By on August 24, 2009

Is the owner of this Zap Xebra hoping the trash collector will take away this pile of junk? He may as well, because it’s been sitting there with a For Sale sign for well over six months. When I finally decided to stop and take a look at what he wants for it, I found out why. He’s been Zapped!

In my scathing review of the Xebra (here) I pointed out the harsh truth: these pieces of junk cobbled together in Chinese sweat-shop “factories” sell for about $3K in China. Zap asks $12K for them stateside and brags about the Xebra’s operating costs of “about 3 cents per mile”.

When I looked at the seller’s flyer a little closer, I began to wonder: He/she spent a total of $14.5K for the 2006 sedan and its upgraded batteries, etc. It has 3,360 miles on it (that tells you something right there). They are “hoping for $7,500.” Hopes are going to be dashed on the cruel rocks of eBay.

eBay’s listing for completed sales of Xebras are an eye-opener: A new ’08 Sedan just sold for $3550; a new ’08 pickup for $4200. Water eventually finds its level. And on Xebra forums, owners are offering ’06 models for “parting out.” Speaking of the forum, here’s a recent sample:

    These cars are pieces of crap! While working on mine to try to figure out what is wrong with it this time, I have discovered that the metal parts on the underside even after wire brushing, painting and undercoating last summer are rusted beyond repair, THEY NEED TO BE REPLACED. This POS is less than 18 months old and it has broken down on me and had parts break almost a dozen times. Out of that time it has been undrivable for 4-5 months. Not to mention the $2000.00+ dollars spent on batteries, heaters, and parts and towing. I AM DONE WITH THIS POS.

If this owner is lucky and can get $2K for it, they will have spent $3.75 per mile to “Save the Planet”. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it. Interested? I can put you in touch with them.

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41 Comments on “Curbside Crap: 2006 Zap Xebra...”


  • avatar
    menno

    Pass.

    Made in China is all anyone needs to know.

    When my wife (ex-Brit) desired properly hot water, we finally found an electric kettle which actually boils water properly for her tea.

    It cost us $25 at a local store. Has a 180 day warrantee.

    About 6 months after buying #1 kettle, it started smelling “funny”. We realized it was threatening to burn down our house.

    Back to the store. Kettle #2. Surely it was just a fluke, right?

    Lasted 7 months, then fried.

    Kettle #3. We actually go through the trouble & expense of putting bottled water into it, only. Thus far, it’s lasted 9 months. I keep an eye on it, though (and a nose).

    Made in China products are often the cheapest and nastiest stuff going.

    I’ve also stopped shopping at Wal-Mart.

    I’d rather buy something well made and pay a realistic price, rather than buying cheap and replacing it 3 or 4 or 5 times….

    Kind of like the Toyota method of making it right the first time is cheapest? Buying things right the first time is also cheaper in the long run.

    Be aware when (not if) Chinese cars come calling.

    It’s intersting that the Buick Rendezvous (discontinued) and now the Chevrolet Equinox both use(d) Chinese manufactured “GM” design V6 engines…

    Two strikes against them!

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    When I was in China we went through a motorcycle factory and watched part of the assembly line. It immediately struck me that all I saw on the road were Yamahas and Hondas. I asked the client I was with, Why if you make bikes here, they are not on the streets here? His reply, The people in China won’t ride them, they say they’re junk.

  • avatar

    I can only imagine the safety problems of one of these after they’ve rusted-out.

    Hell, new they’re tin cans, after a few months of rust these things probably might as well be cardboard in an accident.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Maybe the owners could have unloaded this POS if they’d gotten some cheap paint and cover that ridiculous paint job. Not even a Shriner would drive that in a parade. No hope of them selling it now. As my investment banker often says ‘the first loss is usually the best loss.’

  • avatar
    jjdaddyo

    As with most things, there seems to be no price point between Discount Death Trap (Xap) and Lithium-ion Luxo (Tesla).
    This is a concept explored in a book called “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture” by Ellen Ruppel Shell. Boing Boing did a pretty good blurb on it about 10 days ago.

  • avatar
    dean

    Made in China doesn’t automatically mean crap. China is capable of producing good quality products when such is specified. Unfortunately, the companies that manufacture their goods in China are largely interested in price (i.e. anyone that supplies Walmart and the like) so they do not pay for good quality.

