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Kishiwo - 2000 Lagor III


Kishiwo Motor Group


Kishiwo was founded by Ji Jung Shinn in early 1970, as he was given the kitchen appliances focused manufactur of his father after he deceased. He named the company Kishiwo based on the name of his mother Ki, the three first letters of his surname shi, and the surname of his wifes family wong.
The ng at the end was trashed after a small market randomly applied for trademarking as Kishiwong so Kishiwo was lead to its name as a forced change.

After changing from producing stuff like stoves to cars licensed by Mashimitsu, a japanese company, in 1972, the first Kishiwo rolled to the first dealership in Seoul on january 19, 1973!

In the 70s, Kishiwo started to gain marketshare in its homemarket and in 1977, under the presure of an expired license of the allowance to badgeengineer Mashimitsu`s, Shinn hired some staff and they started to engineer their very first car, the Cetu, which turned out to be a success, lasting in the korean market from its release in 1979, until 1988, when Kishiwo decided to kill of the Cetu name in favor of the larger Lagor, a sedan released in 1986, Kishiwos second selfengineerd car. In 1990, Kishiwo trashed their last badgeengineered car, the old gen Watar, based on a Mashimitsu out of the 1970s.

Then there where the late 1990s, where the Asian financial crisis hit Kishiwo at a weak point in time, as the first generation Privo was the only strong seller, because the third generation Lagor was delayed by a year and the second generation showed its age. Also Kishiwo just risked it all, just a year earlier, by expanding Shinn, who actually wanted to give dauther Yon the CEO position and retire, on the desicion, if he should file for bancruptcy, as the have been loosing money frequently since a year.

But then, former business partner Mashimitsu offered to aquire 40% of Kishiwo, and Shinn accepted the deal.

Shinn retired in 1999, giving his leadership to his only daughter Yon. She had major plans with the company and started to work on the project: Kishiwo - a dominant force. In the same year, Kishiwo sold their first million, with the one millionst car beeing a first generation Privo, used as a taxi in Incheon, that is now in the ownership of Ji Jung Shinn. Little did they know, that one million would not be something special in the future.

In 2000, Kishiwo started to fully operate again, with the third generation of ther best seller Lagor launched. Shinn (from now on Yon) started a major expansion to south america, to sell more basic versions of their own offerings, aswell as expanding futher into Europe and Russia. Then in 2003 Mashimitsu wanted Shinn to sell them another 10.1%, so they could integrate Kishiwo into the Mashimitsu Motor Coporation, but Shinn denied the offer she got, as she had other plans. Later that year, Kishiwo and Mashimitsu worked together and released a joint venture, the Mijas was born.

With sales rising in nearly all current markets, Shinn decided that it was time to expand again, by building a network in India and Mexico, increasing the ones in China, the US and western Europe. Then in 2008, whilest Kishiwo was holding up just fine, as their current line up was suited for the financial crisis in the western hemisphere, Mashimitsu, with the US beeing their biggest market, was hit hard, selling 20% less then the years before, Kishiwo used the chance and bought back, what Mashimitsu got in the 90s and even making profit whilest purchasing.

The next few years, Kishiwo rose and in 2011, Shinn decided to launch an upmarket luxury brand and called it Volerant, which is based on the surname Vole, a former lover of Shinn.

A year later, as sales in Europe did not recover as fast, as hoped, Kishiwa aquired Sunnet from Mashimitsu, as the japanese company just was not getting back on track as fast as hoped. Sunnet is a spanish car company that only sells in western Europe, Russia and Turkey. But after the takeover, Sunnet got its chance on expanding under the rule of Shinn.

In the 10s, Kishiwo sales increased more and more, hitting a million yearly sales in 2012 and strikingly gaining another million up to 2 Million yearly sales in 2015 and just stayiny at around 2.9 million sales in 2019, Kishiwos most successfull year so far.

