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Chery auto news

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Report: Chery hires Porsche's Saracoglu as new head of design studio in Shanghai

02/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, China, Hirings/Firings, Chery, Design/Style

Hakan Saracoglu, car designerThe eastward migration of automotive designers bearing European pedigrees continues with Chery Automobile reportedly hiring former Porsche stylist Hakan Saracoglu. The move comes almost a year after Chery hired James Hope from the General Motors Exterior Design Studio in Russelsheim, Germany to be its corporate director of design.

Saracoglu had been with Porsche since 1998, and he showed his abilities on the 997-series Porsche 911 GT2 and GT2 RS, previous-generation Boxster and Cayman and the 918 Spyder. He will join Hope's team with the aim of taking Chery beyond the car it is most known for, the QQ, to a company "standing for value, for design and gaining customer confidence. That's where we want to go." Saracoglu will lead a group of 30 designers to create a range of concepts in various segments.

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Study: China still 10 years away from globally competitive car company

02/26/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Chery, Geely

Chinese car plant assembly line

It may be a spell before Chinese automakers are capable of turning out a globally competitive vehicle. That's the findings of a sprawling 200 page report by Bernstein Research. The group went through the trouble of purchasing two Chinese-made cars, importing them to Europe and disassembling them down to every last nut and bolt. The study also included in-depth interviews with CEOs at each of the major manufacturers, including Great Wall, Chery, Brilliance and SAIC among others. Researchers found that by and large, global partners aren't holding up their end of joint venture deals, with the vast majority of foreign automakers seemingly not taking the Chinese market seriously.

The one exception to that rule, according to Bernstein, is General Motors and SAIC. GM has pumped a staggering amount of cash into China, and as a result, SAIC seems leagues ahead of its peers on the design and engineering front. Speaking of engineering, the study found most Chinese cars to simply be reverse-engineered examples of foreign models, with the Toyota Corolla being the most popular. That's due in part to the fact that Chinese automakers spend $100 million a year on research and development on average. For comparison's sake, a company like Volkswagen or Toyota spends closer to $1 billion. The Truth About Cars has a closer look at the report's contents. You can find that writeup here.

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Official: This is the Qoros GQ3

12/26/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Sedans/Saloons, Geneva Motor Show, China, Euro, Chery, UK, MISC

We've been calling it the C11, but the new compact sedan from Qoros - the Sino-Israeli joint venture car company - has officially been dubbed GQ3. To be revealed at next year's Geneva Motor Show before going on sale in China in the second half of of 2013, the GQ3 is a C-segment sedan whose selling points are meant to be a spacious interior, lots of technology and five-star crash ratings on the Euro NCAP tests. If you're wondering about the name, each element signifies brand nomenclature: Qoros sedans will all begin with "G," the letter "Q" stands for the company and will feature in every car's name, and the number is the segment, "3" representing compacts.

Even though it's a compact car, the GQ3 is two inches wider than a Chrysler 200, and those wheel arches can swallow 19-inch rims. Beyond spaciousness, the interior's main attraction is the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system utilizing in-house software, technology and graphics. It can recognize swipe gestures used on smartphones and is said to integrate all kinds of navigation, traffic, POI and social media features.

We've saved a discussion of the car's looks for last because, yes, it look like a lot of cars and it looks like it took a lot of cues from a lot of cars - but overwhelming blandness will have that effect. Nevertheless, it's not one of the blatant copy-and-paste jobs we've seen many times before, and if GQ3 can deliver on its three prime directives it will be a home run for Chery Automotive, the Chinese arm of the venture, and Chinese consumers. European deliveries of the GQ3 are expected to begin at the end of next year. The press release below has more details.

