China’s Ch­ery, go­ing hard for growth, se­ri­ously un­der­cuts the competition

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Classifieds - PAUL GOVER paul.gover@cars­

CarLast­com­pa­niesweek’s Shang­hai hadn’t shared­mo­tor showthe joy­dis­pelled of our dol­lar’sany doubt­srise thisun­tilis the Chi­ne­seAsian Cen­tury.brand Ch­eryPaul blinkedGover ex­plains­first with­whata it $means10,990for­drive­awaythe world’s deal­bigge­ston car­its J1.mar­ket. Who’s. next?

THE strength of the Aus­tralian dol­lar is fi­nally pay­ing off in show­rooms. So far it’s only one car and one brand, the J1 from Ch­ery, but the Chinese com­pany is con­fi­dent a $10,990 drive­away sticker will force its ri­vals to move.

Its dol­lar-driven deal re­duces the re­tail price of the J1 from $11,990 drive­away. The deal op­er­ates ei­ther as a straight dis­count or as a $1000 cash in­cen­tive to buy­ers.

At some stage, com­peti­tors are go­ing to have to come and meet us on price,’’ said Daniel Cot­ter­ill, the spokesman for Ch­ery Au­to­mo­tive Aus­tralia.

That’s a good deal for ev­ery­body, whether they buy a Ch­ery or a Great Wall, or some­thing else that’s a com­peti­tor. Competition is a happy thing.’’

The new deal is ef­fec­tively an 8.5 per cent price cut, sim­i­lar to the im­prove­ment in the ex­change rate— Aus­tralian dol­lar against the green­back— since Ch­ery be­gan im­ports to Aus­tralia. It’s made eas­ier be­cause Ch­ery orig­i­nally tar­geted a $10,990 drive­away start­ing point but could not make the sums work.

That partly ex­plains why the deal is only on the sticker for the J1 and not the $19,990 drive­away price of the J11 SUV.

We’re in a po­si­tion, on that car, to make the bot­tom line bet­ter. We worked very hard at launch to get the J11 from $19,990 drive­way, and the mar­gins are ex­tremely tight. We don’t have the same flex­i­bil­ity with that car (the J11),’’ Cot­ter­ill said.

We ex­pect it to run for as long as the cur­rency sus­tains its cur­rent level. At the mo­ment we’re locked into May 31.

His­tor­i­cally, the Aus­tralian dol­lar goes up in small steps and goes down in an el­e­va­tor.’’

Ch­ery is work­ing on the short­com­ings in the J1 iden­ti­fied in the first Cars­guide re­view, start­ing with poor gear­box ra­tios— for econ­omy and per­for­mance alike— and the qual­ity of the fi­nal fin­ish­ing.

The J1 fi­nal drive ra­tio has been changed and we’ve been work­ing very hard with our part­ners at Ch­ery on the items pointed out by Cars­guide,’’ Cot­ter­ill said. We’ve got guys on the ground check­ing cars in the fac­tory, and then again be­fore a car is cleared to go on the boat to Aus­tralia.’’

He said it was too early to pre­dict sales al­though the J1 more than dou­bled its fore­cast in the first month of sales.

Sav­ings: Ch­ery leads the way with $1000 off its J1 model

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