Business / Auto China

Chery looking to get back in the game

By Han Tianyang and Gong Zhengzheng (China Daily) Updated: 2013-04-29 07:54

 Chery looking to get back in the game

The Alpha7 is among the three Chery concept models displayed at the Shanghai auto show. [Provided to China Daily]

Strategy focuses on smaller lineup, advanced technology

In an effort to rebound from a year of slow sales, Chery Automobile Co demonstrated its innovative prowess with three all-new concept models based on its latest core technologies at Auto Shanghai, which is set to close today.

The three concepts - the Alpha7, Beta5 and the @Ant - were developed on the iAuto technology platform, which is short for intelligent auto.

According to the company, the platform is based on its "independent technologies accumulated over the years in accordance with leading global standards".

A key aspect of Chery's drive to regain its growth momentum, the iAuto platform is composed of the CLOUDRIVE intelligent cloud entertainment system, the ACTECO intelligent efficiency powertrain system and the CHERYSMA intelligent balancing system, according to the company, which is based in Wuhu, Anhui province.

The Alpha7, the first model utilizing the iAuto technologies, will be put into commercial production during the second half of this year. The compact sedan will have two engine options - a 1.6-liter and a 2.0-liter DVVT.

The Beta5, a compact SUV, will hit the market at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, according to the company.

The one-seat @Ant represents Chery's exploration of the future market for individualized urban transportation systems.

On the eve of the Shanghai auto show, Chery announced that it will focus on the Chery brand and give up three other marques - the Riich, the Rely and the Karry.

The Riich and Rely were medium and high-end cars. The Karry is a brand for minivans.

Chery Chairman Yin Tongyue said the company plans to trim its lineup from more than 20 models to 11 or 12.

It also revealed an all-new brand logo for Chery.

Over the past two years, Chery has been plagued by a drop in sales and financial woes due to over-expansion. One major contributing factor was the lackluster performance of the Riich, Rely and Karry models. .

The company's sales dropped by 12.4 percent to 563,300 units in 2013.

Starting anew with iAuto technologies under a single unified brand, the company aims to consolidate its leadership in the entry-level car market and to be "the best Chinese brand" in the auto industry from 2013 to 2016.

During the period from 2016 to 2020, Chery expects to have the same capabilities as major multinational carmakers and that the technology of its products will reach international standards, making it a world-class carmaker.

Chery and Jaguar Land Rover run an equal joint venture with a total investment of 10.9 billion yuan.

Based in Changshu, Jiangsu province, the venture will have an annual production capacity of 130,000 units and start production on Land Rover SUVs next year.

Chery looking to get back in the game

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