    But man, anyone that bought a Zap sure got screwed. Forgot their caveat emptor I guess.

  • avatar
    wsn

    menno :
    August 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Made in China is all anyone needs to know.

    —————————————–

    Actually, the quality is not as bad as you might think.

    I mean if a brand new $3000 Chinese car is not good, why don’t you buy a brand new $3000 Porsche?

    If the $25 Chinese kettle is a piece of crap, why don’t you buy a $25 Bosch kettle?

    For fair comparisons, compare the quality of similarly priced items. Or compare the price of items with similar quality.

    “My $120k 911 turbo beats your $3k Chinese crap” is not objective.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    On the one hand we’ve got exceptionally cheap cars (zap) being sold as the ultimate econo-box. And on the other we have expensive cars (Volt) being sold as the ultimate economy car. Most people who are knowledgable about cars, or do their homework when they’re shopping know that there are cars that deliver the goods in mileage and whose price is neither dirt cheap nor 25 grand more than its worth.

    These cheap-o’s sell because they appeal to the ‘something for nothing’ passions that most con men know how to play. The overpriced economy cars sell because they appeal to the vanity of the buyer.

    Some people learn the hard way, and some never learn at all.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    panzerfaust:

    There’s nothing cheap about the Zap. You can get a new economy car that gets 30+ mpg on the freeway, can actually survive a collision, and can actually get on the freeway for less than a Zap costs. These cars were built and marketed to greenies with little between their ears who were doing their part to save the world.

  • avatar
    BuzWeston

    Environmentalists tend to be rather short sighted or narrowly focused when it comes to this stuff. For example, it’s likely that the factory where these are produced is a toxic cesspool. It’s also likely that the electricity powering it came from a coal fired power plant. And lastly, it only lasted a couple of years, so the entire vehicle’s impact as waste must be tremendous.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Made in China is all anyone needs to know.

    Agreed.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    jjdaddyo said it.

    Where did the promises about an electric car at the price range between 30.000$ and 90.000$ go? Where?

    The ONLY ones that can make such thing are the big ones (VW, GM, Fiat, Renault) but for some bizzare reason they don’t.

    So, what we are left with is: 1) Zap Xebra on the one hand, a vehicle that technically isn’t even a car. It has got only three wheels and golf cart mechanics. The fourth wheel had to be removed so that the vehicle would get classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle, as it couldn’t pass the safety tests (yep, not even the Chinese ones). Terrible. Also, Zap is a scam company with lousy customer service policies, vaporware products and a history of many stock frauds. 2) On the other hand, we got the electric version of Lotus Elise, the Tesla roadster, at the price of 10 million dollars or so.

    The reason for this situation is: Car companies make an enormous pofit from selling maintance (oil change, engine repairs), something electric cars don’t need.

    Also, car companies make huge profits from selling what is essentially processed metal and plastic. Whereas the cost of a battery is bigger.

    Some companies tried to do the same thing with laptops and methanole fuel, but fortunately it tanked. Who needs to pay for mathanole fuel, when modern batteries can hold a laptop for up to 9 hours? And believe me, methanole fuel may be cheap at first, but it will get more expensive later (especially in tourist areas, much like gas, I wouldn’t be surprised if I paid 30$ to fill up my laptop, much like gas). Same applies with cars. With modern batteries being able to hold a car for 400miles, who needs gas?

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Electric cars need better batteries, and will not succeed until we greatly improve battery technology. Of course, as soon as the cars become desirable, we’ll have to think about the neglected power generating and distribution systems. As Emily Latilly said, “It’s always something.” As a EE, I’d love an electric, but am far too versed in the technology to be silly enough to buy one for the next couple of years, at least.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    OK, Emily Latilla.

  • avatar
    wsn

    For those condemning Chinese crap, this “car” is as American as GM. The headquarter is base in CA. The scam design took place in the US.

  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    It seems Chinese industry needs to invest in a higher quality political prisoner.

    I thought PRC products were supposed to be cheap because they paid their wage slaves slave wages.

    Instead of sending the North Korean refugees back the the Peoples’ Democratic death camps they should give them jobs in the factories.
    To a N. Korean it would seem like they died and went to heaven… at least so long as it wasn’t a Falun Gong sponsored heaven.

