Chinese brand Chery is poised to launch three SUVs this year and electric cars in Australia next year

Chinese brand Chery is poised to launch three SUVs this year and electric cars in Australia next year

The biggest exporter of Chinese cars is about to restart in Australia with three SUVs this year, ahead of a number of electric vehicles.

Chinese car sales growth in Australia is about to peak.

Chinese brand Chery – China’s biggest exporter of cars – is about to restart in Australia after exiting the local market eight years ago with an outdated model range, poor safety ratings and lackluster sales.

Chery says it waited to develop a range of all-new models with five-star safety and advanced technology before returning to Australia, one of the world’s most competitive car markets.

Five years ago, new cars from China accounted for 1 percent of the Australian market. Last year they accounted for 11 percent of all new motor vehicles sold locally – behind Japan, Thailand and South Korea.

While other Chinese automakers have seen phenomenal growth in Australia — MG ranked seventh last year and Great Wall Motors (GWM) Haval ninth in December 2022 — Chery’s local executives say they are aiming for sustained growth.

“We want to be here for the long term,” said Andy Zhang, managing director of Chery Australia drive The first arrival – the Omoda 5 small SUV – is slated to hit local showrooms in March 2023, ahead of two more models later this year, barring delays.

While Chery Australia has yet to announce pricing and details for its upcoming models, Mr Zhang said drive The company planned to build a network of about 60 showrooms and launch with a seven-year unlimited mileage warranty – which would match Chinese rivals MG and GWM Haval and South Korean brands Kia and SsangYong.

“Warranty is very important in Australia…it gives customers confidence,” said Mr. Zhang, who has been with Chery for three years after more than a decade with GWM Haval.

The Chery Australia boss also said the company plans to launch a range of five-star safety-rated cars. “In the future, our goal is for every Chery car to have five-star safety,” said Mr. Zhang.

The Chery Omoda 5 SUV – the first car that Chery will launch locally – received a five-star safety rating from European NCAP authorities. The result for right-hand drive variants has yet to be ratified by the Australasian NCAP.

Other SUVs due this year or next include the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro, ahead of the introduction of electric variants next year pending delays.

Chery Australia’s marketing director – former Toyota and Lexus executive James Curtis – said Australia is part of the company’s plan to expand globally.

“Australia is so important to Chery because it’s a demanding market with demanding customers and a lot of competition,” said Mr. Curtis.

“More car brands are competing here (for fewer sales) than in Europe or the USA. If you can make it in Australia, you’ll be ready to expand into other international markets.”

MORE:Find used Chery cars for sale
MORE:Find used Chery cars for sale

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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