The Chery QQ is classified as a city car and is produced by Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile. Production of this vehicle started in 2003 and in 2006 it was renamed the Chery QQ3 for the Chinese market, where the automaker launched their new supermini called the Chery QQ6. The entire QQ product line consists of four different models, which has caused some confusion in the past when some people refer to this particular vehicle. The QQ6’s low price was definitely a selling point when it was first introduced to the market, and it one was one of the cheapest production cars in the world in 2008.
The low overall price of the QQ made it extremely popular in China, especially during the 2000s. This car was eventually dropped from a list of top ten best selling vehicles that was put together by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers in 2010, indicating that it had significantly dropped in popularity. The cheapest price this car was sold for was $4,000 in 2012. The QQ was at the center of an intellectual property dispute in the late 2000s between Chery and GM. There was a slightly redesigned version of the QQ that was displayed for the public to see in 2011 at the Guangzhou Auto Show with a new generation introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2013.
The intellectual property dispute between Chery and GM over the QQ started when General Motors claimed that the car was a copy of their Daewoo Matiz, which was marketed outside of South Korea as the Chevrolet Spark. GM sued Chery in a Chinese court over what they claimed was intellectual property theft. A representative of GM China Group stated that the QQ resembled the Spark very closely in a number of ways, including its body structure, interior design, exterior design, and a number of key components.
With regards to safety, the Cherry QQ and the Daeowoo Matiz are indeed very similar, though their safety ratings differ quite a bit. A Euro NCAP front offset crash test revealed that this car was especially susceptible to driver injury. It was also determined that the driver of the QQ, if involved in a medium to high speed collision, would sustain severe if not fatal injuries, including severe head trauma and injuries to the neck and chest. The first generation of the Daewoo Matiz earned a three out of five star rating for driver safety and a two out of five star rating for passenger safety.
There was an all-electric version of the Cherry, called the QQ3 EV, which was first delivered to retail customers in Wuhi, Anhui province in March of 2010. This electric city car has a range of around 100 km or 62 miles and the lowest prices pure electric car to ever be sold on the Chinese market. There was a total of 5,305 of these cars sold during 2012 alone, making it the top selling all-electric car in China for that year. The EV had a market share of 44% of total electric cars sales in 2012 and by January of 2012 sales had reached up to 9,512 units.
A new version of the QQ that was based on the Chery QQ3 Sport, was launched at the end of 2012 with a 16 horsepower electric motor. The QQ is available in a number of different export markets around the world, including Philippines, where it is called the QQ3, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. This vehicle has attained a great deal of success over the years, despite its temporary dip in popularity in certain markets.