► Chery to launch in Europe
► Badged Chery, new model names
► Spearheaded by SUV at Frankfurt
Chinese car maker Chery has confirmed plans to launch in overseas territories, including Europe ‘within the next few years’.
The cars will be badged Chery, contrary to reports that a new sub-brand will be used. Nor is it anything to do with Qoros. The first fruits of the project will be shown at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, which opens its doors on 12 September.
Chery will reveal an SUV at the IAA, spearheading its European launch to rival the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson. Judging by these first teaser photographs and design renderings, it's remarkably close to production reality.
CAR understands the launch is being planned by the end of the decade.
What do we know about the Chery SUV for Europe?
It’ll be based on a new platform and the company vows it’ll be designed and engineered in a new, standalone European R&D centre. The car will wear a new model name, not a Chinese market badge.
The compact crossover is ‘designed for young, urban, progressive-minded customers, and will meet the needs and expectations of European private and fleet buyers in terms of design, quality, dynamics and crash worthiness,’ according to the official statement.
Hybrids and battery cars for the new era
Powertrains will focus on hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery cars, the company says, and like fellow Chinese start-up Lynk & Co state-of-the-art connectivity will be at the heart of its plans.
‘In just a few years we intend to start selling a family of vehicles in European markets across multiple segments, with power supplied by a range of electrified powertrains,’ said Chery CEO Anning Chen.
‘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. 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.'
Can Chery possibly pull off a successful European launch?
This is the million dollar question. The west has been cautiously eyeing the Chinese threat for two decades, but there are increasing signs that eastern makers are using the electrical revolution as an opportunity to leapfrog traditional makers.
But even in this new, disrupted age of opportunity, it’s important not to underestimate the complexity of launching a new brand, establishing a sales and support network and forging appeal in one of the most sophisticated automotive markets on the planet.
Chery sold more than 700,000 cars in 2016 and has been the biggest exporter of cars from China for 14 consecutive years, with 1.2 million shipped since launch 20 years ago. It’ll be an intriguing prospect to watch.
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