  • avatar
    another_pleb

    You could get a yellow one and stage an American remake of Only Fools and Horses.

    This car looks like it’s literally had its nose cut off to spite its face.

  • avatar
    Garak

    I own a Chinese moped, a Honda clone. The quality is subpar with leaky tanks, snapping bolts, bad transmission linkages, huge amounts of rust and so forth. Putting in original Honda parts has solved most of the problems (apart from the rust). Of course, the bike was dirt cheap (much less than 1000 euro, even with our 22% VAT and other taxes) in the first place, so I really can’t complain.

    However, for a 12000$ vehicle, that kind of quality is unacceptable. It’s too bad the Chinese will sell crap until we decline to buy it.

  • avatar
    roadrabbit

    @kurkosdr:

    “Car companies make an enormous pofit from selling maintance (oil change, engine repairs), something electric cars don’t need.”

    Car companies make almost NO money from maintenance. The dealer makes some, but simple stuff like filters, oil, etc. are supplied by others at little incremental profit to the auto OEM. The dealers and the car companies are very different entities as recent events have shown. Longer term repairs like engines usually have bigger unit margins (vs. production cost), but these items are needed rarely and have high carrying costs (inventory, transportation, etc.).

    “…car companies make huge profits from selling what is essentially processed metal and plastic.”

    Last time I looked, very few car companies make a profit at all. This whole conspiracy thing is old and tired. If it were easy to make a car, then far more people (companies) would do it.

    That said, there will be electric cars in the price range you mention. The Nissan Leaf will almost certainly be there. Many others will try. One of the great things about EVs is that they have lower barriers to entry and will encourage more companies to join the market.

    And, to all those who buy improbably cheap stuff, you usually get what you pay for. The real cutting edge products are never cheap. Quality is almost never cheap.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    BuzWeston,
    Environmentalists tend to be rather short sighted or narrowly focused when it comes to this stuff. For example, it’s likely that the factory where these are produced is a toxic cesspool. It’s also likely that the electricity powering it came from a coal fired power plant. And lastly, it only lasted a couple of years, so the entire vehicle’s impact as waste must be tremendous.

    I agree about the factory… However, as someone who was raised by such greenies, let me explain what a lot of Zap buyers were probably trying to do.

    A lot of greenies will knowingly gamble, or knowingly take a financial/reliability hit to show that there is a market for a product or a business whose philosophy they believe in. They almost certainly realize that the first iteration of this electric car is crappy, but someone has to buy them in order to guarantee that the next generation is built. They’re willing to spend the extra money and take the reliability hit in order to help this happen. It’s regular early-adopter syndrome crossed with someone’s personal philosophy, but it’s not necessarily dumb… I’ve been an IT guy for many years, and I would like to point out that early-adopter syndrome looks really weird when it’s about something that don’t excite you personally.

    I’m sure there are a number of people who bought Zap’s who didn’t do their homework, too. But I’d be willing to bet that a lot of them knew what they were getting into. I seriously considered a Zap for a while (since I commute a short distance on roads with low speed limits), until I read the same forums as the author of this article — and I also traded e-mails with a local Zap owner (who meets the above description, though I based the description on my dear mum), whose Zap Xebra was down for repairs at the time. He was having a lot of trouble getting parts and technical support. So, I decided to pass on the Zap for a while, and I’m waiting for the electric car field (and my savings account) to mature a little bit before I get mine.

    P.S. Yes, electric cars are limited. But if I can do my daily routine with the electric car, and only use my gasoline car for discretionary travel, then I’ll be able to tell OPEC and a lot of countries that don’t like us very much to kiss my @$$ whenever I feel like it. Isn’t that worth something? :-)

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Luke42,

    Zap buyers aren’t “early adopters”; their purchase of a Xebra enables Zap to keep their stock-manipulation scheme going a bit longer, but has zero effect on the development of viable EVs that are coming from the major manufacturers.

    I understand what you’re trying to do, put a positive spin on the sacrifices of the Zap buyers, but it doesn’t work, just like their Xebras.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Being Green and environmentally conscious is a tough job and I’m glad they are doing it. Maybe they can use it for C4C and get a Suzuki 1 cylinder 250CC bike instead?

