Chery goes to South Africa – exports on!

Monday, June 23, 2008, 4:55 by Auto Correspondent

It’s a Chinese invasion of sorts in South Africa. Chinese car maker Chery is on the verge of taking over South African roads.

Chery passenger-vehicle range which has been imported from China will offer more affordable motoring to cash-strapped South Africans, it is being felt.

According to a report vehicle retailer McCarthy Motor Holdings has brought in three Chery models to the country. The QQ3 minicar, the J5 sedan, and the Tiggo Sports Utility Vehicle are the three Chery models now in South Africa. Of these, the QQ3 is South Africa’s cheapest new car. The launch of Chery is McCarthy’s first move into the Chinese passenger vehicle market.

The retailer had imported a series of Chinese products earlier in 2007, when it established McCarthy Heavy Equipment, which focuses on the importation, distribution and after-sales support of heavy equipment from China Since then, the group has also introduced the Meiya and Foton light commercial vehicle ranges.

A related report added that South Africans have seen more and more Chinese brands being launched into the local market over the last two years. It pointed out that Chinese imports sell on price in South Africa, rather than quality even though many Chinese manufacturers are working towards improving quality.

Meanwhile, globally Chery is expected to introduce 38 new models in the next five years, after having achieved the status of the best-selling domestic car brand in China.

Though Chery has gone on a South Africa overdrive, there is still a bit of negative perception in the nation about the quality of Chinese vehicles. This has somewhat improved over the past few months, it has been found. With Chery all set to establish its own office in Johannesburg, all such doubts are expected to fade away.

McCarthy, reportedly, has a wide dealer network in South Africa dedicated to selling the Chery models.

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