News - Chery
Frankfurt show: Chery reloads to go global
Compact SUV debut to foreshadow Chery’s new assault on western markets
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17 Aug 2017
CHINESE car-maker Chery Automobile has confirmed plans to launch a range of high-quality and safe electrified vehicles under a new nameplate for a renewed global assault, potentially including Australia.
The new strategy will start in Europe where Chery is set to show a compact SUV pre-production car at next month’s Frankfurt motor show ahead of a product rollout “within the next few years”.
GoAuto understands independent importer Ateco Automotive has first right of refusal for a resumption of Chery exports to Australia and New Zealand where sales of the Chinese-built, Chery-badged cars ground to a halt last year.
An Ateco spokesman said the company was yet to be advised about plans for right-hand drive vehicles in the new range, and would need to work through other factors such as Australian design rule compliance before committing to the new Chery-built vehicles.
Along with Great Wall, Chery was one of the pioneering Chinese brands to venture into Australia, but it learned the hard way about attempting to sell poorly resolved, Chinese-quality vehicles against established western brands.
The exercise was a wake-up call for Chery, which appears to have gone away to reorganise itself for a proper assault which it says will include an all-new high-quality vehicle platform and a new international design and engineering centre in Europe to accelerate global expansion.
Chery last night revealed three teaser images of the small SUV which it says will lead the charge into Europe for Chery’s new strategy that will focus on hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles.
The company said the SUV would be designed for “young, urban, progressive-minded customers”, and would meet the needs and expectations of European private and fleet buyers in terms of design, quality, dynamics and crash worthiness.
Chery CEO Anning Chen said the company was planning a family of vehicles across multiple segments in Europe.
“Our brand will target open-minded, younger customers in particular, with a product rollout strategy that focuses on quality, low- and zero-emissions powertrains, and emotional engagement with customers,” he said.
“All Chery vehicles sold in Europe will feature class-leading connectivity, be fun to drive, offer flexible and spacious interiors and will provide comprehensive personalisation, all of which are aligned with our high standards of product quality and aftersales support.”
Mr Chen has previously indicated that it is also proposing to take on the North American market at a later date.
The Chery strategy mirrors those of other Chinese companies such as Geely, SAIC and Great Wall, all of which have greatly stepped up their design and engineering commitments, along with efforts to lift build quality to western levels for global markets.
While most Chinese motor companies have been happy to feed the voracious Chinese market, those with global aspirations have realised they need to take on western companies on their own terms, not just to penetrate western markets to but to earn marketing cache at home where western brands such as Volkswagen and Buick dominate.
Chery has yet to say what its new brand will be called, or where its European R&D facility will be located.
The company has a stake in Israeli-based car-maker Qoros, but the teaser images show the Chery badge on the grilleChery claims to be China’s most successful vehicle exporter, having sold more than 1.2 million units overseas in 14 years.
Last year, it shipped about 100,000 units overseas, mainly to developing in Africa, the Middle East, Russia and South America. This represented 30 per cent of Chinese vehicle exports.
While state-backed rivals such as SAIC Motor, Beijing Auto and FAW each make millions of vehicles a year under joint venture arrangements with western motor companies such as General Motors, VW and Hyundai, Chery is the largest home-brand manufacturer, making 700,000 vehicles in 2016.
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