Chery is one of the better known Chinese auto brands and although its earlier products, most notably the QQ3, weren’t quite up to scratch, each successive product range has offered models that show palpable increases in quality, appearance and drivetrain.
At the recent Shanghai Auto Show the Wuhu-based manufacturer debuted several new models, two of which we can expect in South Africa. Our sources at Chery South Africa weren’t clear on an introduction date, claiming that the local subsidiary would like to launch the new cars as soon as possible, but the most likely scenario will see two new models arrive in roughly twelve months time.
We’ve already seen previous generations of the J5 locally (known as A5 in China) and this latest iteration looks nothing like its ungainly predecessors. Being far sleeker and more attractively styled, the new model should prove more appealing to potential buyers. Under the bonnet we can expect a host of new technologies, including new forced-fed engines and transmission options.
The recently facelifted Tiggo compact SUV is also due for replacement and with the new model making an appearance at the recent Shanghai Auto Show. Like the J5 the new Tiggo is also represents something of a leap forward in the styling stakes. Under the bonnet we can expect a 1,5-litre turbopetrol, which will drive the front wheel.
No electric cars yet
While Chery is forging ahead with hybrid and EVs in its local market, the lack of infrastructure and the slow uptake of such models from other manufacturers in the South African context means the the local importer is reluctant to start importing the high-tech fuel savers.