Chery planning expansion of electrified cars

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Chery’s renewed entry to the Australian market will be born with conventional petrol models before plans for an electrified line-up are executed.

Chinese brand Chery is reentering the Australian market, first launching the Omoda 5 SUV which is scheduled for 2023. Chery is also planning to build a range of plug-in hybrid and electric models in 2026, according to the executive vice-president of the Chinese car maker’s export division, Charlie Zhang.

In an interview with media, Zhang said the Australian market was a litmus test for RHD production of a greater range of vehicles, confirming the Chinese state-owned company will also enter the UK with an electrified model range of both plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

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“We are preparing product developments for the UK, because the electrification of the market is very fast,” he said.

Zhang, who is overseeing the launch of the Chery Omoda 5 in export markets, said Australia is not just important because it is right-hand drive.

“It is a highly developed market and has regulations that are similar to the EU regulations,” he said.

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The Omoda 5 is available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and also a full electric vehicle which will compete in Australia against the likes of the MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona Electric. But before that, it is expected the Omoda will be made available with only two engine choices – 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre turbo petrols, producing 125-145kW and up to 290Nm of torque.

The electric Omodoa 5 is powered by a front-mounted electric motor developing 150kW and 400Nm allied to a 64kWh lithium ion battery. Chery quotes a WLTP range of 450km.

Other recently launched Chery models identified by Zhang for new export markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey, include the Tiggo SUV and Arrizo sedan.

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A joint-venture partner to Jaguar Land Rover in China since 2012, Chery currently operates under three brand names, including Jetour and Exeed.

The Wuhu-based company is also preparing to unveil a new upmarket brand, details of which will be confirmed in early 2023, according to Chery officials.

Chery’s 2022 sales have risen by 38.8 per cent in January to October 2022 compared with the same period last year, at 1,026,758. Included are 207,893 sales of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, according to figures released by the Chinese car maker.

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