Chery has updated Brazilian Tiggo SUV. It is assembled in Uruguay

Chery has updated Brazilian Tiggo SUV. It is assembled in Uruguay

Chery has confirmed the Celer hatchback and saloon will be launched in the first quarter of 2014, following delays building its first Brazilian plant, in Jacareí, 51 miles east of São Paulo City.

The second model line, expected in 2015, is already determined: the just facelifted QQ subcompact. A third product from the Chinese automaker is planned as well, the S15, likely to come in 2016. Despite this being also a subcompact, “it will be complementary to QQ”, according to Luis Curi, head of sales, who declined to provide any details.

Curi confirmed there would also be a Brazilian engine plant but outside São Paulo state. The preferred city will be revealed in July and he is looking at incentives from neighbouring states like Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. This factory is to be built in a record six months and is supposed to be ready in the first half of 2014.

There will be two four cylinder engines: one litre/61cu in (QQ) and 1.5 litre/91.5cu in (Celer), both flexible-fuel, using fuel systems developed jointly with Magneti Marelli and Delphi, respectively. Also planned is a two litre/122cu in flexfuel to power a future C segment saloon called M16, imported from 2014, to begin with, and made locally two years later.

The automaker has just launched the new Tiggo compact SUV with exterior and interior changes and upgrades. The vehicle is assembled in Uruguay and sells for BRL51,990 (US$23,000), but will coexist with the more affordable, still in stock, previous generation model for some months. Production in Brazil is foreseen under a second phase of the programme in 2017 or 2018.

Chery has also re-estimated this year’s sales expectations down from 30,000 to 20,000 units, still a difficult target to accomplish while the dealer network is currently being restructured.

Geely, the largest independent in China and owner of Volvo Cars, will arrive here in the second half of 2013. The Uruguay-assembled medium size compact EC7 and compact LC are their Brazil launch models of choice.

The franchise is held by Gandini Group, also the official Kia importer for Brazil.

Geely is mulling Brazil production as well. According to sources cited by O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, Chinese officials are already negotiating with state government officials in São Paulo, Santa Catarina (home to the new BMW plant and a GM engine factory), and Bahia (Ford and JAC).