Continue reading This is the Qoros GQ3

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Report: Former GM engineer found guilty of trying to sell trade secrets

12/03/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Government/Legal, Tech, GM, Chery, Electric

Sanshan Du and Yu Qin

After an almost month-long trial, former General Motors engineer Shanshan Du and her husband, Yu Qin, were convicted Sunday of stealing hybrid vehicle trade secrets from the automaker. Qin was convicted on seven counts, while Du was convicted of three trade-secret counts but acquitted of wire fraud charges.

Prosecutors said Qin used the data in attempts to either get employment with or form partnerships with GM's Chinese competitors, including Chery Automobile Co. GM claimed in the trial that the secrets were worth more than $40 million. Defense lawyers said the data wasn't secret, wasn't stolen and was "useless for other companies."

"These defendants stole trade secrets, which General Motors spent many years and millions of dollars to develop, to give an unfair advantage to a foreign competitor," US Attorney Barbara McQuade said. "We hope that this prosecution will send a message that stealing proprietary information from an employer or competitor is a serious crime."

Du worked for GM from 2000 until her resignation in 2005. Prosecutors argued that Du and her husband had formed Millennium Technology International through which they had hoped to sell the stolen information. Lawyers said 16,262 stolen files were found on Du's computer.

Sentencing is scheduled for February. The couple face maximum sentences of 10 years on each trade secret count and fines of as much $250,000.

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Report: Jaguar Land Rover and Chery investing in Chinese plant

11/24/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Plants/Manufacturing, Jaguar, Land Rover, Chery, Tata, Luxury

While the European auto market for Jaguar and Land Rover is waning, Chinese car buyers can't get enough of the British marques. To meet that demand, Tata Motors, parent company of Jag and Land Rover, is partnering with Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co.

The two announced plans to invest $1.75 billion to build a new plant and create a new, China-focused brand. 2014 is the target for completion of the factory. Jaguars and Land Rovers built at the facility will be the first ever produced outside the UK according to the Associated Press. The JV will be called Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd.

The announcement comes less than a month after JLR announced it would open a design studio in China. It's not clear from the reports whether the two announcements are part of the same JV or two separate plans.

China requires any company wanting to set up domestic production to partner with a local business. By doing so, JLR avoids a 25-percent tariff on imported cars. Chery benefits from a planned research and development center as well as a chance to "really upgrade its capabilities," according to Bill Russo of Synergistic Ltd. in Beijing.

You can read the official press release below.

Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover and Chery investing in Chinese plant

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Official: New Chinese carmaker Qoros set for 2013 Geneva Motor Show debut

11/11/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Geneva Motor Show, China, Chery

Qoros, the Chinese carmaker that's a joint venture between Chery Automotive and Israel Corporation, has released a couple of teaser images of the small sedan it has planned for next year's Geneva Motor Show. Qoros, a play on the word "chorus," is already almost six years old, and unlike other start-ups we've watched over the years, appears to have spent that time working on a properly vetted automobile with the help of industry-standard suppliers.

Although the image above hints at three different vehicles, it's the C-segment sedan up front that will come first. The "elegantly proportioned" C11, a four-door planned for sale "to discerning young buyers in China and Europe" next year, was caught in camouflage this summer while testing in Europe. Designed by Gert Volker Hildebrand, who led the design for the return of Mini, it is said to have interior space above its class, "a strong focus on state-of-the-art technology," and "will be engineered to receive maximum ratings on Euro NCAP safety tests."

A 150,000-unit factory is currently being built, and once the C11 is launched Qoros envisions that the modular architecture supporting it will allow a new model to be introduced "almost every half year." That would explain the crossover-looking vehicles behind the sedan, and the hybrid and electric variants to be included among the range. There's a press release below with more information.

Continue reading New Chinese carmaker Qoros set for 2013 Geneva Motor Show debut

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Report: Chinese automakers hope to boost exports

05/15/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Euro, Chery, Geely

Great Wall Phenom

We've heard for years that Chinese automakers hoped one day to export their wares to the United States. Ironically, the global economic slowdown could be what gives the Chinese incentive to finally make it happen.

