- Special vehicles that are built without welding sparks and hammering
The Automobile Safety Research Institute and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association held a meeting under the slogan More Safety, More Quality at the Withon Suseo Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul in February. A “special vehicle” is a vehicle equipped with special equipment and used for special purposes. Trucks, campers, refrigerated cars, wing-body top cars, and chassis cab cars are good examples of special vehicles. Compared to developed countries, Korean special vehicles have been remodeled in an old-fashioned way. Therefore, the safety, durability, and certification system of special vehicles were discussed at the meeting. Special vehicles are especially important when it comes to logistics. Narmi Motors is a company that is leading the special vehicle industry and is suggesting a new paradigm.
Narmi Motors provides frames and tuning services for trucks, campers and similar purpose vehicles. Most notably, the company built a platform for special vehicles. It produces sash cab frames and various frames and supplies them to special vehicle manufacturers on a B to B basis. It also provides B to C as a finished product if there is a customer who wants it that way. Simply put, the company supplies various frames for converting special vehicles and camping cars. In other words, the company’s main business is not to remodel and sell vehicles like existing special vehicle manufacturers, but to provide modularized frames necessary for remodeling. Therefore, there are more R&D employees than production employees.
Narmi Motors makes it possible for anyone to easily and conveniently make special vehicles by modularizing various products, rather than cutting and welding. “We focus on making products with the same performance with the same method and making it easy and simple to work with. In the case of trucks, we are developing products that have a simpler construction method and higher stability than other companies in increasing the distance between axles.” says Jaehee Kim, CEO of Narmi Motors.
Using these frames, a special vehicle can be assembled like LEGO, and it can be produced with an easy method that does not hear welding sparks and hammering sounds. When working to increase the wheelbase of a 1-ton car, the conventional method is to tighten and weld bolts and nuts on both sides to fix them. Narmi Motors, however, uses rivets to simply fasten the axle. This method is easy to use and has high stability and durability because the bolts do not come loose due to vibration. The method obtained a patent. “The method of fixing the shaft with rivets has strong durability and high tensile strength. If you drill a hole in the vehicle, tighten the bolt and nut, and fix it with high-temperature welding, there may be a problem with the durability of the vehicle. We developed a method of fastening rivets to minimize the work process and not damage the vehicle.” says Kim.
The new mighty vehicle that will be released soon will be equipped with an air suspension, and the patent technology for the method has already been registered, and it is planned to launch it on the market in May. Narmi Motors cover small cargo truck, medium truck, large truck, special truck, camping car, chassis cab, cargo truck, refrigerated truck, wing body truck, super cab, chassis cab, refrigerated truck, freezer truck, and low-floor wing body truck.
At the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show held last month, the company drew attention by introducing a camper converted from Kia Carnival/Renault QM6/GMC Sierra/Toyota. In particular, the GMC Sierra, which installed a tent on top of the vehicle and a deck that looks like a terrace at the back, received an explosive response. “This type is not yet mass-produced on the market, so I developed and produced it myself.” says Kim.
|▲ Narmi Motors / CEO Jaehee Kim|
CEO Kim provided transparent information on the modification of special vehicles by revealing all the products used for modification next to the cargo trucks exhibited at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show. Through this, he wants to change the negative social perception of special vehicles.
Kim is still in his 30s and the youngest CEO in the industry. He likes to challenge and endeavors to find ways for better results. He used to design oil tanks in Canada and makes most of his experience of the time. As part of this effort, he travels to exhibitions in the US and Europe on a regular basis alongside continuous investment in R&D.
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