Chi­nese car­mak­ers show­case high-end SUV mod­els in Frank­furt

Global Times - Weekend - - AUTO - Global Times Page Edi­tor: zhangye@glob­al­

Two Chi­nese car­mak­ers – Ch­ery Au­to­mo­bile Co and WEY, the pre­mium brand of Great Wall Mo­tor Co – made their de­buts at one of the world’s largest auto shows this week.

The pair sig­naled their in­ten­tions of ex­pand­ing into the Euro­pean mar­ket as they show­cased their lat­est sport-util­ity ve­hi­cles (SUVs) at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Ger­many, which kicked off on Tues­day.

Ch­ery and WEY were the only two home­grown brands at­tend­ing the bi­en­nial mo­tor show this year, though some of their peers such as Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ing Group and Changan Au­to­mo­bile Co par­tic­i­pated in pre­vi­ous ses­sions.

Ch­ery re­vealed the con­cept for its first global car, which is the M31T, a com­pact SUV. The SUV has state-of-the-art de­sign and tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing self-driv­ing ca­pa­bil­ity and newen­ergy fea­tures.

James Hope, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for de­sign at Ch­ery, said in an in­ter­view that de­spite dif­fi­cul­ties for for­eign car­mak­ers in crack­ing the Euro­pean mar­ket, which is filled with lo­cal brands, Ch­ery is de­ter­mined to make its en­trance.

“Yes, at the heart of the Ger­man car in­dus­try… we are putting a stake in the ground,” Hope told French news out­let Re­laxnews in an in­ter­view ahead of the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show. “We want to build up the brand im­age and cre­ate dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles for dif­fer­ent con­sumers but through a more emo­tional ap­proach.”

The other Chi­nese “face” at the Frank­furt, WEY, showed off six SUV mod­els, in­clud­ing a new-en­ergy con­cept car XEV, which was mak­ing its global de­but. The XEV em­bod­ies both WEY sig­na­ture and fu­tur­is­tic de­sign fea­tures and is said to be fully pow­ered by elec­tric­ity.

In ad­di­tion, the up­scale brand of Great Wall show­cased two tra­di­tional gaso­line-pow- ered ve­hi­cles – the VV7s and the VV5s – and three hy­brid pow­ered cars – the P8, the VV7s-Hi4 and the VV5s-Hi4.

In an on­line state­ment, WEY in­di­cated its aim was to be a pi­o­neer of Chi­nese pre­mium SUVs.

“We are walk­ing and will con­tinue to walk on an un­charted road,” WEY said

The rise of Chi­nese brands at global mo­tor shows has been backed by a do­mes­tic mar­ket where lo­cal brands are in­creas­ingly tak­ing the lead in SUV sales and pro­duc­tion.

In the first eight months of 2017, Chi­nese-brand SUV sales grew 24.6 per­cent year-on-year to about 3.5 mil­lion units, ac­count­ing for nearly 60 per­cent of to­tal SUV sales, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers on Mon­day.

The growth pace for do­mes­tic SUVs out­per­formed the year-on-year 17.1 per­cent gain for to­tal SUV sales, and Chi­nese brands’ mar­ket share in the SUV seg­ment in­creased 3.6 per­cent­age points, ac­cord­ing to the data.

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