That funny Las-Vegas based company that wanted to bring an EV version of a tiny Russian city car to YOU?

(not in Las Vegas)

Well, a post from a friend on Facebook led me to try to dig up their old web site. Surprise! it still exists!

http://www.okaauto.com

So the next thing to try was calling them. That number was surely disconnected.

Nope! a guy answered, apparently they’re still selling the car as a NEV or as a kit. They sell only a few a year, but that’s enough. The guy on the phone poked fun at people who bought the car in kit form to install their own engine.
“we sell them as NEV, but some people think they can reinvent the wheel and put a different engine in them, so they buy them as a kit without a drivetrain, but then they discover how hard it is, and out of every 100 we sell, it feels like 2 get finished and then the unfinished ones are for sale on eBay for less than the kit cost originally”

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Their web site also sells models of the OKA. 1/43 for $30. That seemed a bit steep, but I was lured in by the promise of it being a nice Italian-built model. I also asked the OKA guys to send me any marketing materials they had for the car. They said Sure, but they were at CES over the weekend, so it’d have to wait.

It arrived today!

And the disappointment started.
It’s a DeAgostini model. So while it is by an Italian company, it’s made in China, and therefore much easier and cheaper to find elsewhere.

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And then, there’s the marketing materials they sent.

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“Okay, that one’s on printer paper,” I thought, “but that’s easy enough to have as a printout. it’s weird that says “MSRP for 2007 Model Year OKA” though.”

And then there was the “brochure.”

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I hope they brought better marketing materials than this to CES!

Either way, I wish OKA USA the best in their endeavors, and I hope I see one or two scooting around Detroit sometime.