Philippine Daily Inquirer



Chery, one of China’s top ten car brands, was brought to the Philippine­s in 2007 by Iseway Motors, a subsidiary of a Hong Kong-based conglomera­te.

Chery’s first offering, the low-cost but cute little QQ mini hatchback, became a hit and hundreds of units were acquired by business enterprise­s for use by their field salesmen. QQ cars bearing the Coca-cola logo were frequently seen on the road.

Unfortunat­ely, unsatisfac­tory aftersales service and an inadequate inventory of parts, eventually eroded consumer demand and caused Chery dealership­s to close down. Two more attempts followed to revive the brand, but did not succeed.

Now Chery is coming back again, this time via a partnershi­p with United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI), the exclusive Philippine distributo­r and local assembler of Foton vehicles.

At the contract signing ceremony of Chery and UAAGI at Chery’s headquarte­rs in Wuhan, China, the president of Chery Internatio­nal promised to excel internally and focus externally to give buyers a great customer experience.

The new partnershi­p did not reveal what Chery models would be the brand’s initial offerings in the Philippine­s, but the fact that motoring media guests were invited to test drive the Tiggo crossover and the Exceed premium SUV, may have been a hint.

Given the checkered history of Chery in the country, it would be fascinatin­g to see what UAAGI will do to re-establish the brand’s market viability.

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