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Thread: Ariel china ???

  1. #41
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    "Dear breakaway500,

    after over a decade of rodends in bending, undersized components and failing bearings/uprights there's not much evidence of research and development. more like forcing known problems on trusting customers and no i personally don't feel that the car as designed is fit to sell which is why new suspension bits are being developed.

    all a matter of opinion.

    you of all people should know i'm fully capable of the development process and in the past i've fixed a number of real problems that ariel to this day refuse to even acknowledge. there are 52 atoms out there that are much less dangerous now thanks to me and no thanks to ariel's research and development. but again let me stress that altra imports is not palatov motorsport and vice versa.

    so let's just agree to disagree on this and i'm sorry you feel this way. take care.

    - altraimports"

    Well..seeing as I don't know anyone at "altraimports"....but someone there seems to know me quite well...and has been making Atoms safer for some time...I can only draw one conclusion..

    I really don't like where this is going...right down the crapper! Is nothing sacred?
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; March 6, 2013 at 08:10 PM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  2. #42
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    Reading this thread reminds me that the SRA Atom I have had the good fortune to pilot around VIR for the past 2 years is far from a kit car or just some collection of parts but is the product of quite a bit of hard work on the part of TMI. While I think people have the right to sell competing products the business model of selling a copy just seems lame. Also if the promise of support made in the ebay listing, including parts needed to complete the car, is not genuine, the buyer could find him or herself with a pricey (though very cool) lawn decoration.

  3. #43
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    "Dear breakaway500,

    there is no cloak and dagger, the kit is not a palatov product and i did not design or manufacture it. palatov motorsport designs and produces things, altra imports resells things. different businesses, different companies, different e-bay accounts. i don't get why this is a mystery.

    and by the way, props on posting what i assumed was a private conversation on a forum without even mentioning to me you're doing so. nice style in comments too. way to go. i stand by every word of course but i was responding to your specific statements, not making a speech to the world. and you say i should be ashamed, LOL. going to post this?"

    Response: Yes,I am going to post it,and once again,shame on you. Of all people,YOU should know how sacred ones own acomplishments are,and to have someone else sell them in direct competition against you,is dishonorable and immoral. I hope you never have to defend your own designs against such piracy.

    So,obviously..this altraimports (and I will not capitalize the name, as it deserves NO respect) is being run by Dennis P.

    Anything for a buck..I am very sad and disillusioned..someone I once admired and respected has joined the dark side of civilization.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; March 7, 2013 at 07:17 PM.
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    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  4. #44
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
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    It often amazes me how quickly lynch mobs form and people fail to step back and look at the bigger picture or ask why is this so?

    1. Not everything that is made in China is rubbish. Take a lot of top quality products, especially electronics, and look hard for all the "made in.." labels. Even look inside some things at the components.

    2. Not everything that looks the same as a well known product is a knock-off if it was made in China. Lots of big name brands, both from UK and USA, have their products made in China. My legit iPhone says "Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China". What people often think are a knock-off is genuine surplus product overflow from the factory that is rebranded. I had a Super 5 dot matrix printer years ago that apart from the price, label and front page of the manual was an Epson, which were made at the same Chinese factory.

    3. Not everything made in the USA is better quality. Being from an engineering background, I've seen some terrible USA products compared to the same equipment from other countries and visa versa. I think the old stereotypes of quality are not as correct today as what they may have been 20 years ago.

    4. Not everything people think is made in the USA actually is. In a global economy any product that has multiple components is bound to have some foreign content. In some case the whole thing is made off shore and rebadged but peoples misconception is that that item must be made here. Anyone that's read some of my other posts would know that the new Chevy SS V8 is a Holden Commodore from Australia.


    With regard to these Replica Kits/Chinese Atoms does anyone know if the frames were actually made in China? I've never seen any evidence of jigs and partially welded frames, only pictures of complete frames taped and ready for assembly. For all we know these could have arrived in China in crates. BTW anyone ever seen a photo of a partially welded Atom chassis, still in the jig, from anywhere other than in the USA?

    Also I know from previous experience and first hand from past Australasian dealers that what Dennis wrote about Ariel's stubbornness when it comes to developing solutions for faults in the car is exactly right. I'm talking about Ariel, not TMI. Those dealers no longer represent Ariel, not because they were no good but because they threw in the towel. Same might have happened with Qingdao Ariel Automotive Parts Inc. Personally I don't deal with the Ariel or participate on their factory forum because I consider the bloody-minded dictatorial attitude the companies Sales Manager has towards some people, who are supposed to be customers, is extremely unprofessional. Also everyone who has any history around the make knows full well the time it's taken to get a solution for the failing lights. Rod ends are still an issue. If you have one fail like Terry or I have you'll think twice about their concern for your safety.

