Chery's new SUV, teased again, looks to be the driving force of the brand's global aspirations.
As is reported in Automotive News Europe, Chinese manufacturer Chery is one step closer to becoming the official competition. It has teased us again with the concept named M31T, which is deliberately aimed at European and American markets in the hope that it too can get a slice of the small SUV pie that humans the world over just love buying. That includes South Africans.
Expect more Chinese cars like this over the next fifteen years, which offer better value and build quality than China's aangeplakte nonsense of the past. It is testament to China's growth and discipline that it, like South Korea, will continue pushing forward until it eventually produces the quality and reliability we want. Hyundai and Kia are proof that with the right investment and direction, car manufacturers can build a trustworthy basket from which to convince us to start choosing them over traditional American, European and Japanese brands.
That's not to say that this SUV or Chery are anywhere near that. But, consider this: Chery sold over 700 000 cars last year and has experienced a 28% year on year rise. Would we be naive to think that in 15 years many of our neighbours will own a Chinese car? Not necessarily. With a growing middle class in South Africa, which demands mobility in the face of public transport and its challenges, perhaps we will see far more of this SUV than you think. It, and others like it, will probably be very well-priced - if not the cheapest in their segments - which, combined with reliability (that will eventually and surely come) will be hard to turn down in a world where every cent counts.
This vehicle, Chery hopes, will be the Chery on top of its offering that finally takes Chery into the foreground of our thoughts when considering a vehicle. Its colourful cabin is proof that it will adopt every small SUV gimmick that the big boys do in order to sell cars - and sell cars, they will. Of that we are sure. Forget what your Dad says about Chinese cars. His dad said the same about Hyundai.