Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chery Readies Major Product Assault

Chinese automaker Chery Auto will bring out 38 new models in just the next five years. Among them: the A3 (pictured), which comes out in March in China. (Photo courtesy of Chery Automobile)
Chery's new B13 minivan (pictured) is set to go on sale in May. (Photo courtesy of Chery Automobile)
The Chery A6, a midsize sedan (pictured), has a planned on-sale date of August. (Photo courtesy of Chery Automobile)

BEIJING — Chery Auto, which is partnered with Chrysler and Fiat, has disclosed plans to launch a major product offensive in China, introducing 38 new models over the next five years.

Details of the plan were revealed by Chery executives at a business conference here and described in several Chinese media reports.

The initial product onslaught begins this year, with the introduction of the A3 compact in March, the B13 minivan and the QQ5 minicar in May, and the midsize A6 sedan in August. Altogether, Chery plans to unveil eight new models in 2008-'09, including a new SUV.

In 2010, the company plans to introduce nine new models, mostly in the popular B segment, followed by 10 new models in 2011 and 11 new models in 2012. With each successive year's launches, Chery intends to move upscale, as it brings to market a number of new C-segment entries as well as a larger D-segment offering.

Chery has been on a roll in recent years, selling more than 380,000 vehicles in 2007 and targeting sales of 480,000 in 2008. Its best-selling model remains the tiny QQ, which starts at less than $5,000.

Chrysler is slated to get several versions of current and future Chery products, including the A3, to sell in various overseas markets, mostly under the Dodge brand.

What this means to you: When Chery finally decides to come to the U.S. market under its own banner, look for it to sell larger, more expensive models like the B13 and the A6. — Hu Lei, Correspondent

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