Chery Rely X5 SUV

In the past, we’ve posted about some of the products and companies that are indirectly related to Land Rover vehicles. We’ve talked about Tata Motors, the Tata Safari DiCOR, and Jaguar cars. It was recently announced that Jaguar Land Rover is waiting for the final regulatory approval on its partnership with a Chinese automaker. We thought this would be a good opportunity to sneak in some background info on this prospective partner. The purpose of the partnership is to assemble vehicles in China for the local market, which is on track to become Jaguar Land Rover’s largest market.

Increased Investments

Jaguar Land Rover plans to spend as much as $160 million on a facility in China in addition to its expansion efforts in South America, India, and the UK. Today, Reuters India reported that Tata Motors plans to double its annual investment in Jaguar Land Rover to about $2.4 billion, up from the $1.1 to $1.3 billion it had spent annually in previous years. Why that sudden influx of capital? Jaguar Land Rover contributed 95 percent of Tata Motor’s profit last quarter. This return has also created speculation that Jaguar Land Rover could be spun off from Tata Motors into an independent company.

About Chery Automobile Co.

Chery Automobile Co.All of this leads into our feature today, which is a brief background on Chery Automobile Co., Jaguar Land Rover’s prospective Chinese manufacturing partner. Chery is China’s seventh-largest automaker and a very recent addition to the automotive landscape. The state-owned company began producing vehicles in 1999.

Previous attempted partnerships included a Chery-Chrysler deal that would have allowed Chery access to the U.S. market and a Chery-Fiat joint venture that would have seen Fiat and Alfa Romeo vehicles sold into the Chinese market. Neither partnership came to fruition. 

Chery Vehicles

Chery QQDo you like alphabet soup? Chery does. The QQ is Chery’s entry-level offering and is available as the QQ3, QQ6 sedan, QQ6L, QQme, and the M1. Moving up, there is the Chery A1, Cowin, CowinFL, Fulwin2, and the Fulwin2 Hatchback. The next segment includes the A3, A3 Hatchback, A5, and the A5FL. Rounding out Chery’s passenger car lineup is the Eastar, G5, and the G6. Chery’s electric vehicle range includes the A5BSG, A5ISG, A3ISG, QQEV, and the M1EV. Vans include the A18, S22, Q21, Q22, Q22B, Q21D, and the H5. And we thought other automakers used confusing nomenclatures.

Chery Automobile also produces a series of MPVs and SUVs, which include the X1, Eastar Cross, Tiggo, Tiggo FL, and the X5. The X1 is a small four-door MPV equipped with a 1.3L engine producing 84 horsepower. Stepping up into minivan territory is the Chery Eastar Cross, which offers seven-passenger seating and a 2.0L engine. Chery’s Tiggo bridges the gap up to the Chery X5, which is really the most interesting (to us) vehicle in the Chery stable. The four-wheel drive X5 is the most Land Rover’esque offering and participated as a manufacturer entry in the 2010 and 2011 Dakar Rally events. The X5 — also called the Rely X5 — is a five-seat SUV powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 168-horsepower. Prices for the X5 start at ¥159,800.00 ($25,400.00).

Copying Claims

You may note that many of Chery’s naming choices echo — to put it nicely — names used by brands such as Audi, BMW, and the now-defunct Pontiac. However, none of these vehicles are related. Like some other Chinese automakers, Chery has come up against claims that some of its products are thinly veiled copies of designs from other automakers. GM Daewoo, in particular, took umbrage with Chery’s QQ, which appeared to be a near-copy of the Daewoo Matiz.

If you browse Chery Automobile’s website, you will probably note there are more than a few cars that look familiar. Of course, there are those who say the same thing about the Range Rover Evoque and the Ford Edge or the DC100 and the Skoda Yeti. As Marv says in the movie Sin City,  “Modern cars – they all look like electric shavers.”

Chery Rely X5

Chery Rely X5 SUV



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February 21, 2012

RoverGuide

Articles, Corporate News, Land Rover News

China, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors

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