Chery, the Chinese manufacturer of cars and SUVs, has returned to South Africa.
The company hosted media at its head office on The Campus in Bryanston, Johannesburg, yesterday with news that it has established a wholly owned subsidiary called Chery South Africa. This new company was registered earlier this year and is in the process of negotiating with the first 30 dealers.
Chery is not a new brand in South Africa. It first entered the market in 2007 as an imported brand in the Motus stable. The company says it has an existing car parc of around 15 000 vehicles in South Africa.
This week’s launch did not divulge details about the range that the company plans on introducing in South Africa, but did display three SUVs, a Tiggo 4, Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro. These vehicles form the basis of the brand’s export efforts in other parts of the world, and the company says it has been the largest exporter of Chinese vehicles for the last 18 years, adding a new overseas customer every 2 minutes.
According to Chery, the first vehicles for sale will arrive in South Africa in the fourth quarter of this year. It is expected that this will be the most affordable SUV, the Tiggo 4, with the Tiggo 7 and Tiggo 8 arriving early next year.
Chery also hinted at a new pick-up, which is rumoured to be based on an SUV platform and is penned for 2023.
At its relaunch as a subsidiary of the parent company, Chery South Africa placed a lot of emphasis on its ‘rebirth’ as a technological innovator and manufacturer of premium products. This is in stark contrast to the original Chery vehicles sold in South Africa, which were aimed squarely at the most affordable end of the market.
The new Chery, as the company now positions itself, is a leading designer and builder of unique vehicles, including new engines and proprietary platforms.
According to the Chery, it holds over 13 000 patents and now has 5 500 dedicated technical personnel working on vehicle technology and safety. The company has apparently developed its own suite of technologies, including electric, petrol, diesel, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles.
One of the new technologies is a new 1.6 litre direct-injection turbo-petrol engine in the ACTECTO range that delivers 145 kW with a thermal efficiency of 37.1% and a new 2.0 litre engine with the same technologies that delivers 192 kW and 400 Nm.
Chery says it will use the next few years to firm up its position in South Africa, before using it to enter other African markets. The new Chery website is www.chery.co.za.
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