In April 2020, Mashimitsu was asking the japanese government for funds to safe the Company from bancruptcy, but the japanese government denied. The brands major markets got hit hard by Covid-19 and sales in 2020 where down 70%. Then, only a few days before beeing unable to corporate, Shinn decided to buy a 51% share of the Mashimitsu Motor Company with the dealmaker beeing to incorporate the former supercompany into Kishiwo by may 2020.


Kishiwo korean mass market brand
Volerant korean semi premium brand
Sunnet spanish sporty mass market brand (bought after the financial crisis in `12)
newly aquired in the 2020 Mashimistu buyout
Mashimistu japanese mass market brand (former license contributor, now under Kishiwo lead)
Dohgu chinese SUV and Van maker (only active in Chinese domestic market)
Akai japanese lifestyle and upmarket brand
SFB german upmarket brand, only strong seller of former MMC after economical crisis in 09.

Line Ups

Current Kishiwo line up


2015-present Nitis a-segment hatch
2014-present Mijas b-segment hatch/sedan
2020-present Privo c-segment hatch/sedan/wagon
2018-present Lagor d-segment sedan/wagon/convertible/coupe
2016-present Sager e-segment sedan/wagon/coupe
more coming soon


2018-present Tudor b-segment CUV
2019-present Cantu c-segment SUV
2016-present Nardo c-segment CUV
2010-2020 Watar c-segment offroader
2017-present Mayor d-segment SUV
2017-present Embol e-segment SUV
more coming soon

trucks and vans

coming soon

current Volerant line up

coming soon

current Sunnet line up

coming soon


Good to see another new brand!


Kishiwo Toko!

The Kishiwo Toko is Kishiwos entry level city car for the Asian and European market. It is designed for the growing urban areas of the world. The Toko was released in 2010, first given to the european and japanese market, while the indian, chinese and other markets in asia followed later.

The different Toko versions:

Kishiwo Toko Life

The Toko Lifes engine produced 82hp out of an 1.0l i4 petrol engine. With a topspeed of 172kph and starting at 9130$ it was a big seller.

Kishiwo Toko Price

The Price came with a 1.4l i4 engine, that does put 95hp out. It can drive as fast as 181 kph and started to sell for 10230$.


KISHIWO OSAKO (2015-now)

With the main markets (western europe, north america, china and homemarket south korea moving further away from sedans, wagons and minivans, Kishiwo intruduced its first crossover (overall 4th SUV) in its model range in 2015and called it Osako.

The Osako came with 2 different specs, the Estart, beeing the more expensive model, with an 108hp i4 engine, equiped with AWD and the 2 trim is the Satify, powered by a 99.9hp engine but only available with FWD.

Kishiwo Osako Estart

Shown in Mokkabrown

Kishiwo Osako Satify

Shown in Rouge l`Elegance

advertisment picture from 2015

The Osako is available in 9 different colours and you are able to combine them with a black/white roof!

Rouge l`elegance, forest green, ocean blue, mokka brown, sky blue, juicy yellow, night black, fire red, white

The prices for the Osako Satify start at 15000$, while the Osako Estart is available from 17750$!


Good start.

  1. What’s the point of an 8 hp difference?
  2. What’s the point of the turbo in these engines?
  3. What’s the point of AWD in the Estart?
  4. Why the more expensive one has a 5 speed gearbox while the cheaper one has a 6 speed one?


Clearly because 5 speed is faster to shift bro, 5 speed means you reach top speed faster!

  1. Literally more torque.
  2. Literally more torque.
  3. SUV. At least pretend you have all-surface capability.
  4. Literally more torque.

Explanation: The extra 150kg of the better equipped AWD model makes any additional low-down torque a nice bonus. A low pressure turbocharged engine will do just that and it also tends to last a long time. Most SUVs have the option of AWD, which you tend not to get on most subcompacts. Any transmission can only handle a certain amount of torque. This is why the early Porsche 930 and most Mercedes with the M275 (5.5-6.0L Biturbo V12) engine have less gears than their lesser brethren, as their older transmissions were able to safely handle the torque these engines made better than the more modern counterparts found on smaller engined models (yet Mercedes still had to limit the maximum torque of the engine)


Well, SUV pretending capabilities seems like the only explanation to me… 8 hp difference is so minor that IMHO it would make way more sense to just use one engine. Turbos seem a bit like a wasted potential, since both that power and efficiency could be easily achieved with simpler, naturally aspirated engines, so torque might be the only explanation… AWD doesn’t seem to give anything significant except more weight and a bit better offroad (yay), but still rather low. Gearbox… that could be lore explanation, as Automation automatically adjusts gearbox to the torque it has to handle, whatever would it be. But yeah, ok.