  • avatar
    Dr. Remulac

    From my perspective, Luke42 describes accurately what I have seen in the greenies around me. Around here, Amherst/Northampton, MA area, there were plenty of Insights and Priori on the road immediately after they were available.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @Menno:
    I’d rather buy something well made and pay a realistic price, rather than buying cheap and replacing it 3 or 4 or 5 times…

    Oh, indubitably. Now: Care to share with the class where you found an electric kettle not made in China?

  • avatar

    Walmart bumper sticker

  • avatar
    jjdaddyo

    Luke42, Boston Globe, August 24th, 1908

    A lot of these “petroleum” people will knowingly gamble, forsaking the tried and true horse powered transportation that was good enough for our fathers and grandfathers, to show that there is a market for these infernal machines they believe in.
    They almost certainly realize that the first copies of this so-called “internal combustion” engine will be of dubious quality, but some poor unfortunate has to buy them in order to guarantee that the next generation is built…

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Lumbergh21 :
    Your point is the same one I was trying to make, probably I didn’t do it as well. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I agree with the idea of buying quality once, but these days it’s so difficult to tell. Even name brands of European and American origin have reduced their quality to try to compete with cheaper Chinese-made products on sale at Wal-Mart.

    I paid extra for a washer and dryer from a company whose entire brand image is built on reliability and they lasted less than 18 months… appliances these days are essentially disposable. I think my parent’s washer and dryer lasted about 25 years… at least I don’t recall avocado green being hugely popular in 2002.

    Brand names, country of origin, and price are poor indicators of quality any more, unfortunately. In terms of reliability I’d take my Mazda over a BMW these days… perhaps even a Hyundai over a Mercedes.

    Likewise, like in the case of my BMW or Maytag ownership, you really don’t know how bad or non-existant the customer service is going to be until you’re knee deep in it.

  • avatar
    niky

    wsn :
    August 24th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    menno :
    August 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Made in China is all anyone needs to know.

    —————————————–

    Actually, the quality is not as bad as you might think.

    I mean if a brand new $3000 Chinese car is not good, why don’t you buy a brand new $3000 Porsche?

    If the $25 Chinese kettle is a piece of crap, why don’t you buy a $25 Bosch kettle?

    For fair comparisons, compare the quality of similarly priced items. Or compare the price of items with similar quality.

    “My $120k 911 turbo beats your $3k Chinese crap” is not objective.

    A $3000 Indian car feels less like a piece of disposable turd than a $3000 Chinese car. Of course, the $3000 Indian car is made from licensed Japanese technology, while the $3000 Chinese car is made from pirated Daewoo parts.

    China sells cars at very good prices… but there’s always the caveat that you can get a perfectly decent Korean (albeit one size lower) for the same price. Not just perfectly decent… Japanese quality…

    I’ve actually driven a gasoline version of the Xap. Wonderful little thing. Feels like it’s going to tip over at just 30 mph, and at 50 mph, the oil gauge starts showing worryingly high temperatures…

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    Forget about Zap.

    Zap is the Infinium Labs of the car industry. That is, a stock fraud company whose main purpose is to seperate naive investors from their money. We all know how it goes: 1) Company announces the development of an impossible-to-make vaporware product (such as an electric SUV called ZAP-X with a top speed of 249km/h) 2) Company over-issues stock and steals investor money without actually doing any development (ZAP-X was cancelled) 3) Company cancels development of the product (there wasn’t any in the first place) and delivers Chinese sweatshop made crap instead (Zap Xebra) in order to show progress 4) Company can now claim progress and announces yet another vaporware product (Zap Alias) 5) Repeat step #2 (Zap Alias is expected to go from 0-60 in 7.8 sec, really?) 6) Profit! (the two Zap owners drive a BMW and a Porsche respectively, no kidding).

    But, this doesn’t mean there is no future in the EV. Tesla did it, it just run in technical dificulties. If those bastards from Zap hadn’t made investors hostile towards EVs (like many sham online music stores before itunes and amazon made the music industry hostile against legal music downloads back then) the Tesla people would have delivered.

    It’s as if Zap was placed there by Big Oil to erode the public’s and business world’s trust into the EV.

  • avatar
    menno

    Daniel, I can’t find a kettle NOT made in China.

    Hell, you can hardly find ANYTHING manufactured that is not made in China any more.

