Nice one, China
Chinese cars are set to go, write Paul Gover and Neil Dowling
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.