    IMO the kits advertised consist of genuine Atom frames either made in or shipped to China. In either case made to Ariels exact specifications. The Ariel/China deal has most likely gone sour and the Chinese company want to get their investment back. If Ariel were that concerned they would buy up the frames themselves. The reason they most likely have popped up in the USA is I think China is also a LH drive country. They are probably only going to be available until all the chassis are gone so I doubt there is risk of falling quality. I would also be surprised if Dennis would be stupid enough to support something dodgy or substandard.
    Last edited by AtomJohnny; March 7, 2013 at 05:37 PM.
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  5. #45
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    It is NOT a matter of where they were made,or by whom. If they were made under license (at the time) by the Chinese,obviously they have violated their agreement by selling them in the USA,and they are now considered counterfeit. Regardless of their quality, Ariel has said they are unauthorized and illegitimate copies of a licensed product.

    The only recognized builder of Ariel Atoms in the USA is TMI. They are the only company properly licensed by Ariel. They have said so themselves. Maybe you missed their post?

    "TMI AutoTech, Inc. - Statement to the Legitimate North American Ariel Atom Owner/Buyer Community:

    The specific subject ‘vehicles’ currently being offered on eBay clearly represent non-conforming, untested, potentially unsafe & otherwise partially manufactured ‘Chinese Atoms’. There are numerous valid reasons that “Ariel China” is no longer authorized to manufacture Atoms for sale within China. The company was never authorized to export and/or sell any such partial or complete ‘vehicles’ to any other market.

    Regardless of any other legal remedies available to TMI in this matter, any US importation, representation, sale or purchase of these particular ‘vehicles’, regardless of how described or characterized, is considered by TMI AutoTech, Inc. to be unauthorized and infringing upon TMI’s legitimately licensed & authorized rights as exclusive North American manufacturer, distributor & seller of Ariel Atoms.

    Accordingly, buyers beware: No North American parts, service or tech. support whatsoever would be provided by TMI, or Ariel Motor, to any buyer/owner of these unauthorized ‘vehicles’.

    The existence of this flagrant deception by the named US importer/seller could potentially serve to diminish the image, prestige, exclusivity & potential value of your vehicles. In that regard, we would strongly urge all existing Ariel Atom owners to express their individual and/or collective displeasure in this matter directly to the named importer/seller and/or the involved principals."

    These frame assemblies are CONTRABAND. This is not my opinion,it is a stated FACT by the real licensed manufacturer.


    Think what you will about Dennis,but the fact is he is directly involved in the sale and distribution of an item that TMI has specifically said is unauthorized.

    Lynch mob..please. I call a spade a spade..and if the company that is duly licensed to sell and build Ariel Atoms in the USA, TMI, says these copies are bogus, what else is there to say?

    I am "amazed" how anyone,in light of the FACTS could defend such dishonorable behavior.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; March 7, 2013 at 07:41 PM.
    sector: 4 likes this.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  6. #46
    Ion
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    FrankRizzo and I checked out one of the "EXOSKELETAL SPORTS CAR REPLICA KITs" in person today and Dennis put up with a couple hours worth of our Q&A.

    Word is that the frame is fully fabricated in China and built from reverse engineering an original, not from original CAD data. They built all their own tooling and jigs, etc. There's also a limited quantity available-- essentially what was already built when they figured out that the Chinese market wouldn't support that type of vehicle-- and the manufacturer is moving on to other types of rides (EV's in particular, which are the red frames we saw in the background of the photos on eBay). So, by all accounts it probably really is a 'replica'. Granted, one very, very close to the original.

    Frame construction seemed quite good. Although a grinder and powdercoat can do wonders for marginal welding, the chassis build seemed legit. I'm really only familiar with the Atom2 as far as build quality goes, but in the frame department it looked pretty similar. Short of xrays and ultrasound (or a destructive teardown) I don't know that you'd be likely to know for sure if it's really identical or not as far as welds and materials go. Powdercoat (or a heavy paint-- I didn't ask and couldn't tell at a glance) on the frame did have some clues that it wasn't quite Brammo-quality finish; there are some spots of maybe weld splatter or mill scale or something that are just coated over and a few welds did have some grind marks, but again-- it seemed serviceable.

