Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

FOR a com­pany that was founded only 11 years ago, Ch­ery’s rise through the tough au­to­mo­tive ranks has been stel­lar. It is one of China’s fastest-grow­ing car­mak­ers with a sales fore­cast of 480,000 ve­hi­cles this year, yet it has lit­tle brand recog­ni­tion be­yond China’s borders.

Ex­ports are high on the Ch­ery agenda.

In 2006 the com­pany ex­ported 51,600 ve­hi­cles to emerg­ing mar­kets. Last year this more than dou­bled to 119,800. And the rapid ramp-up of ex­ports is set to con­tinue, with sights set on Aus­tralia, the US and South Africa.

This year the car­maker ex­pects to ex­port 180,000 ve­hi­cles, and by 2010 hopes to have 600,000 cars on for­eign soil.

Not bad for a com­pany that built its first car in 1999 when it took over as­sem­bly of the 1.6-litre Span­ish Seat Toledo. It de­liv­ered its first China car, called the FengYun Wind­cloud, to the taxi fleet at Wuhu in An­hui Prov­ince, where Ch­ery is based. The car rep­re­sented a mile­stone in Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing be­cause it was the first car pro­duced by a to­tally Chi­nese owned and man­aged com­pany. To­day Ch­ery builds 10 ve­hi­cles, each with some­what quirky names. They are the Eas­tar, Cowin, Tiggo3, A5, V5, QQ3, QQ6, Karry, Ri­ich2 and A1. It also builds each model’s en­gines and trans­mis­sions.

Ch­ery is now the fourth-big­gest car­maker in China.

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