Chinese cars eye Australia
China’s automotive sector is keeping an eye on Australia, with Chery in particular keeping a close eye on the upcoming launch and potential future of the brand both domestically and on a global scale.
Due to relaunching in Australia next month with the modern Omoda 5 small SUV, Chery is looking to put the past in a good and real way behind – the short run here from 2011 to 2015 has already made ended due to poor safety scores and fears about asbestos-related parts.
This time around, the brand’s debut in Australia with a wholly owned subsidiary model could expose the carmaker to more liability than was the case in the past, when Chery vehicles were imported and distributed. by Ateco Automotive.
The company’s local marketing director, James Curtis, told GoAuto that pressure is on the Australian branch to make it okay for the time being.
Mr. Curtis said: “Australia is really a test case for this brand. “If it succeeds (Chery) will rise to become a truly global company.”
The brand is already present in other markets outside of China, including – but not limited to – South Africa, Russia, Egypt and several South American and Middle Eastern countries.
Among the models sold elsewhere are the mid-size Tiggo 7 pro SUV and the full-size Tiggo 8 SUV, which GoAuto understands requires further development before being introduced to Australia.
However, Mr Curtis said the line-up sold in Australia would be more representative of a modern, safety- and technology-focused product line, where many other markets have older, less advanced product lines. more advanced.
Mr. Curtis said the Australian market is much more closely linked with developed countries, where consumer demand is significantly more demanding.
“We are a right-hand drive market, and that is a rarity. We have the highest number of brands and styles per capita. I think the fact that we are global consumers, our expectations for safety and design and for our lifestyles are on par with North America and Western Europe in particular,” he said. .
As for what China is doing to try and allow the brand to have all the success it is about to launch in Australia, Mr Curtis stated that headquarters are essentially doing their best to help it have a off to a good start.
“Supply chains globally have been affected by it, but our factories are not affected by COVID. In fact, perhaps the opposite – Australia is such an important market for Chery around the world that the entire company revolves around our operations.
“So we’re getting priority shipments, we’re getting priority production; Everyone is following us. So it gives us a lot of confidence that operations globally are ready and ready for us,” he said.
Mr. Curtis, who has a background in logistics management, stressed that Chery will not leave customers in a predicament, insisting that the brand is focused on ensuring parts Availability and reserves are not an issue.
“We have to make sure we have enough spare parts in stock to be able to service there, and what we can say is we already have over 580 parts ordered, which means we have can effectively serve a parking lot approximately two to three months from launch, with more parts being rolled out.
“In the event that other manufacturers may have a component shortage problem, I don’t expect that to happen to us. We are planning to make sure that is not the case for us,” he said.
The brand’s parts warehouse will be based in Melbourne. Furthermore, Chery’s Australian branch has confirmed that it will have “hundreds” of Omoda 5 SUVs on board, which will be available in Australia in the coming weeks before that vehicle launches.
Chery Omoda 5 is a compact SUV, about the same size as the Nissan Qashqai or Kia Seltos. It will be offered initially with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
Pricing and details about the Chery Omoda 5 have yet to be revealed, although the brand has hinted that it will be fully equipped when it comes to safety tech.
The Chery Omoda 5 was given a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test in December 2022.
Chery is reported to have sold more than 1.23 million vehicles globally in 2022, up 28.1% from 2021.