Renault Twizy: See How The Tiny Electric City Car Is Built--By Hand

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Building cars by hand is an increasingly endangered art, and the few carmakers that still persist tend to charge rather a lot for their products.

Renault's Twizy electric minicar doesn't quite feature hand-rolled fenders or curvaceous aluminum bodywork, but unusually it uses far less automation than you'd expect of a modern vehicle--in fact, the whole car is built up by humans, rather than robots.

Low production numbers are the reason, as is the relatively low purchase price. Production automation would quickly boost costs--and therefore purchase price--to a point where its manufacture would no longer be viable.

The tiny Twizy is built at Renault's Valladolid plant, in Spain.

Every aspect of the Twizy's hand-built production--not to mention the vehicle itself--has been designed to reduce the investment required to build it, yet ensure maximum quality and efficiency.

Seeing each bare Twizy frame being pushed down the line by hand is a far cry even from Smart's build process for the Fortwo Electric drive. At the same time, you can see how much work goes into producing a car, even when it's as small and simple as the light-weight electric Twizy.

And while it's no hand-built Aston Martin or Morgan sports car, it's nice to know each $9,000 vehicle has had that hand-finished touch...

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