Nice one, China

Chi­nese cars are set to go, write Paul Gover and Neil Dowl­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

THE de­lays are fi­nally over and the first Chi­nese-built pas­sen­ger cars will be in Aus­tralian show­rooms early in the new year.

The first cars were orig­i­nally ex­pected late last year but cer­ti­fi­ca­tion de­lays and model changes have caused long de­lays.

Now Chery and Geely are fi­nally in the fin­ish­ing straight, and other mak­ers are likely to fol­low in­side two years.

But Geely will only be sold in Western Aus­tralia be­cause its first Aus­tralian model, the MK, does not have the ESP sta­bil­ity con­trol that rate, and that might help us to be a lit­tle more com­pet­i­tive than we had hoped,’’ Hull says. ‘‘They will be very com­pet­i­tive. We will have to be su­per-com­pet­i­tive to get ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion.’’

The Geely MK could start as low as $13,000 but Hughes re­fuses to com­ment.

‘‘I know ex­actly what the price will be. But I’m leav­ing that to closer to launch,’’ he says.

Ateco is plan­ning a na­tional net­work of about 60 deal­ers next year but Hughes is more con­ser­va­tive.

‘‘We have to un­der-prom­ise and over-de­liver, so we would like to start re­cruit­ing deal­ers in the first quar­ter of next year.

‘‘We want to es­tab­lish the brand in WA with our own par­tic­u­lar ex­per­tise,’’ he says.

He is plan­ning a solid roll­out with two other mod­els planned for launch be­fore next June — the 1.3-litre five-door Pan da copy, the LC, and the Camry-sized EC7.

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