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Chery sales to gather pace with Tiggo 7 Pro

Tiggo 7 Pro expected to propel Chery reboot in Aus following Omoda 5’s strong start

31 Aug 2023


HAVING sold around 600 of its strikingly designed Omoda 5 small SUVs per month in Australia since its official reboot here in late March, Chinese car-maker Chery is confident that its more conventional-looking and slightly larger Tiggo 7 Pro will help its network of 43 dealerships start to move some serious metal.


A bit of a segment straddler at 4500mm long but promising to expand on the 4400mm-long Omoda 5’s surprisingly spacious packaging within its boxier form factor, the Tiggo 7 Pro will soon enter Australia’s busy medium SUV segment – when Chery Australia expects it to perform as well as it has in other markets.


During an interview with GoAuto, Chery Australia deputy marketing director Andrew Haurissa said that this year the Tiggo 7 had been China’s second most-exported vehicle, sharing a podium with Tesla’s Shanghai-made Model Y and Model 3.


“We are very confident in the product. Very, very confident,” he said of the Tiggo 7 Pro.


“That car is going to be a game changer for us as well. What I mean by game changer is that we are able to penetrate that highly contested (medium SUV) segment with the right product.”


Chery has previously told GoAuto that it has a target of 50-60 dealerships in Australia, which at the upper end would give it a footprint close to that of compatriot MG, which has shifted around 4500 units per month so far this year.


“Once we have more content in different segments, we'll be trying to grab some market share from our competition,” said Mr Haurissa, hinting at a desire to replicate the SAIC-owned British brand’s success here.


“If you look at the (total) market size, it's been consistent for the last five years – even pre- and post-COVID – so you can probably assume where we want to be.”


Expanding on the model pipeline but unable to provide indicative arrival times, Mr Haurissa said the Tiggo 8 was still in the pipeline for Australia, confirming it would be a seven-seat SUV similar in size to a Nissan X-Trail.


“It's a matter of ensuring that we are compliant for ADR, prepared for ANCAP, things like that. So again, we will take a little bit more time, but it will not be too long before the Tiggo 8 arrives as well.”


Both the Tiggo 7 and Tiggo 8 have recently been awarded first-place rankings for their respective segments in JD Power’s 2023 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study in the Chinese market, which surveyed 35,155 owners of 230 models from 48 brands.


Announcing the victories, Chery Australia MD Andy Zhang said success in the APEAL study would bode well for the brand once the globally popular Tiggo models start rolling out here later this year.


“This latest result highlights the performance and attractiveness of the models in other markets,” said Mr Zhang.


“This is one of many strong results that the models are receiving to deliver a global award-winning reputation.”


Battery electric and plug-in hybrid models or variants of existing models will also start rolling out about a year from now but Mr Haurissa declined to comment on exactly what these would be. He also confirmed that Chery’s Karry commercial vehicle product line remains China-only at this time.


While Chery is keeping its powder dry on Tiggo 7 Pro pricing and specification until closer to launch, Mr Haurissa confirmed the model would offer similar bang-for-buck as the Omoda 5, claiming it would feature creature comforts and tech found on high-spec European vehicles but at a more accessible price.


“It will be the same or even more surprising,” he hinted, before letting slip that the entire Tiggo 7 Pro range will include a panoramic sunroof as standard.


However, Mr Haurissa emphasised that Chery’s value proposition was less about cramming bells and whistles into cabins and more about how the vehicles drive, as well as how the brand engages with its customers through initiatives like its ‘With Chery With Love’ loyalty program.


“The value will come once you experience the car,” he said.


“I think the most important is for all potential customers or to sit in the car and just take it for a drive. See whether the car fits your lifestyle, because it needs to fit the lifestyle first and foremost.”

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