Ex-Porsche Designer to Refine Chinese Car Brand

Chinese automaker Chery wants to style its cars like the Germans and hopes former Porsche designer Hakan Saracoglu will be able to help.

One of several designers from European car companies to be wooed in recent years, Saracoglu helped design Porsche models including the 918 Spyder, Boxster and Cayman. Before that, he worked with Ford and helped design models including the Focus and Mondeo — called the Fusion in North America. Saracoglu joined Chery as design director in October.

It isn’t clear how much Saracoglu was offered to join Chery, but he said “I cannot comment on that. Let’s say I’m not unhappy.” According to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, foreign auto engineers in China earn as much as three times what they would in Europe or North America.

Chery is best known for building the QQ minicar, but Saracoglu aims to change that.

“Chery is not just QQ, we’re going to change that. The company is redefining itself. Chery is standing for value, for design and gaining customer confidence. That’s where we want to go,” he said to Bloomberg.

Outside its name brand, Chery also has a 50-50 joint venture to produce models in China for Jaguar Land Rover, as well as owning startup Qoros Auto Co.

[Source: Automotive News]