Chinese automakers ramped up production capacity to meet surging demand at home only to see the local economic conditions slow from 30 percent growth in 2010 to just 2.5 percent in 2011. On top of that, the Chinese auto marketplace has now become crowded with foreign and domestic competitors.

"The rapid growth phase of China's auto market is coming to an end, and we see exports as one possible outlet for all the capacity we have built up," Xing Wenlin, Great Wall Motor vice president in charge of overseas markets, tells Reuters. Great Wall's Phenom concept (pictured above) was shown a few years ago as a possible export model.

While most Chinese-made cars aren't up to American quality expectations, developing automotive markets like Egypt, Ukraine, Brazil and Indonesia are clamoring for cheap, reliable transportation. Chinese automaker Chery said earlier this year it would be selling cars in Europe by 2015.

Geely's purchase of Volvo in 2010 has boosted the Chinese company's automotive technology expertise and could help it achieve its goal of doubling exports to 70,000 units this year. While the U.S. is still out of reach for most Chinese automakers, Geely may begin selling a Chinese-made car in the UK by the end of this year. If successful there, a logical next market would be North America.

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Report: Chery to (finally) invade Europe after 2015

10/13/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Euro, Chery

chery logoChinese automakers have had a heck of a time trying to crack the crowded European vehicle market, but Chery is hoping to change that in a few years. Automotive News reports that Chery is hoping to take up shop in Europe sometime after 2015.

Chery Deputy General Manager Lu Jianhui reportedly provided the 2015 timeline as the planned date to offer the brand in Europe, but added "we are still focusing on Russia and South America, among others, as our major export markets." Chery is already moving a lot of metal in those emerging markets, with a planned 180,000 vehicles for export in 2011. The automaker hopes to bump that sum closer to one million vehicles before the decade is out.

The 2015 timeline comes after news of a joint venture between Chery and Israel Corp to build three vehicles. The 1.5-billion-euro project would result in vehicles to be sold in China, followed by European sales one year later.

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Chery reportedly researching Wankel engines for extended-range EVs

10/21/2010   [Original: China Car Times via Autoblog]
Category: China, Tech, Chery, Electric

Chery AutomobileMazda isn't the only company out there working on the next-generation rotary engine. According to China Car Times, Chery is also dabbling in Wankel technology. The company isn't so much interested in bringing non-piston love to The People's Republic so much as they are finding a more efficient way to charge the batteries in an extended-range EV. If CCT's intelligence is accurate, the plan is to use an 800cc Wankel as a sort of internal-combustion lifeline so that if an electric car's batteries go dead the driver won't be walking home. The strategy is in line with what we've seen from the Chevrolet Volt.

Chery has already worked up a prototype or two using electron-powered QQ3 models. China Car Times says that the vehicles can drive up to 93 miles on battery power alone. Throwing in the new Wankel has extended the vehicle's range by as much as an additional 43 miles. As of right now, there are no specifics as to whether or not Chery plans to bring the range-extended QQ3 to market.

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Chery and Fiat put alliance talks on hold

03/23/2009   [Original: Wall St. Journal via Autoblog]
Category: Chery, FIAT

The global economic recession has officially slowed Fiat's Big Love-style partnerships, as the Italian automaker's deal with Chery to produce models for the Chinese market has been put on hold. In August 2007, the two companies agreed on a 50/50 joint venture to produce 175,000 vehicles per year beginning in 2009. Chery spokesman Jin Yibo said that vehicle production "won't happen this year" and no date has been given for Fiat and Chery to begin building vehicles for China.

While global auto sales have taken a huge hit, the Chinese market has proven more resilient. The land of the Great Wall actually sold more cars and trucks in January and February than the United States. Given the upbeat car market in China, delaying the joint venture may sound a little strange. Fiat could be delaying the partnership to concentrate on its potential partnership with Chrysler, which would bring the Italian Automaker back into the (usually) lucrative US market.

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