The Chery name re-emerges on the local market from November after a sales hiatus of three years with a planned raft of Tiggo model introductions covering the small, medium and large SUV segments – with a one-ton bakkie also in the product mix.
The announcement makes South Africa the newest member of a global network with a family of more than 9,5-million owners across more than 80 countries and regions
From its new head office in Bryanston, Johannesburg, Chery South Africa will now complete the process of appointing the first 30 dealers and preparing for the introduction of the first vehicles, which are expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“For Chery, the South African office holds a very special significance. The country welcomed our vehicles with open arms in 2007, and we have been supporting our customer base of more than 15 000 owners with parts and servicing ever since.
“Now we have the opportunity to enter the market directly, with a national network of dedicated Chery dealers and our completely new range of vehicles,” says Tony Liu, Executive Deputy General Manager, Chery South Africa.
Chery, previously sold locally on a distributorship basis, was last active in 2018 and much has changed since then with the company ramping up its design, engineering and other departments in China with experts from around the world.
The Tiggo name continues and will be the Chery focus in the small, medium and large SUV segments with a one-ton bakkie also on the cards.
The first of the models to be launched in November will be the Tiggo4 Pro and this will be followed by the Tiggo8 Pro, the brand’s top end luxury 7-seater.
Liu says that while the first Chery vehicles for sale will only arrive on local shores in late 2021, the company has been hard at work testing the vehicles in local conditions, recruiting the best dealers in key areas across South Africa and growing its parts storage and distribution capabilities beyond that which it used to service its existing car parc.
“By entering the market directly, customers will be able to experience the best that Chery has to offer, both in customer service and in our next-generation of products. If our experience in other global markets is anything to go by, then customers will be blown away.”
Since manufacturing its first vehicle 24 years ago, Chery has focused on developing its own core technologies, including a range of engines, vehicle platforms and safety technology. Today Chery is recognised as a global leader on these fronts, with more than 13 000 technology patents and 5 500 dedicated research and development specialists in five research and development (R&D) centres spread across the globe.
“The Tiggo 8 Pro is just the latest example of our design and engineering expertise,” says Liu. “It has, alongside its many siblings, helped Chery to be recognised as one of the ‘Chinese Brands with the Best Global Image’ for the fifth time in 2020.”
In the field of internal combustion, its current 1.6 ACTECTO TGDI direct-injection engine was voted one of the 10 Best Engines in the China Heart awards, along with five other engines from the group. Judges noted the ACTECTO engine’s high-power delivery (145 kW and 290 Nm) and incredible thermal efficiency of 37,1% as reasons for winning the award.
For fuel power solutions, Chery unveiled its 2.0 TGDI engine with a maximum power of 192 kW and peak torque of 400 Nm.
“When we introduce our first models in South Africa, customers will see our focus is not only on the technology under the skin, but also in the cabin. Our range of intelligent driving assistance systems is world class, and we are a leader in the field of high resolution screens and touch- and voice-control technologies,” says Liu.
While its primary focus will be on establishing the true Chery brand in South Africa, the company aims to grow its footprint across the continent.
“South Africa is a very important market for us. Customers have high expectations, and we want to meet and exceed them.
“Once we have established a firm foothold in this market, we will use the expertise in the country and its import position as a springboard into the rest of the continent,” says Liu.
To ensure it meets and exceeds the expectations of South African motorists, Chery will enter the market with an established network of 30 dealers. These dealers are been selected over the past year for their strong track record, good reputation and geographical location.
Chery will back these dealers with a large parts warehouse, strong mechanical warranty and service plan, and a comprehensive 24-hour roadside assistance service. Chery is also studying the local introduction of its global Chery app, available on both iOS and Android, which will not only allow the owner to monitor his or her vehicle’s health but connect directly with Chery South Africa to book a service or interact with the Customer Service team.
“final specifications and pricing will be announced at the time of actual launch,” says National Sales Manager, Jay Jay Botes. “All our pricing will be based on a ‘what you see is what you get’ basis so buyers will not have to wade through long options lists – and I can promise the pricing will be competitive, offering a high value-for-money proposition.”