New Marque Partnership Between Chery Automobile & Israel Corporation
Despite the challenge of selling a high-end Chinese automobile to the country’s BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-obsessed wealthy buyers, a new partnership between China’s Chery Automobile and the global industrial holding company Israel Corporation hopes to turn heads with a new marque, Qoros.
Slated to make its official debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show next March, the brand is currently promoting itself as a blend of European-infused design, quality components, and — owing to comparatively low-cost assembly — competitive prices. We’ve heard all of this before from other Chinese automakers hoping to tap the luxury segment, but does Qoros actually have anything going for it?
As always, it’s difficult to tell, with the project still largely under wraps. But what we do know is that Qoros has enlisted veteran designer Gert Volker Hilderbrand, former design director at MINI, to design a flagship four-door sedan. Now executive director of design at Qoros, Hilderbrand said recently that he is developing “a design language inspired by modern European tastes.”
We also know that Qorors has secured major suppliers like Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Valeo, Microsoft and Iconmobile for its vehicle architecture.
Following the brand’s introduction next year, Qoros plans to kick off a fast-paced rollout, introducing new models — including hybrids and EVs — roughly every six months. Following its official launch, Qoros plans to start China sales at the end of next year, with additional plans to hit the European market in early 2014.
Ambitious, to say the least. But will Qoros be able to get Chinese buyers to part with their beloved German luxury cars — and jump into something designed and produced much closer to home — or will it struggle to find a market, like other Chinese luxury hopefuls such as Hawtai?