    It’s getting to the point where even clothing is now coming from there. I don’t have to worry about toys, as my boys are grown up; but I’m hoping for grandchildren some day.

    In the meanwhile, our esteemed leaders in Washington have taken into their little minds to prevent any small manufacturers from making toys, through ridiculously stringient rules requiring “testing” of all “types of toys sold” (which means small American entrepreneurs can’t even legally sell ANYTHING unless they have massive financial backing to get through the expense of the testing).

    So this means that instead of preventing lead tainted toys FROM China, it simply means we’ll have no choice but to buy toy products FROM China.

    I think I’ll make any future grandchildren the toys in a shop, myself.

  • avatar
    wsn

    niky :
    August 25th, 2009 at 12:19 am

    A $3000 Indian car feels less like a piece of disposable turd than a $3000 Chinese car. Of course, the $3000 Indian car is made from licensed Japanese technology, while the $3000 Chinese car is made from pirated Daewoo parts.

    ——————————————

    Which Indian car are you comparing to which Chinese car?

    If it’s Nano that you are talking about, then no. You cannot convince me it’s not crap until after it’s actually produced and becomes operational. Before then, it’s vaporware.

    It it’s this Zap you are talking about, then no again. This is as American as GM, as they both have headquarters located in the US.

    If you want to examine a Chinese car, a Chery or Geely something could be more mainstream.

  • avatar
    wsn

    menno :
    August 25th, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Daniel, I can’t find a kettle NOT made in China.

    ————————————————

    We know Cobalt is crap, because there is Fit to compare to.

    As for Chinese made kettles, dare I say they are the best in the industry? Just like Japanese electronics, they have practically killed off all competitors.

    I mean, kettle is not high tech. The investment is much smaller than building cars. If you don’t like Chinese craps, why don’t you fill the market niche by selling your own “Made in USA” kettles at double the price?

    Unless you cannot make the kettle any more reliable at that price or you cannot make any money even at that doubled price. Then you really should not complain.

  • avatar
    YZS

    “menno :
    August 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Pass.

    Made in China is all anyone needs to know.”

    iPhone is made in China and regarded as best in the world, but it sure ain’t cheap.

    It just illustrates that when a company pays for quality products and sets up an effective quality program, it results in high quality products, and vice versa. This is true all over the globe.

    So when the Walmart exec insists on cutting the price another 10%, the Chinese supplier already operating on razor thin margins has to make cuts somewhere. I think Walmart’s mentality and business model is as much to blame as the manufacturers.

  • avatar
    jeventures

    Poor guy should have bought a used scion for the same price. He could even have painted it like a zebra if he really wanted to.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Paul Niedermeyer,
    I understand what you’re trying to do, put a positive spin on the sacrifices of the Zap buyers, but it doesn’t work, just like their Xebras.

    What does spin have to do with anything?

    I’m trying to explain the thought process that was likely followed by the electric-car-hippies who bought Zaps. They were being judged as morons by several readers, when the truth is (as usual) much more interesting and complicated. I figured this could add something that was missing from the discussion, especially since I’ve actually talked to a real live Zap owner.

    I don’t care about Zap — they can sink or swim like all business should. I’ve looked at their vehicles and decided that they weren’t for me. I am a green-car enthusiast and a geek, though — so I do want an electric car someday, despite the obvious limitations. :-)

  • avatar
    Luke42

    jjdaddyo,
    A lot of these “petroleum” people will knowingly gamble, forsaking the tried and true horse powered transportation that was good enough for our fathers and grandfathers, to show that there is a market for these infernal machines they believe in.

    I see you’ve read the same history books that I’ve read! :-)

    Part of my family’s mythology is that my great grandfather owned a coal delivery business. His competition started using these newfangled trucks, with all of those maintenance hassles and expenses — when all you had to do with a horse was feed it and shovel out the stall. The truck-driving competition put him out of business, and he ended up working as a janitor in a factory. During the great depression, my grandfather starting helping out at the factory, and my grandfather ended up learning skills that kept him solidly employed as an upper-middle-class craftsman from the rest of his life.

    So, part of my heritage is to make a conscious effort to embrace new technology gracefully (but not blindly). I like gasoline-powered cars, and they enable my decidedly non-19th-century lifestyle. Also, they’re fun, and I can cover 1000 miles in a day if I get up early. But I think I’d like an electric car too — the short trips are the important ones, and it’s easier to make my own fuel for one.

