that if the car manages to outlast the sticker and someone buys it secondhand, will they know not to use the rails?”

The car offers a three-star ANCAP crash test rating. CHOICE says it’s already been banned in Victoria and recalled by the ACCC since its appearance on the local market.

Manufacturers’ Monthly thinks this is food for thought for Australian automotive manufacturers competing with imported Asian cars on the Australian market. 

Our manufacturing growth has been tipped to fall to -8.0 points over the next six months, partly due to market pessimism.

According to a study, mid-market businesses especially aren’t confident about the future of manufacturing in Australia. 

“The general lack of confidence we are seeing may result in a low appetite for risk and capital investment over the next six months," said a market specialist from the Commonwealth Bank, which published the report.

"Despite this, activity amongst Australian businesses looks set to continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace and in certain pockets of the economy. For those companies which take a proactive approach to management and planning, opportunity is still very much alive.”

CHOICE has made a funny animated video about the shonky Chinese car, which you can view below.

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Other 2011 Skonky Awards winners include: the Australian insurance industry for its shonky service to flood victims in Queensland, Victoria and NSW;  and the Go4Green EnergySmart, a shonky plug-in power-saving device.

Read the full list of 2011 Shonky Awards here.

Image: CHOICE.com.au