Maybe I’m just in a grumbly mood. Or maybe some things make little sense here. Probably both. One certain thing is that I shouldn’t come to newcomer’s threads to comment.


2017 Kishiwo MiPoVa major facelift

The 2017 model year brought us a facelift of the Kishiwo MiPoVa (MPV because i am a genius)

It includes the same engine as the pre-facelift, a 2.0l i4, petrol siping, 125hp, natural aspired engine, a new revamped manual engine with 6 instead of 5 gears, improved fuel economy. The interieur got updates on the infortainment and the layout got a makeover, which means that for 600$ extra, there will be a 3rd row of seats. The safety features have been updated to fit the current standarts of IIHS, EuroNCAP, etc.

Designwise, the MiPoVa got a ne front fascia with updated headlights, the new typical Kishiwo grill and a new front bumper, with a new vent layout.


The back of the MiPoVa changed trastically with the, for the latest generation of Kishiwo typical, Name written on the hatch, the new LED system in the taillights and a makeover for the bumper aswell.

After a major recall in 2016, where kids were treathened to get cut in half by the sliding door system the pre-facelift had, Kishiwo decided to burn the idea of this kind of doors and the facelift only has regular doors.

The engine set up hasn`t changed from the pre-facelift.

The lux trim from the pre-facelift got trashed (because it only made 2% of the overall sales in Europe and 5% in North America), that means that the MiVoPa only will be available in one trim, with a bunge of extra equipement, for example sunroof (800$), heated/cooled seats (500$ front, 1000$ front and second row), 12 speaker SunSound system (1850$ in connection with alcantara leather seats). The Kishiwo MiVoPa starts at 19080$.

Expected sales 2017



Europe, USA, Canada, South Korea, China, Japan, Australia & New Zealand

Manufactured at

Incheon - South Korea
Rijeka - Croatia
Wichita (KS) - USA


Hey, I really dig your newest design! The MiPoVa seems to be a very neat compact. I am terrible at engine mechanics so I’m not going to talk about it and focus more on aesthetics (superficiality is so in right now). To start, I really like the headlight and taillight design, they are consistent and gives your brand a cool distinct feature. I also think the fixtures in general are sized really well in comparison to the car (I always step back from my designs only to realize the headlights are either massive or teeny tiny). If I may, there are a few things that I would change. For starters, the front of your car has plastic trim, body-colored trim, and chrome trim. I think having all three makes it look a little messy, in my opinion. Maybe the grille with your logo could be body-colored like the scoop-turned-grille on the bottom of the car. I would also give some consideration to different, more budget-y wheels. All in all a really cool design. I look forward to seeing more of your stuff!


Thanks for the feedback, my bad about the plastic grills. When I made it, I thought about it as a matt black colored body part!


Kishiwo History Time 1.0

1985-1992 Kishiwo CETU

1985-1989 Kishiwo CETU Sport

The CETU Sport was the Coupe variant of Kishiwos savior car, that got them out of the red, to the top of their home market South Korea and even was their first sucess in Europe and North America.

After Kishiwo was close to go bankruptcy in the 80’s, the top engineering team in Incheon started to work on fuel efficient mass market cars instead of the huge luxury flagships, that got the brand to a point, where it looked like it is the end. The first CETU got manufactured in Kishiwos hometown Incheon and was given to the South Korean president as a gift. This action was filmed and showed as a part of the CETU commercials and brought in more buyers than everybody expected.

