- 11 September 2016
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
Chery Automobile Co.
Chery is an automobile company based out of China. They are a state-owned corporation and were founded by the Government of China in 1997. They specialize in producing passenger cars, minivans, and SUVs. These vehicles are sometimes marketed under the pinyin transcription of the brand’s Chinese name, Qirui.
Though not an old company by any means, Chery has a very interesting, if brief, history. The company was founded in 1997 by the Government of China and is a state-owned enterprise to this day. They began production on their first line of automobiles in 1999. However, due to licensing restrictions, they weren’t able to sell these vehicles until 2001.
Like many Chinese carmakers, Chery began to seek a partnership with a foreign automaker in the late 2000s. Partnerships with both Chrysler and Fiat fell through.
Despite financial setback and difficulty setting up a long-term partnership, Chery ranked as the 7th most productive Chinese automaker in 2010. Unfortunately, sales slipped in the following two years, setting the company back to 10th place.
Since it was founded, Chery has been known for carrying an extensive line of vehicles. In the most recent years, they have decided to scale back production on their model types, deciding to stick to a core group of vehicles instead. They remain a popular car company in China and in many other countries around the world.
Chery’s current flagship model is a compact MPV (multipurpose vehicle) that goes by a lot of different names. The most common of these is the Chery Eastar. However, the car is also sometimes marketed as the B14, Boss (Turkey), Cross, Crossover, CrossEastar, Destiny (Chile), Eastar Cross, and Rely V5. The car has been produced since 2006.
The Chery Eastar comes with a 2.4-liter SOHC Mitsubishi long-stroke engine. The engine produces 127 horsepower at 5,500rpm. The car also comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting.
Despite its place as Chery’s flagship model, the Eastar has suffered from continually poor sales.
Though they have scaled back production as far as the number of models they offer goes, Chery still currently manufacturers over twenty different models of cars.
Chery first began to produce many of these models in the 2000s. These include the QQ/QQ3 city car, Cowin/Flagcloud sedan, Eastar mid-size sedan, Tiggo compact SUV, A5 sedan, Karry Youyi small panel van, QQ6 city car, S22 multipurpose vehicle, V5/Eastar5 minivan, A1 city car, A3 sedan/hatchback, QQme city car, G5, and M1 city car.
Since 2010, Chery has come out with a few new models of cars. These include the E5 compact sedan, Arrizo 7 midsize sedan, H5 van, Q21/Q21D small van, Q22/Q22B small van, X1 SUV, and X5 SUV.
Chery is known to have a number of concept cars in the works. They have also experimented extensively with electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. They produced their first all-electric vehicle in 2009.
Because of their short history as a car company, almost all of the models that Chery has ever produced are currently still in production (though they plan to further scale back their line of vehicles in the near future). The only truly discontinued model they have produced is the Fulwin/Windcloud sedan. This vehicle was offered between 1999 and 2006.
It is also important to note that Chery has sold vehicles under four different brand names in the past. In addition to Chery, these included Karry, Rely, and Riich. Unfortunately, the last two of these brands, Rely and Riich, did not catch on with buyers and were canceled in 2012. Today only Chery and Karry remain. Chery focuses on passenger cars while Karry focuses on commercial vehicles.
Chery has had a somewhat tumultuous history despite its short length. During their time in business, they have done and accomplished many interesting things.
For instance, one of Chery’s chief strategic business goals is to expand to developing countries first. After establishing themselves in these countries, they plan to then expand to developed countries.
In fact, Chery has been the top exporter of Chinese automobiles since 2003. Dealerships currently exist in China, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Iran, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, and Italy though their automobiles are also offered in Australia, Singapore, and South Africa. The Chery Tiggo has proven to be the company’s most popular model in export markets.
With such a short history, it makes sense that Chery hasn’t yet established themselves firmly in motorsports racing. However, this isn’t to say that they haven’t taken the first baby steps. In both 2010 and 2011, Chery supported a team driving their Rely X5 SUVs in the Dakar Rally.
It is also interesting to make not of the controversy surrounding Chery since it was founded. The company has been sued by General Motors for copying automobiles from their brands and others.