China’s Chery Takes Aim At European Market

Several years ago the prospect of seeing Chery cars on our shores appeared imminent, thanks to a deal signed between the Chinese automaker and entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin.

However the deal fell apart and further plans to market cars in the US, including fledgling deals with Chrysler during its dark Cerberus period have come to nought.

Now, Chery is eying the European market, attempting to market a compact sedan called the Qoros that’s the result of a joint venture with Israel Corp (the Middle Eastern nation’s largest holding company). The Qoros is said to be more upmarket than anything Chery currently produces at home  and both companies have ambitious plans, setting initial production targets of 150,000 units a year, with a new factory being constructed near Shanghai to produce the car.

In order to be sold in Europe, the Qoros will have to meet, among other things, NCAP safety standards; a goal has been set of achieving five-star crash status and former Mini design direct Gert Hildebrand has signed up to work on the project, while Austrian company Magna-Steyr is reported to be actively involved.

Whether  such ambitions plans will come to fruition remains to be seen, especially in lieu of Chery’s previous  failed attempts to infiltrate Western markets and past legal issues, ranging from trademark infringements to shady contract dealings. Nonetheless, if the Qoros does succeed, it just  might mark the start of a new era in the automotive business and renewed low price competition in the European marketplace.

[Source: Left Lane News]