  • avatar
    niky

    wsn :
    August 25th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Which Indian car are you comparing to which Chinese car?

    If it’s Nano that you are talking about, then no. You cannot convince me it’s not crap until after it’s actually produced and becomes operational. Before then, it’s vaporware.

    It it’s this Zap you are talking about, then no again. This is as American as GM, as they both have headquarters located in the US.

    If you want to examine a Chinese car, a Chery or Geely something could be more mainstream.

    The Nano has been test-driven by various publications, and they’ve already started delivering customer cars. The feedback is all surprisingly quite positive.

    I’m talking, however, about Suzuki-Maruti. Before the Nano came, they made the previous “cheapest” car in India.

    Having driven the Maruti-made Alto back-to-back with the Chinese-made Chery QQ… I can safely say that though both pieces of slapdash tin aren’t necessarily sellable in the US (if your average college football player can flip a car over by himself, you don’t want to take it into town with you on a Saturday night), I’d rather spend my money on the Alto than the QQ.

    The Chinese car makes more of an effort to dress up the interior, but the effect is still cheap. Even worse than the ludicrously overpriced GM version, the Chevrolet Spark… the Alto is simpler, but the Japanese engineering (again, versus Daewoo engineering) shows through in the more willing engine, the better fuel economy, the more resilient suspension (I’ve never driven a Chinese car that didn’t feel like the shocks had blown… and I’ve never driven one that had done more than 3000 miles… which tells you a lot about suspension durability), and the better driving dynamics.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Alto’s steering is woeful, the interior is cramped, and the body is tinny, but it was put together with noticeably more care than the Chinese car.

    The Xebra is not an American car. I’ve actually driven the Chinese original.

    http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/6744/dsc00224ho7.jpg

    The Zap Xebra is marketed in the US as a Zap, but is engineered by Shangdong in China, based on Daewoo Matiz body-shells and scooter innards. The company that makes them loves to do deals with foreigners on rebranding. There’s a locally rebranded version of this, also. That’s the one I drove.

    I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never felt so scared at just 30 mph in my life… not even on a bicycle.

    And before you say: but Zap did the electrics… Shangdong sells electric versions in China, as well… at a fraction of the price of the Zap.

    One other “American” electric that’s using Chinese hardware is the “Electrovaya Maya”. I just can’t take a company seriously if it plans to sell a Chang’an Ben-Ben for $30k… especially considering that the gasoline version sells for half of what a Honda Fit goes for… add a conversion and battery packs to a bare shell, and it should sell for $15k. At least it’s not an absolute turd like the Xebra.

  • avatar
    hurls

    I can’t tell you how much stuff I have that was made in China — I really can’t. But I can tell you that the macbook I’m reading this on was, and it’s built like the proverbial brick outhouse, as is my iPhone and some really high quality audio gear I’ve got too.

    But most of it is crap — and I’m glad that “Cheap” book was mentioned, because I had meant to read it and totally spaced it out. I think I’ll have to download it to my (probably Chinese made) Kindle :)

    A car — definitely not there yet from what little I know and have seen in my limited time in China and what I’ve read and seen online (Youtube crash test videos anyone?)

    Ironically, I was going to have an “aha!” moment here and say : I know a great non-Chinese made electric kettle, because I have one (it’s a Braun, made in Germany — yes I was anal enough to check before I bought it). Turns out it’s discontinued on Amazon now, and the replacement model is up to $200 and one of the first user reviews said this:
    I bought one of those 3 years ago for 99$ (made in Germany) and I was very happy.I needED another one for my boat-now the same product but made in Czech Republic-charge of 150$ is JUST RIDICULOUS.

    Oh well, I guess cheap continues its unstoppable crawl forward. Here’s hoping my old kettle lasts. I suppose I could just buy a Japanese made Zojirushi, though most of those are Chinese made now too…

  • avatar
    davemurphy

    Hm, this is all great to know, especially since most of the feedback I’ve heard regarding the xebra has been positive (a few people in my neighborhood have one). I have heard, however, that they have plans to start manufacturing the cars here in the US (didn’t they recently partner with a factory in Kentucky)? I’d be interested to test drive one of those models.


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