Can Qoros succeed in an already overcrowded European market?

Can Qoros succeed in an already overcrowded European market?

Qoros Auto Company, a new division of Chery Auto, has announced plans to launch its first model at the Geneva motor show next March. The car, a C-segment sedan, will be "aimed at discerning young buyers in China and Europe".

Chery says that Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Valeo, Microsoft and Iconmobile are leading the development of a new vehicle range based on a modular architecture. This platform will enable the rapid rollout of a range of models and variants, including the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles. New variants are expected to be launched "almost every half year", a company statement notes.

The first Qoros model is due to go on sale in China around the end of next year, with some first sales in Europe also beginning in 2013.

Qoros Auto was set up in December 2007 as an equal partnership between Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation, a global industrial holding company. The firms claim that Qoros products will be distinguished by a strong focus on state-of-the-art technology, with high levels of user-friendly in-car connectivity and vehicle safety standards which compare to the best in Europe.

The company has offices in Shanghai in addition to a headquarters in Changshu, which is also the location of the brand's forthcoming vehicle plant. This factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 units, rising to a potential maximum output of 450,000 cars.

The executive team of Qoros is led by chairman and president Guo Qian, who is also COO of Chery Group Co, and vice-chairman Volker Steinwascher. Key directors among the firm's management team include executive vice-president and COO Xingcha Fan and Gert Volker Hildebrand as executive director of Design.

"We have integrated the best of both worlds in a unique business model, one which sets a benchmark for the international auto industry, especially in China," says Volker Steinwascher. "We have 100 percent control and ownership of our brand, our design and the use of technologies, without having to make compromises."

Author: Glenn Brooks