1985-1992 Kishiwo CETU sedan

From one day to another the streets of Seoul, Busan, Incheon and many more cities were filled with CETUs, nearly every tenth car was one of them, which could have been caused by a huge amout of taxi-drivers, that all went for the CETU instead the other major brands. The first cars got exported in 1986, mostly to western European countries and North America.

The CETU worked itself up in Europe, landing in the anual top ten in 1987 and 1988, but after that the sales plummeted, because the price of the CETU wasn´t cheap enough anymore and other brands (like Kia) took advantage of that which left the CETU getting good sales figures in the following years aswell, but not even close to the amount they sold in 87 and 88.

1985-1992 Kishiwo CETU wagon

The Kishiwo CETU sold huge numbers in the USA from 86 to 88 but saw the sales colapse for the same reason as in europe, their direct competitors offered their cars for less money. In Canada and Mexico the CETU sales looked very promising until 1990.

The last two years (91 and 92) were quite interesting, as in 1991 the CETU sales dropped by 50% in compareism to 1990 but then in 1992, as the all new Kishiwo Katoya, the sucessor of the CETU, was on the way to the markets of our earth, the sales strangly increased by nearly 40%, which caused the delay of the Katoya by three month as the Incheon manufacture needed to produce way more CETUs than planned.

Sales 1985-1992



South Korea, North America, western Europe (Germany, France, UK, etc.)

Manufactured at

Incheon - South Korea

The Painful 80's [UE4] [OPEN THREAD]

I really dig this design! It has a sort of Miata-esque quality in that it is sporty without looking overly aggressive (well, at least until the current one). I also love the taillight design, too; it’s really of it’s period.

Funnily enough, my old car company, Camoria, also faced severe economic cutbacks in the 1980s. Tough times, eh?


There’s a hint of Mustang up front and 6-series in the back, but in my opinion this seems to take the SUV-coupe idea a bit too far. It is definitely unique, though.

As for your color palette, it looks nice, but Sky Blue is a bit too much like neon cyan to not feel out of place in any decade other than the 90s, while Juicy yellow is clearly too pale and washed-out - a deeper, more saturated shade would look much better on most cars.


2007, eleven years ago, this beauty got to see the light of our world for the first time. You might ask yourself, who I mean by “this beauty”? Simple answer, it is Kishiwos first real SUV, the Kishiwo Mirako. Many people thought “what a Toyota rip of South Korean shitbox”, but their opinion changed in 2009, you might remember the economy drop that made everything way to expensive, not the Mirako. It started from 15420$, which meant that it was the first choice for families, that wanted to replace their mid-90’s wagon with something fancy and family-friendly.

In its selling period from 2007 to 2012 there have been three different versions available (Color, Inspire, Luxor) with five different engines to pick.

The Kishiwo Mirako first gen had a pretty succesful lifetime in a horrible economy, dominating the South Korean sales charts for three years (2007-2009), selling many units in Europe, Australia-New Zealand and South America. The USA, Canada and Mexico top 50 sale charts included a Kishiwo for the first time, hitting a impressive 20th place in the USA in 2007.

Sales 2007-2012



South Korea, North America, Europe, China, Japan, South-East Asia, Middle-East, Australia-New Zealand

Manufactured at

Incheon - South Korea
Rijeka - Croatia
Wichita (KS) - USA
Chengdu - China
Rosario - Argentina


Review: 2018 Kishiwo Katoya Colour Convertible

“An accountant who doesn’t even know how to drive a car could design something with more refinement that this dull, messy creation”

Cheers to @just4 for lending me the car!

Splendid Auto Monthly - A Motoring Man's Meanderings (Gavin Anderson's Blog)
Splendid Auto Monthly - A Motoring Man's Meanderings (Gavin Anderson's Blog)

A harsh but appropriate verdict - this is one of the worst cars I have ever come across. Even if it handled better it would be too slow to be anything but pointless, and giving it a better engine would not make it look better either. Whoever signed off on this abomination deserves to be executed on sight! Just kidding - they should merely rethink their approach to designing a car.


Anyone suggesting someone should be killed for making a bad car has clearly lost all sense of principle and reality.


Lack of diplomatic solutions to interpersonal discrepancies: The movie