CHERY RIPE FOR DRAMATIC GROWTH OUTSIDE CHINA
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.