Interesting post. I'd like to know how this person has access to the internet in such a totalitarian state.
Great web site! From the pictures they show, it appears that the author of this review is one of the few to even own a car there, the roads in the cities are practically deserted. Definitely not a place I would want to live.
Apparently, the Hwiparam is a Fiat Siena/Palio underneath. The car isn't too bad, and it's good to see some progress like this in North Korea.
I wonder how one goes about getting petrol for it.
I am the initial reviewer. Just an update. The car has still been going well, even though sometimes it has not driven for weeks due to no fuel. No more problems with illumination.
To respond to some comments: The roads in North Korea are not all empty! Pyongyang has many vehicles, many people have no requirement for a vehicle because of the many other forms of transport. This is a common car in Pyongyang, but most cars are secondhand from Japan or maybe China. Thank you to most comments.
YEs.. North korea doesn't allow anyone to get on the internet.
Much less make comments such as those.
To the person wrote that they think it would be great to have the government giving cars out to people, I sincerely hope you are joking!!
I'm surprised Fiat is even allowed to engage in joint venture business with North Korea and its Pyongwha motors, considering the country is under economic sanctions. Given that Fiat is partly supported by the Italian government obviously the US foreign policy towards North Korea does not mean much to the Italians. They should not be promoting economic prosperity in this crazy country. God bless America, where the motor car was born, and where we still lead the pack in the automotive field!
To the comment right before mine...
Automobiles may have originated in America, but we do not still lead the automotive field. Have you recently compared Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Pontiac, or GMC with Honda, Toyota, or Nissan? There is no comparison. Why do you think these cars maintain such high resale values? I would love to say that an American made car is best.. unfortunately it just isn't so.
Way to bash your country on an international forum. Are you proud of yourself for that?
You should learn something from the North Korean gentleman who posted the original (helpful and well written) review. Perhaps the governments of our two countries might be at odds, but at least he knows how to stand up for his country.
You are very much mistaken about the Japanese manufacturers nameplates being quality leaders in the automotive industry. Toyota was the industry leader in recalls last year, with a list of major problems that includes engines failing at low mileages due to sludge. Late model Honda's are experiencing experiencing mass transmission failures before 40K miles. With so many people now getting burned by quality problems with Japanese cars that they bought with the belief that they would be flawless, the "myth" of them being superior is slowly starting to fade. Take a look at this site and see for yourself.
Actually, its Japanese vehicles sold in the North American domestic market that are of poor quality. The vehicles sold in the hyper competitive Japanese Domestic Market are generally of superior quality to the NADM cousins, and purposely exported used around the world.
Most Japanese vehicles in Canada and the US are built in Canada and the US.
Sounds like a pretty good, car. I would buy one if they sold it here in Australia.
I think you'll find a gentleman with the surname of Benz was involved.
Also, I know this review was written before the "Big 3" went cap in hand to congress to save them, but how ironic that Toyota, Nissan and Honda are in far better financial shape, as they've been managed far better.
I used to be in car sales, in my time I've sold--Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, Kia, Daihatsu, Vauxhall, Ford and Honda, by far the best for reliability and build was Honda, by far the worst, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge.
All these people sticking up for the awful NK regime - wonder how many of you live there? Exactly.
I didn't see anybody sticking up for it, just pleased to hear from somebody there. Give it time, communism is gasping its last, once the old guard dies it should change for the better.
Is this blog a political debate or a car review?... I'm a bit confused. Lets not abuse the site guys and gals... It's nice to see we have a review from a North Korean, yes, but it is a review, and should be respected as an assessment of the vehicle by the owner. Please stay on task, this site was constructed for automobile enthusiasts/enquirers, and that holds a testament to the merit and reliability provided by legitimate reviews... Lets not forget that.
I like to hear about vehicles we in the west would otherwise know nothing about. When the Iron curtain came down, we found all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff they'd been hiding - Tatras, Zils, Zims, Chaikas, Barkas vans, Trabants etc.
They still made the Hillman Hunter in Iran until recently.
I agree. Were it not for the review, I wouldn't have known about the Pyonghwa Hwiparam. And yes, there were lots of interesting vehicles built behind the iron curtain.
I have a hard time believing that the original poster is from North Korea. Only the highest officials have internet access there. And you can watch any video on North Korea to know that their roads, even in the heart of the capital, are barren.
Don't get carried away, people... this is obviously a hoax. You can't get on the Internet even now, in 2012, in North Korea, and the original posting was made in 2006, when an even crazier despot was in control.
I like the author's deadpan style, with mind-boggling facts (car a gift from the state; applying to go on holiday beyond city limits) conveyed in simple but perfect English.
I am confused. Why would you need a permit from the Government to go on vacation, outside of the city? I am also confused by Wikipedia that listed the total production of this car as "under 400" for the entire year of 2005. Did they mean 400 per day? Where are the statistics for the current year?
This review is not genuine. There is little internet access in North Korea outside of government use, and less again in 2006, when the review was posted. The English used is too high of standard, and for a North Korean to criticize fuel shortages as the reviewer has, would be viewed as an act of treason.