    I was actually pretty impressed by the fiberglass work. Seemed like a nice job and the surface texture was significantly smoother than my Brammo A2's. Minor prep work and it could probably take paint and look pretty good. It definitely seemed to be thicker layup than the A2's, so maybe a plus for durability and a minus for weight?

    I took spot measurements here and there on exposed sheet/plate metal and the like and the thicknesses matched my A2's.

    Some things *were* screaming "chinese" at me and would probably be on my 'swap out' list. The aircraft style fasteners were smaller and significantly less robust than the Ariel ones (although I haven't seen the A3's). The handbrake seemed on the flimsy/rattly side (again, I've not seen a 'real' A3's) and the whole steering shaft/linkage setup seemed miniaturized. (On the A2 the shaft at the quick disconnect is 1" and the shaft between the universal joints is 3/4". On the Jīhū Atom the QD is 3/4" and the shaft is .56"-- maybe A3's are like that though too?).

    The top of the fuel pump also really had "Harbor Freight specal" written all over it-- I gave it a couple pokes to see if it was plastic or not (nope, metal-- just not 'pretty'). What little wiring was present also seemed to be pretty thin gauge, but again probably "good enough" and might save some weight. There was the occasional weird bit-- like a piece of aluminum extrusion bolted to the frame that serves as a travel limit on the clutch pedal-- but having not seen an equivalent A3 maybe that's just how they do it? It's also probably not fair to compare something partially assembled in a crate to a finished vehicle either-- a lot of the loose fitting pieces and rattles might not be present once it's fully built up.

    Sooo... If someone wanted to basically build an Atom with a custom motor and suspension and didn't want to buy an old (or new!) car for a 'donor' or try to locate an unbuilt frame, it could be a solution. Once you add all the necessary parts and labor and everything (if you're not in to DIY) it wouldn't really seem to be saving much money over a used Brammo/TMI built car (and it will still always be a "replica" in that case), so I suspect it would mostly appeal to people that really do want to swap/upgrade most everything for an 'almost custom' build anyway.

    (And on a semi-related note, the D2 and D4 are pretty damn cool.)

  7. #47
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
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    Well all this talk of reverse engineering and piracy yet I recall nobody on at Ariel crying foul when these photos were posted on their factory forum back in 2010 (3 years ago).

    CIMG9684.jpg

    CIMG9686.jpg

    I can't see signs of manufacture. Only loads of boxes/components lined up in storage for assembly. If was fine for this company to own these 3 years ago then they are most likely their legal property and therefore they can legally dispose of them as they see fit. Selling something that is rightfully yours as a kit and not promising that it is anything else is not illegal.

    As for TMI's statement that is understandable and probably at Ariels instruction.

    Mark, what your saying is that USA residents should not be allowed to buy anything made off shore if there is a local agent/assembler. So if you see a nice second hand LHD car overseas then it off limits for fear of breach of some agreement that you're not a party to.
    Last edited by AtomJohnny; March 8, 2013 at 01:28 AM.
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  8. #48
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    Selling CONTRABAND is wrong. If you were the injured party,possibly you would understand the morality of the situation.

    The world has become blind to what is honorable. What a cesspool.

    I'm all done on this subject. I don't wish to debate right and wrong.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; March 8, 2013 at 04:30 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  9. #49
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMaxAtom View Post
    Selling CONTRABAND is wrong. If you were the injured party,possibly you would understand the morality of the situation.

    The world has become blind to what is honorable. What a cesspool.

    I'm all done on this subject. I don't wish to debate right and wrong.
    I'm not one who needs a lecture on morality or double standards.

    Selling contraband is illegal but contraband is stolen or prohibited goods such as drugs and weapons that are being smuggled.

    Nobody is doing any smuggling in this case and I do not believe in this instance that the import of car parts or chassis into USA is prohibited either.

    If these don't belong to the company then that's a different story but seeing as they have had them for three years I'd guess that's highly unlikely.

    What is immoral is to enter a deal with someone and when it goes pear-shaped to try and block them from making an attempt to recover their lost investment.

    I rather look at it as...
    The Ariel/China deal, and what it promised for owners, has gone tits-up. That's sad.
    There are going to be a few cheap rollers available for a short time. That's lucky for a few people.

    Other than that it's a blip in life that's not worth loosing sleep over. Nothing to see here.. move along please.
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  10. #50
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    So Havok, how significant of an issue is this? By that, I mean how many chassis are sitting around waiting to be sold. By what was stated, I am inferring that there some outside of the Portland connection's influence that they could still get their hands on. Any idea what the total numbers are?

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