Representing a direct challenge to Piaggio’s Porter, all the DFMs employ the same 1.3-litre 83hp petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox. A diesel version has yet to appear.

Now busy recruiting dealers, Billbrook, Somerset-based Coastal aims to sell 50 of the newcomers this year and gradually build sales to 1,000 annually before further expansion.

Prices start at £6,995. A two-year/30,000-mile factory-backed warranty is provided — the terms may have to be made more generous in order to match the expectations of UK buyers — and service intervals are set at around 10,000 miles.

Already on sale in Germany, some 240,000 DFM micros were sold globally last year and the manufacturer aims to find buyers for 300,000 this year. With joint ventures with Nissan and Honda among others, Dongfeng — the name means ‘East Wind‘ — is one of China’s biggest vehicle manufacturers.